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Full text of "Annals of Oxford, New York : with illustrations and biographical sketches of some of its prominent men and early pioneers"

Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2008 with funding from 

Microsoft Corporation 



http://www.archive.org/details/annalsofoxfordneOOgalp 



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ANNALS 



O F 



OXFORD, NEW YORK 



WITH 



ILLUSTRATIONS AND BIOGRAPHICAL 
SKETCHES OF SOME OF ITS PROM- 
INENT MEN AND EARLY PIONEERS 



COMPILED, EDITED AND PUBLISHED BY 

HENRY J. GALPIN 



OXFORD, N. Y. 

STimirs Uoofe anti Job ^^rtnttng %]ou6t. 



A6TOR, LFvox a\'0 
TILCL\ - \T;ONS. 

R 1907 L 



Copyright 1906 

by 

HENRY j. GALPIN 

All rights reserved 



Preface. 



'Tis pleasant to see one's name in print; 

A book's a book, although there's nothing in it. — Byron. 

A man starts upon a sudden, takes Pen, Ink and Paper, and without 
ever having had a thought of it before, resolves within himself he will write 
a Book; he has no Talent at Writing, but he wants fifty guineas. 

— De La Bruyere. 

In collecting data for this volume it has been my leading aim 
as well as earnest desire to make it as accurate and useful as 
possible. For this purpose I have availed myself of the assist- 
ance of many of the descendants of the early pioneers of the 
town, to whom I hereby tender sincere thanks for the ready and 
effiicient assistance conferred, and acknowledge my obligations. 

Read straight along. A very vicious habit in reading is to flip the fly- 
ing pages till something succulent appears; and nab it, then wait until 
something else the eye engages. Like Mrs. Todgers when she boiled the 
chickens, as Bailey said, who'd seen her bend above 'em, "She's got a fork 
and dodgin' round and picking the tender pieces out and a-eating of 'em." 

— W. A. Croffut. 

The accurate character of the contents of the book has, of 
course, been my chief object. But, after all, although I hope 
and believe that the book is free from serious error, I am quite 
aware that faults both of manner and matter will be discovered. 

It's a strange thing — sometimes when I'm quite alone, sitting in my 
room with my eyes closed, or walking o'er the hills, the people I've seen 
and known, if it's only been for a few days, are brought before me and I 
see them look and move almost plainer than I ever did when they were 
really with me so as I could touch them. And then my heart is drawn out 
towards them, and I feel their lot as if it was my own. — George Eliot. 

I've had my say out, and I shall be th' easier for 't all my life. There's 
no pleasure i' living if you're to be corked up forever, and only dribble your 
mind out by the sly, like a leaky barrel. — George Eliot. 

*^ Here's my hand. 
And mine, with my heart in't. And now farewell. " 

HENRY J. GALPIN. 



Far from the gay cities and the ways of men. — Pope. 

State---County---Town. 



The Province of New York was divided into twelve 
counties November 1, 1683, and Albany county was the 
first civil division to which Chenango county belonged. 
Montgomery county, then called Tryon, was formed from 
Albany March 12, 1772; Herkimer, Otsego and Tioga 
counties were formed from Montgomery February 16, 1791 ; 
and March 15, 1798, Chenango county was erected from 
Herkimer and Tioga counties. 

Chenango county is named from the river which flows 
centrally through it. In "Morgan's League of the Iro- 
quois," Chenango is called ''0-che-wang." Another au- 
thority says the Indian name is " 0-nan-no-gi-is-ka," 
meaning "beautiful river." But the true orthography 
for Chenango is "Tsenango," signifying "pleasant 
stream," 

The territory embraced in Chenango county includes 
eleven of the " Chenango Twenty Towns," or " Governor's 
Purchase," the " Gore," lying between these and the 
* ' Military Tract, ' ' a part of the ' ' Chenango Triangle 
Tract," and several smaller tracts or sections. 

The " Chenango Twenty Towns" were ceded to the 
State by the Oneida Indians in a treaty made by Governor 
George Clinton at Fort Schuyler, (Utica), September 22, 
1788. At the organization of the county it included all 
of the twenty towns, but on the organization of Madison 
county, two tiers of townships upon the north were in- 
cluded in that county. These townships were originally 



6 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

numbered from one to twenty and were laid out six miles 
square. Those numbered from seven to seventeen are now 
in Chenango. 

Owing to the sinuosities of the Unadilla river, several 
gores were left along its banks. Each township was di- 
vided into four equal parts, as nearly square as possible, 
and afterwards into lots of 250 acres each. On the map 
of every towoship one lot was designated "Gospel " and 
one "School," which were reserved for religious and edu- 
cational purposes. 

That part of the town of Oxford lying west of the river 
was called the " Gore.'* Melancthon Smith and Marinus 
Willett, the original purchasers, paid four shillings and 
one penny per acre for it, and divided it into sixty-nine 
lots, each lot containing one hundred acres. Guilford, 
that part of Oxford lying east of the river, and a small 
portion of Coventry, were included in "Fayette Town- 
ship."' 

The township of Fayette, from the western portion of 
which Oxford was formed, derived its name from that of 
the noble Marquis de LaFayette, a name held in grateful 
and loving remembrance by every true American. This 
township extended from the Unadilla river to the Che- 
nango, and from the south line of the "Twenty-Town- 
ships" to the present boundary of Coventry, having been 
one of the first tracts laid out and surveyed after the war 
of the Revolution. It w^as sold at public auction in New 
York in lots a mile square. 

January 19, 1793, the township of Fayette and the 
"Gore" before mentioned, were incorporated into the town 
of Oxford, and formed from Union, Broome county, and 
Jericho, (Bainbridge). At this time the town was in the 
county of Tioga. 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 7 

In 1813 the town of Eastern (Guilford), was set off as a 
towm from Oxford, and a part of Coventry was taken off 
in 1843. In 1822 a small tract from the town of Greene 
was annexed to Oxford. 

As it has been previously stated the town was formed 
in January 1793, but the citizens failed to hold a town 
meeting in April and the following record is the first ap- 
pearing on the town book : 

Whereas the town of Oxford for the want of seasonable information of 
their being incorporated into a Town separate from the Town of Jericho 
they did neglect to hold a legal annual Townmeeting on the first Tuesday 
in April one thousand seven hundred and ninety three as the Law of this 
State for holding Town meetings directs, in consequence of which agreeable 
to an act of this State passed the seventh day of March in the year 1788 
Assembled at the house of Benjamin Hovey in said Oxford on the 17th June 
1793 William Guthree, Hezekiah Stowel and Joab Enos all Justices of the 
peace in and for the County of Tioga and then and there on the same day 
by Warrants under their hands and Seals agreeable to the aforesaid Act 
did constitute and appoint the following persons to officiate in the offices 
affiix'd to their several names for the year ensuing. Viz — 

Benjamin Hovey — Supervisor. 

James Phelps ) 

Ebenezer Enos [• Assessors. 

John Fitch ) 

Zachariah Lummis — Collector. 

Peter Burgot ) Poormasters 

Joshua Mersereau \ ^oormasters. 

James Phelps ) 

Asa Holmes I Commiss's Highways. 

Nathanel Locke ) 

Abel Gibson } /- i. v,i 

T^^^^ AT44- v,^i c Constables. 
James Mitchei ) 

And gave Warrants under their hands and Seals (after being duly "worn) 
which are lodg'd in the Town Clerks office all of which is according to the 
Directions of the aforesaid act. 

Elihu Murray, Clerk. 

Att the Same place and on the Same day and by the Same Justices the 
Rodes were divided into Destricts as follows (Viz) 

ist Destrict from the South line of Joshua Mersereaus Land up the Una- 
dilla River to John Blandens North line. 

Second Destrict from thence to the North line of the Town, 

3d District from the aforesaid rode to Daniel Sills North line and from 
thence by Daniel Savages to the State road. 

4th Destrict from Mersereaus Mills to Joseph Adams. 
5th Destrict from Adams to William Gordons. 



8 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

6th Destrict from Adams to the Chenango River on the State rode and 
from there thejice to Joab Enoses. 

7th Destrict from Enoses to Daniel Sills. 

8th Destrict on the West Side of the Chenango River Beginning at the 
north bounds of the Town and Running thence Down Said River to John 
Holmes and out the State rode as far as the Town extends. 

Qth Destrict from John Holmes to the South bounds of the town. 

The Pathmasters who at the Same time and place were appointed by the 
Same Justices and Warrants Lodged in the Town office are as follows (Viz) 

ist Destrict Isaac Fuller 6 Destrict James McCalpin 

2 Do Able Gibson 7 Do Thomas Lyon 

3 Do Daniel Gregory S Do Solomon Dodge 

4 Do Joseph Adams 9 Do Fetters Barttles 

5 Do William Gordon 

A True Coppy 

Elihu Murray Clerk 

Gen. Robert Morris of the Revolutionary army, like 
many of the government officers, was obliged to take his 
pay in land. A section belonging to the government in 
Otsego county was set off to him, comprising the present 
town of Morris, which derives its name from him ; but as 
this failed to satisfy his claim, another mile square 
owned by the government in Chenango county, was as- 
signed to him. This and adjoining sections are in Enst 
Oxford and Guilford, but at that time were all in Oxford. 
The Morris section \vas divided into three lots in the south 
half and four in the north half. The first settlers, begin- 
ning from the east, were Joshua Harrington, Hezekiah 
and Henry Wheeler, and John Harrington. North half 
from the east, were Nehemiah Wheeler, Nicholas Smith, 
Henry Wheeler and Joshua Harrington. The two last did 
Hot settle on the lots, but merely "occupied" them for 
many years. 

The section east of the Morris was purchased by Roger 
Williams, and besides himself the east half was settled by 
Ira Wade, Ebenezer Root, and Theodore Wade. The north 
half by Gross, Arnold Wade, and George Dex- 
ter. The section south of the Williams lot was called the 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 9 

Gospel Hill lot and settled by Asa, Hezekiah and John 
Sherwood, Aaron and Joel Root, Timothy Guy, James 
Nickerson, and Richard VanDusen, and a little later by 
Hawley Brant, T. L. Day and Joel Coe. 

The section lying south of the Williams, was purchased 
by a man named Estes, and by him was willed to the town 
of Guilford. 

The section south of the Morris, was settled by Anson 
Booth and Lambert Ingersoll, south half by Robert Brooks- 
bank, James Padgett, and James Walker a little farther 
west. 

The section west, one mile square, was owned by men 
in Albany named Quackenboss. One lot of 100 acres was 
sold at an early date to Enoch Smith, who lived and died 
there. The rest of this section remained wild a long time. 

The mile square next north of the Morris section, was 
bought by Gerrit H. YanWagenen for six pence an acre. 



DR. CHARLES JOSLYN came here in 1805 from But- 
ternuts, Otsego county, and after practicing a few 
years removed to Greene. Drs. — Harrison and Isaac F. 
Thomas were also physicians who located here early in 
the town's history, but nothing more in regard to them 
is known. 



The expenses of the town for the year 1799 were : 

For defraying County charges - $193.81 

" Wolves - - - 30.00 

*' Collector's & Treasurer's fees . - 18.00 

*' Schooling - . - 89.43 

Total 331.24 



lo ANNALS OF OXFORD 



This fond attachment to the well-known place 
Where first we started in life's long race, 
Maintains its hold with such unfailing sway, 
We feel it e'en in age, and at our latest day. 

— COWPER. 



The Village of Oxford. 



The valley of the Chenango is one of the finest in the 
State and apparently formed by the action of large cur- 
rents of water which have plowed deep furrows in the 
gently rolling region, which probably once formed the 
general face of the country. 

The village of Oxford, incorporated April 6, 1806, is lo- 
cated in one of the most charmingly developed farming dis- 
tricts in Chenango county, and lies in a narrow valley close- 
ly hemmed in by green rounded hills whose contour clearly 
betrays the glacial action of past ages. Fields under care- 
ful cultivation and meadows on which graze large herds of 
cattle, with here and there a wood lot, make a picture 
soft in coloring and one rarely seen. The Chenango river 
winds like a silver thread through the meadows and di- 
vides the village in two parts, adding additional beauty to 
the scene. The residential part of the village is a park in 
itself. A greater part of the dwellers in this ' ' Peaceful Val- 
ley " own their own residences, practically all of which are 
Burrounded by plots of land of various sizes. The lawns are 
well cared for and many of them contain fine old trees, 
which together with the avenues of trees on the streets 
form almost a continuous canopy over one of the oldest 
settlements in the county. Three parks, like emeralds, 
add lustre to the surrounding buildings, many of which 
are colonial in design and arranged in charming simplicity, 
formal but not stiff. 



) 
I 







NAVY ISLAND IN 1872 




ON THE OLD CHENANGO' 



ANNALS OF OXFORD ii 

The advantage of pure and wholesome water for domes- 
tic purposes is of immense consequence, both for the con- 
venience and health of a community. In this particular 
the village possesses decided advantages and perhaps is 
unrivalled in the State. On the eastern and western 
range of hills within a short distance of the village issue a 
great number of springs, which before the system of water 
works was inaugurated, were readily conveyed by logs or 
pipes to the dwellings. Several of these springs are large 
and they afforded the year around an abundance of soft 
water, free from any impurity. 



Ah ! you might wander far and wide, 
Nor find a spot in the country's side 
So fair to see as our valley's pride ! 

— Phoebe Gary. 



Elijah Blackman 



The year 1788 had donned the autumnal tints when, 
after many w^eary days from following a beckoning For- 
tune, Elijah Blackman was led over hill and dale into an 
uncultivated valley of giant trees. He was the first of his 
race to make a settlement in Oxford, then a new and un- 
known section of country, whose soil was now to be re- 
deemed by hard and persistent labor, though not without 
many privations. 

He had brought with him a stout heart and a good gun, 
and had journeyed long enough to enable him to learn 
much in regard to woodcraft, which knowledge coupled 
with a fine natural intelligence was to be of great service 
to him in the future. At length, after an extensive in- 



12 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

vestigation, he fixed upon one particular spot as the place 
suitable for his future home. Nestling at the foot of the 
eastern hill was an island, later known as Packer or Cork 
island, whose borders were washed by the clear rippling 
waters of the Chenango. 

Elijah Blackman, well pleased with the situation, pro- 
ceeded to mark the land for his own, and ascending a tree 
took a hatchet from his belt with which he struck lusty- 
blows that were heard to the green and golden hills on the 
further side, and the falling chips dropped to the ground 
as a symbol of the beginning of civilization, and the de- 
parture of the Indian, whose lands were now passing rapid- 
ly into the hands of the pale face. After marking several 
trees in the vicinity in a way that he could not fail to 
recognize them, he took his bearings and departed, the 
season being autumn and unfavorable for immediate set- 
tlement. 

Early in the spring of 1789, Elijah Blackman and fami- 
ly, accompanied by James Phelps, whose mind had been 
inflamed by the description of the land spied out, were en 
route from Connecticut to the then far away "Chenango 
country '' to make a home. 

On account of sickness a portion of the family were de- 
tained at Unadilla, but Elijah and Jabez, Blackman's 
sons, accompanied by Polly Knapp, an adopted daughter, 
and then only a child of eleven years, were sent on. The 
journey from Unadilla was of two days' length, tedious 
and made on an ox sled. To the three as they approached 
the Chenango valley from the east, the silvery stream of 
the river flowing through the uncounted acres of the for- 
est was a striking feature of the scene; and the ancient 
vestiges of the old fortification indicated a time when strife 
asserted itself in the peaceful domain they were entering. 



ANNALS OF OXFORD ij 

Undaunted they set forth courageously to work in the for- 
est of giant growth and having made a sufficient clearing 
the brothers erected a rude cabin of logs, covered it with 
pealed elm bark, and floored it with the halves of split 
logs. Greased paper answered the purposes of a window, 
and a suspended blanket answered for a door, until one 
could be made of hewed planks fastened together with 
wooden pins, and hung upon hinges of the same material, 
A chimney made of rough stones was added, laid up in 
mud from a nearby bed of clay. 

For two weeks Polly Knapp was thefirstand only white 
female in town. She enlivened the rude cabin by her 
presence and aid. One day as Elijah and Jabez were at 
some distance from their clearing she saw thirty Indians 
come down the river in canoes. Concealing herself within 
the forest on the eastern shore, she followed and saw them 
stop to view the old fort and then quietly sail away. 

The little island on which the Blackman family had 
squatted had previously been bought by Benjamin Hovey^ 
who, when he came on later to take possession, gave them 
in consideration of the improvements made, a piece of la nd^ 
a mile and a half up the river. On this Blackman resided 
till his death, which occurred about the year 1825. 

James Phelps remained a few years and then returned 
to Connecticut. 

Elijjih Blackman, Jr., removed from the town in 1813. 
Jabez Blackman married Hannah Trisket, whose father 
was also an early settler. He lived on forty-two acres of 
the homestead farm given him by his father, until his 
death, which occurred January 17, 1849, at the age of 77 
years. The original farm is now occupied by Mrs. Wil- 
liam F. Nevins, who inherited it from her grandfather, 
Lawson Blackman, who was a grandson of Elijah Black- 
man, Sr. 



14 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

Soon a small stream of new-comers began to filter, family 
by family, over the hills and up the Chenango, and in a 
few years the settlement of the town had become an ac- 
complished fact. Toil, taxes, trouble, in short civilization. 

Often at night wolves were howling around these prim- 
itive homes set great distances apart in the valley. The 
aborigines, who according to a learned writer, are "the 
posterity of our great-grandfather Japhet," found them- 
selves obliged to tolerate a branch of their family giving 
good presumptive proof of being relatives in their willing- 
ness, even stern determination, to share the family inher- 
itance. The pioneers were soon very widely known and 
respected as brave men and mighty hunters, whom it 
would be a positive pleasure to scalp. 



Art thou a man? a patriot? look around ; 

Oh, thou shall find, howe'er thy footsteps roam, 

That land thy country, and that spot thy home. 

— J. Montgomery. 



Pioneer Life. 



The life of the pioneer was beset with hardship and 
dangers. Many a young man emigrated from the eastern 
states to this town with only an axe, gun, a few shillings 
in money, but best of all, a stout heart. Some would 
come on with an ox cart accompanied by wdfe and children, 
the spare room in the cart piled with a few household 
goods. The first work after the erection of the house, was 
to clear the land, raise corn, potatoes and a little rye. 
Wheat bread was a luxury and seldom seen in the pio- 
neer's cabin. But in the meantime while the first crops 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 15 

were growing fish and wild game were the main sustenance. 
In the winter if the pioneer owned cattle they were fed on 
browse, that of basswood being the most luxuriant. Some- 
times the store of provisions would run short, as was the 
case of a hardy settler one spring, who was forced to go 
down the river in a canoe for supplies, and when found 
had to work to pay for them, thus delaying his return to 
his family, who had been forced to dig up the potatoes 
they had planted to sustain life. 

Deer were abundant and furnished the settler with meat, 
their skins were made into household garments, and 
the tallow furnished candles. When that gave out the 
''fat pine '' was brought into requisition. Pitch pine and 
tapers in a dish of grease served for light until candles 
were invented. 

The first matches appeared in 1832, before which fire 
was obtained by borrowing, or by flint and steel, and punk 
gathered from decayed trees. The best from the beech, 
although a poorer quality could be got from other trees, 
and every family kept a supply on hand. 

The river and smaller streams abounded in fish, and 
with the abundant supply of game there was small chance 
of starvation while the husbandman was at home. 

The lack of a mill was a great deprivation and varied 
were the devices for overcoming it. The more common 
way was to pound the corn for bread with a pestle and 
mortar, the latter being a cavity burned or scraped out of 
a hard wood stump, and the former a large stone or heavy 
iron suspended by a rope from a bent sappling. The 
process was slow and tedious, it being a day's work to con- 
vert a bushel of corn into meal. Sometimes the grain 
would be boiled and eaten with milk, or hulled, until they 
could go to mill, the distance of which was a great incon- 



i6 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

venience and a tedious journey. They had no wagons, 
nor had they any roads suitable for them. If distant from 
the river, they would place the grain upon a horse and 
take it to the bank of the stream, float it on a light boat 
twenty-five miles to Chenango Forks, where then was the 
only mill in a circuit of miles. Often the husbandman 
had to w^ait for others before he could get his flour, then 
returning home the journey would occupy three or four 
days. The children at home were often jjut upon so short 
an allowance as to cr}^ for food. The trip at times was 
perilous, and around the log fire furnished detail of ad- 
venture, or narrow escape from flood or beast of prey. 

Others went to Wattles Ferry at the outlet of Otsego 
lake, forty miles away, for their grinding, and their meal 
was often lengthened out by such makeshifts as hulled 
corn, stewed peas, beans and succotash. 

Peter Burghardt, of whom mention is made elsewhere, 
was the first to erect a mill in this town, w^hich was dur- 
ing the summer of 1792, on Hovey's creek, one and a half 
mile wesi from the village. 

When a new settler arrived in town he was hailed with 
interest, especially if he had a yoke of oxen and a fam- 
ily of boys and girls. The neighbors were invited to help 
him erect a cabin, and at a stated time met in a logging 
bee, felled the trees and hauled the logs to the spot selected. 
In the " Chenango country '' where the growth of timber 
was large a logging bee became a necessity. The heavy 
labor of cutting the timber was reduced to the minimum. 
The trees were cut half through, on one side, and when a 
long line of them had been prepared the great trees at the 
end were sent crashing down upon the first line and that 
upon the next, until the entire sweep lay in a mass on the 
ground. The additonal work of preparing for the bee was 
simply making the trunks of proper size for the cabin and 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 17 

for the teams to handle them. Then came the day and 
the work. Twenty-five or thirty men, with as many yokes 
of oxen were often present on such an occasion. Shouting 
and hauling, tumbling and rolling of logs, and striking 
feats of skill and strength were marked features of the 
bee. Massive piles of timber were raised, great windrows, 
sometimes several hundred feet in length. Each man be- 
lieved in himself and in his oxen, and the boasting, chinked 
in during the resting spells, had no littleness in its make- 
up. When the work was done the men regaled themselves 
with coffee, doughnuts, bread, cake, and not infrequently 
the drink was flavored with something stronger than coffee. 
Sallies of wit marked the occasion, and appetites kept pace 
with the wit. 

In building the cabin two of the largest logs are placed 
in position with ends fitted to receive two more, and the 
foundation is laid. Another tier of logs is placed upon 
these similarly locked at the ends, a saddle upon one and 
a notch or skapp to put it in the other. This brings the 
logs near enough to each other so that a little chinking and 
a little " mudding up " once a year made all tight and 
warm. As the walls grew higher the work of rolling up 
the green logs grew more difficult. A boy was kept busy 
carrying drink to the men, water in one hand and whisky 
in the other, in little kegs; the former holding two gallons 
and the latter one. By sundown the body of the house, 
wdth timbers placed in position for the sleepers and beams, 
was completed. Next day a roof and gables of boards and 
slabs if they could be obtained were added; if not, elm 
bark dried in the snn made a convenient roof for shedding 
rain. The bottom course was placed on bars laid trans- 
versely with the rafters and other pieces of barks on these, 
the rough side up. The whole was kept in position by poles 
laid across. A floor for the cabin was made of rough 



i8 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

boards and a chimney made of rough stone laid up in mud. 
For door and windows a space was made by removing a 
section of the logs. Thus a house was built into which 
neither nail nor spike had been driven. The nails used 
in the first frame buildings were made at the nearest 
blacksmith shop. 

As the little settlement increased in population so the 
log cabins increased in comfort. Though the walls and 
floors were bare, the windows small, and the house drafty 
and cold, with furniture uncomfortable and scanty; 'twas 
the great fireplace in the kitchen that glowed and made 
comfortable all its surroundings. The huge chimneys were 
built with ample open hearths and high up within ledges 
were made on either side to rest the ends of a long pole of 
green wood, called a lug- pole or back bar, from which 
hung a collection of pot hooks of various sizes and 
lengths to hold over the flames pots and kettles. The 
stone oven in the chimney, was as a rule heated once a 
week for the fatnily baking. Extra baking was in the bake- 
kettle or in a spider before the fire. If company was to 
be entertained it was the inevitable "shortcake " baked 
before the fire that was the pride of the housewife. 

As civilization advanced the iron crane put the lug-pole 
out of commission, and the brick oven came into use, which 
was built in the chimney on one side of the fire place, and 
below an ash pit with swinging iron doors with a damper. 
When the oven was to be used a great fire of dry wood was 
kindled within it, and kept burning fiercely for several 
hours. Then the coals and ashes were removed, the chim- 
ney draft and damper were closed and pans of brown bread, 
pots of pork and beans, and numerous pies all went into 
the heated oven together. Stoves were then unknown, ex- 
cept the foot stove that was carried to church, a box of per- 
forated metal in a wooden frame, within which was a small 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 19 

iron box for hot coals to warm the feet during a winter's 
drive or to render endurable the long service in the arctic 
atmosphere of the unheated house of worship. The warm- 
ing-pan was its companion as well as a necessary adjunct 
to housekeeping. It was a shallow pan of brass or iron 
about a foot in diameter and three or four inches deep, 
with a ])ierced cover, and had a long wooden handle. When 
used, it was tilled with coals, and when thoroughly heated, 
was thrust between the sheets of the bed, and moved up 
and down to give warmth to every corner. 

The housewife made linsey-woolsey blankets of linen 
and woolen mixed, also kersey cloth or blankets, ribbed 
and woven from wool of long staple. Several articles in 
use at that period, are now scarcely known, such as keel- 
ers, shallow tubs, for washing dishes; trammels, pendant 
hooks in a fireplace for holding kettles ; porringers, small 
and shallow earthern dishes, having straight sides, and 
sometimes ears, from which children were fed ; spits, point- 
ed rods on which meat was fixed to be turned and roasted 
before a fire ; rundlets, small barrels, holding a quart, or 
smaller ; tankards, peculiar shaped drinking cups, some- 
times, with a cover; trenchers, wooden plates for use at 
table. Squawks wandered from settlement to settlement 
bearing birch brooms on their backs, peddling them from 
cabin to cabin for ninepence apiece. 

Previous to the laying, by Congress, of an embargo on 
all trade between the United States and the mother coun- 
try and her Canadian colonies, in 1808, the full cloth, cassi- 
mere and broadcloth used by the settlers of this section of 
the State were English goods brought across from Canada, 
the wool from the settlers' flocks being given in exchange 
for cloth and going to England to be worked up. The em- 
bargo put a stop to this barter, and then for a time the 
settlers were obliged to depend upon the '' sheepsgray " 



20 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

product of the family loom, the wool of black and white 
sheep being mixed and carded by hand and worked into 
warp and woof on the spinning wheel. In cases where this 
crude fabric could not be obtained, the pioneers had to 
revert to the clammy buckskin breeches of Revolutionary 
days. 

Besides the usual housework it then became indispensi- 
ble for every woman to know how to sj)in and weave. 
Then nearly every family possessed one or more wheels, 
and occasionally one a loom. They spun wool, tow and 
flax, and wove it for clothing, for all wore clothing of tow 
and linen in summer, and flannel in the winter. Cotton 
goods were then high, and calico was a luxury denied to 
many of the pioneers. In nothing did the industry and 
independence of our forefathers appear to better advan- 
tage than in the substantial and comfortable fabrics with 
which they clothed their families and furnished their 
homes. It was the pride of every man who could manu- 
facture his own cloth, to ap]pear well dressed in the garb 
that American freemen should always wear, the liWm 
homespun dress of sincerity and honest industry. 

The manufacture of linen cloth from flax was a long and 
tedious duty, though conscientiously done by the early 
dwellers of our valley. Nearly every one raised flax, which 
when ripened was pulled and spread in rows by boys to 
dry. Tlien men threshed or rippled out all the seed to use 
for meal ; afterwards the flax stalks were allowed to lie 
for some time in water until the shives were thoroughly 
rotten, when they were cleaned, dried and made into bun- 
dles. Then came the hard work of breaking the flax on the 
great flaxbreak, to remove the hard ' ' hexe " or " bun, ' ' and 
to swingle it with a swingle knife. It was then hatchelled 
or combed by the mother, and in this manner the rough 
tow was gotten out, when it was made ready for the dis- 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 21 

taff, round which it was finally wrapped. The thread was 
then spun on the "little wheel." The skeins of thi'ead 
wqnt through several processes of washing and bleaching 
before being ready for weaving. After weaving the cloth 
was " bucked " in a strong lye and washed out many times. 
Then it was " belted " with a maple beetle on a smooth, 
flat stone ; then washed and spread out to bleach in the sun. 

The making of wool into cloth was not so laborious as 
that of flax. After the cleaning of fleeces from burrs, felt- 
ings, tar-marks, and the dirt of months' accumulation, it 
was sorted out for dyeing. Layers of the various colors 
of wool after being dyed were rolled together and repeat- 
edly carded on course wool-cards, then slightly greased 
by a disagreeable and tiresome method, then run into rolls. 
The wool was spun on the great wheel which stood in the 
kitchen with the reel and swift, and often by the glowing 
flrelight the housewife spun the rolls of wool upon the 
spindle, turning the wheel with one hand, and with ex- 
tended arm and light fingers holding the roll in the other, 
stepping backw^ards and forwards till it was spun into yarn. 

Candle-dipping came late in the fall. Tallow which had 
been saved from the domestic animals killed furnished the 
material. A fierce fire was built in the fireplace, a large 
kettle half filled with water and melted tallow was hung 
over it. Candle-rods were brought forth and placed about 
eighteen inches apart, reaching from chair to chair, under- 
neath were placed boards to catch the waste or drippings. 
Across these rods were laid shorter sticks, resembling the 
rungs of a ladder, to which the wicks were attached at in- 
tervals of a few inches. The wicks of cotton, or some- 
times tow, were dipped time and time again into the melted 
tallow and left to harden between each dipping. When 
they were of the desired size, they were cut off, spread in 
a sunny place to bleach, and then put away until needed 



22 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

for the long winter evenings. Later, molds came into use ; 
although they made a more uniform candle, it took longer 
to manufacture and but few could be made in a day. 

Soap making was an important piece of spring work. 
The refuse grease from the family cooking was saved 
through the winter, as were the woodashes from the kitchen 
fireplace. The almanac was carefully consulted to find 
when the moon would be in the right quarter to make the 
soap ''come right." The leach barrel was filled with ashes 
through which w^ater was passed, carrying away the solu- 
ble portions. The "first run" of lye not being strong 
enough was poured again upon the ashes, and if then strong 
enough to hold up an eggy it was also strong enough to use 
and the soap making progressed by boiling the grease and 
lye together in a large iron kettle over a huge bonfire in 
the backyard. 

In early days saleratus was unknown, but what answered 
its purpose was prepared in every home. A few corn cobs 
were burned in the fireplace, the ashes gathered up, water 
applied and drained off. This process was in use many 
years. As clearings progressed the ashes from the fallow 
were gathered, leached and the lye boiled down into a 
mass called black salts. This was taken to Albany and 
other points and worked over into a strong black substance 
called pearlash, which served a very good purpose until 
about 1830, when by a second process saleratus was evolved. 

The first plows were made of wood with a single bolt 
coming up through the landside and beam, with an iron 
key about the beam. Cast iron plows appeared about 
1828-30. 



'HE FIRST CHILD born in the town was Ellis Loomis 
in May, 1792, who was adopted by Philij) Bartle. 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 23 



One of the few, the immortal names, 
That was not bom to die. — Halleck. 



Balcom Family. 



The Balcom family was one of the first to appear in Ox- 
ford, as will be described later, and was also one of the 
early families in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, Henry 
Balcom being on record in Charlestown, Mass., in 1665. 
The family has also a very early record in Sussex County, 
England, in and around the ancient town of Balcombe. 
Here, three generations by the name of Henry, immediately 
preceding Henry of Charlestown, are recorded; and 
the name is found of frequent record back through the 
16th, 15th, and 14th centuries, the earliest record being 
of a John de Balcombe on an Assize Roll in 1309. The 
English family spell the name Balcombe, and it is thought 
that, inasmuch as the two last letters are silent, and be- 
cause of the propensity of the Puritans to lop off all things 
superfluous, the name was changed to Balcom on arrival 
in the new world. 

Alexander Balcom, the head of another branch of the 
family, is found on record at Providence, R. 1., in 1665, 
which further indicates, that there was an understanding 
in regard to the change in spelling. 

The name Balcombe is of the old Saxon speech and is 
derived from bal, a hill, and combe, a hollow or dell, the 
whole having a meaning similar to highlands in Scotch. 
The location of the village of Balcombe bears out this in- 
terpretation, as it is situated among the picturesque hills 
north of the celebrated South Downs of Sussex County. 



24 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

It is some thirty miles south of London, and many with 
Puritan ideas emigrated from there in the middle of the 
17th century 

Henry Balcom of Charlestown, Mass., married Eliza- 
beth Haynes at Sudbury, Mass., in 16G6. His name ap- 
pears frequently in records of public affairs at that place. 
He died in 1683, and his wife removed her family to her 
former home in Sudbury, in 1694, where she died in 1715. 

Children of Henry and Elizabeth : 

Han]S'ah, born March 16, 1668, died in infancy. 

John, born October 15, 1669, died August 28, 1748, un- 
married. He was jDrominent in the affairs of Sudbury, as 
the records of that place attest. Tombstones of slate, with 
ancient designs of death's heads, still mark the resting 
place of John and his brother Joseph, in the old cemetery at 
Sudbury. 

Elizabeth, born Aug. 16, 1672, married Gershom Rice. 

Joseph, born Dec. 17, 1674, died Sept. 17, 1745; mar- 
ried Tabitha Mosman in 1708. He with his brother John 
accumulated a homestead about one mile square, a portion 
of which has remained in the family name for over 200 years, 
the present occupant being Mr. Asa Balcom. Joseph Bal- 
com died in 1745, his wife in 1770. 

Children of Joseph and Tabitha : 

Joseph, born Jan'y 13, 1713, died in 1744. 

JoH]^, born March 13, 1715, died in 1789. 

Elizabeth, born May 17, 1717, married James Mosman. 

Mary, born Oct. 10, 1719, married Ephriam Maynard. 

SiBELAH, born July 25, 1721, married Samuel Willis. 

Micah, born March 4, 1724, died in 1754. 

Joseph Balcom, son of Joseph and Tabitha, married 
Deborah Boise in 1733. He had a portion of his father's 
homestead and on it erected a frame house. He '^ builded 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 25 

better than he knew," for the house is still standing, a 
well preserved farm dwelling, good for many years to come, 
although nearing the close of its second century of use- 
fulness. The exact date of Joseph Balcom's death is not 
known, as he died away from home in the year 1744. Tra- 
dition says he was in an expedition against the French and 
Indians and was taken prisoner. 

Children of Joseph and Deborah : 

Samuel, born June 16, 1734, removed to Nova Scotia in 
1768. 

Jonas, born Aug. 7, 1735, died Sept. 3, 1810. 

Silas, born March 1737, removed to Nova Scotia in 1768. 

Hexky, born Aug. 16, 1740, died Oct. 28, 1812, in Ox- 
ford. 

Isaac, born in 1742, removed to Nova Scotia in 1768. 

Tabitha, born in 1744, married Ebenezer Rice. 

Henry Balcom, son of Joseph and Deborah, married 
Keziah Stowe April 29, 1761, and lived in Southboro, Mass., 
until about the time of the Boston tea party w^hen he remov- 
ed tj Ne.v Fciue, Vt. He fought at the battle of Bennington 
on an alarm call, and is shown by Vermont records, as 
serving short terms, at three different times subsequent- 
ly, the longest being 123 days in a company of Rangers. 
He began service for his native State as a member of a Train- 
ing Band, as show^n on a list dated Southboro, Mass., April 
29, 1757, being but sixteen years of age. Owing to the 
early death of his father, he as well as his brothers, were ap- 
prenticed at an early age, and by entering the service of 
the State he was able to free himself from such bonds. In 
the same year he appears on a muster roll for three months 
service at Pontoosuck, now Pittsfield, Mass., and in 1758 
he is credited with eight months service in an expedition 
to Canada, and in 1759 with seven months' service in the 
Crown Point expedition, in which he is scheduled as a cor- 



26 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

poral. When lie removed to New Fane, he was a pioneer 
to that wilderness. There must be something in the theory 
of heredity in such matters, for even to the eighth genera- 
tion the Balcoms have been ready to clear the way for 
others. Thence he came to Oxford in 1793, with his wife 
and daughters, Sally and Leafa, two years later than his 
eons, Francis and Samuel. Mrs. Balcom died Sept. 26, 
1826, aged 89. They made their home during their latter 
years with their son, Samuel. 

Children of Henry and Keziah : 

Ehoda, born April 6, 1762, married Joshua Davis. 

Frances, born May 18, 1764, married Darius Wheeler. 

Joseph, born June 19, 1766, died in 1766. 

Francis, born July 17, 1767, died Aug. 8, 1850, in 
Preston. 

Leafa, born March 30, 1770, died Sept. 4, 1853, in Ox- 
ford, unmarried. 

Samuel, born Dec. 31, 1772, died August 27, 1847. 

Olive, born May 9, 1775, married J. Holland. 

Sally, born May 21, 1780, married Samuel Farnham. 

Francis Balcom, son of Henry and Keziah, came to Ox- 
ford in 1791. In 1797 he married Priscilla, daughter of 
Didymus Kinney, who with his family came from Dutchess 
county in 1794. Mr. Balcom left home when about 21 
years of age and purchased land near Unadilla, N. Y., and 
while there became acquainted with General Benj.Hovey. 
After the Oxford Academy was opened in 1794, Francis 
Balcom attended for a while, although he was 27 years of 
age. He had the first choice of a farm at Oxford, the deed 
of which had to be recorded at Owego as Oxford was then 
in Tioga county. His son, Henry, subsequently owned 
the farm which later passed into the possession of Austin 
Hyde, W. A. Harrington, and A. D. Harrington. Mr. 
Balcom was the last of the first settlers of this village, and 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 27 

helped put up the first framed house in Oxford. Mrs. 
Balcom died Sept. 25, 1866, aged 90, at the home of her 
son, William. 

Children of Francis and Priscilla : 

Henry, born Jan. 18, 1798, died Jan. 26, 1878 in Oxford. 

Joseph, born Oct. 18, 1799, died in Troy. 

Samuel, born May 4, 1801, died in Pennsylvania. 

Leafa, born Dec. 14, 1802, married Benj. Corry ; died in 
Watertown, N. Y. 

Hiram, born Dec. 2, 1804, died in Oxford. 

Fanny, born March 11, 1807, married Zebedee Lamed; 
died in Geneva, N. Y. 

Keziah, born March 2, 1809, married Hubbard Randall ; 
died in Marion, Iowa. 

Charles A., born July 31, 1811, died in Bainbridge. 

Polly, born Nov. 17, 1813, married Daniel Throop ; died 
in Nineveh, N. Y. 

Stephen, born April 2, 1816, died May 25, 1863, in 
Edgewood, 111 

William, born July 26, 1818, died Oct. 17, 1902, in 
Oxford. 

Henry Balcom, better known as Harry, son of Francis 
and Priscilla, spent the eighty years of his lifetime in Ox- 
ford. He was a man of considerable enterprise, and in 
early life dealt largely in sheep and had many hundreds 
among the farmers about the country let out for a pound 
of wool per year. He once contracted with Joseph Allen 
for fifty two-horse lumber wagons, at $50 each, which was 
a large contract in those days, and many tnought he would 
fail. It took two years to fill the contract, but it proved 
a success and in his trades added largely to the sheep busi- 
ness. He built the block of stores on the south side of 
La Fayette park. There was considerable delay in raising 
the frame after repeated times set for doing it, and he was 



28 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

often sarcastically asked by the disappointed ones, "Har- 
ry, when are you going to raise?" Finally the event took 
place, and but few missed it, on account of the jollifica- 
tion that followed a raising. Whisky was only twenty 
cents a gallon and many remained around the frame until 
a late hour. Mr. Balcom was the builder of many dwell- 
ings and was identified with nearly every enterprise spring- 
ing up in town. It was stated at the time of his death 
that he had constructed more houses and stores in Oxford 
than any two persons who had resided here. In 1838, with 
Demas Hubbard, Jr., and Justus Parce, he represented the 
county in the State Assembly. He was a staunch friend 
of Oxford Academy, and was for many years one of its 
trustees. In him the deserving poor found a counsellor 
and received aid. He was a friend to every one and his 
honesty was never doubted. At an early day he succeeded 
in accumulating a good fortune, but lost all by endorsing 
paper for others. With a will and determination possessed 
by but few, he by hard labor and years of perseverance 
paid every cent of the indebtedness and started life anew. 
He again succeeded in gaining a comfortable fortune which 
was a source of consolation to him in his declining years. 
Mr. Balcom married January 22, 1822, Mary Hunnewell, 
only child of Lyman and Dorcas Lynn Hunnewell, both of 
whom came to Oxford in its early days. She died in 1868. 
His second wife, whom he married late in life was Mrs. 
Sarah Kathan of Oxford, who died Sept. 4, 1897, aged 77. 

Children of Henry and Mary : 

Lucy Ann, born Nov. 1, 1822, died April 5, 1901, in 
Oxford. 

Mary A., born Feb'y 1, 1826, married Cyrus Sheldon; 
died in California. 

Sarah Lynn, born April 4, 1828, married (1) L. B 
Foote, (2) Samuel Balcom. 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 29 

Jane Eliza, born Aug. 18, 1832, married Henry C. Put- 
nam, of Eau Claire, Wis. 

Henky Francis, born March 30, 1835, married June 4, 
1860, Caroline Reeve of Portsmouth, Ohio. 

John Frederick, born April 26, 1838, died in 1838. 

Ellen Maria, born Dec. 1, 1841, died in 1842. 

Samuel Farnham, born March 16, 1843, died suddenly 
April 19, 1906, in Eureka, Cal. 

Joseph Balcom, son of Francis and Priscilla, married 
Lucretia Warren, of Smyrna, N. Y., in 1823, and settled 
in ^Greenfield, N. Y. Children: Hiram, Jane E., Maria 
L., Francis Henry. 

Stephen Balcom, son of Francis and Priscilla, left home 
at an early age. The Pioneer spirit that took possession 
of his father and his grandfather, moved him to push out 
to the extreme West. He was living in Chicago in 1837 
when he met S. W. Balcom, of Sudbury, Mass., who was 
making a visit to the West. K-ailroads were unknown at 
that time except at the seaboard, and the following item 
from his account of the trip west is of interest : " Cost of 
journey by stage from Sudbury, Mass., to Albany, N. Y., 
$11.00; from Albany to BufiFalo, N. Y., by 'Mine boat" 
(canal), $6.00; Buffalo to Detroit, Mich., by steamer, 
$5.00; Detroit to Niles, Mich., by stage, $9.00; Niles to 
St. Joseph, Mich., by stage, $2.50." On the night of ar- 
rival at St. Joseph a terrific storm destroyed or damaged 
half the shipping on the lake, and for two weeks no further 
progress could be made. Finding a band of Indians with 
a large boat some twenty feet long, and six feet wide 
in the middle, Avho were going up the lake for winter quar- 
ters, he with four other men hired the Indians to take them 
to Michigan City, Indiana. The five men boarded the canoe 
with their baggage. A young Indian to steer the boat and 
an Indian boy formed the crew; two Indian squaws, one 



30 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

with a pappoose on her back, towed the boat. A breeze 
sprung up later, when sails about 10 feet by 6 feet were 
rigged and the boat put out a mile from the shore. In the 
afternoon a storm came up making the shore too rough for 
a landing, but about dark reached a large creek where they 
were able to beach the canoe. Here they were joined by the 
band of Indians who "burst into the greatest shout, and 
capered and danced and rejoiced greatly." They decided 
not to navigate Lake Michigan further in a birch bark 
canoe, but selected the beach of the lake and tramped to 
Michigan City. They found the stage overcrowded and 
booked so far in advance that they hired a team to take 
them to Chicago, where he arrived the second day, having 
spent twenty-four days on the journey at an expense of 
$64.00. Stephen Balcom remained in Northern Illinois 
several years after the meeting with S. W. Balcom, as men- 
tioned. In 1842, his brother, William, met him in St. Louis 
and they took passage down the Mississippi river and en- 
gaged in the timber business between Yicksburg and New 
Orleans. William Balcom returned in a-year or so to Ox- 
ford but Stephen Balcom continued in the timber business, 
located on the Yazoo river. He paid frequent visits to his 
old home in Oxford, and in 1854 married Margaret Healey 
of Nineveh, N. Y. Subsequent to this time the anti-slav- 
ery agitation of the North and East made associations un- 
pleasant in the South for persons from other sections of 
the country. In 1858 he removed his family to Edgewood, 
111., where he engaged in the mercantile business until 
his death in 1863. His wife resided in Illinois until 1882, 
when she took up her residence in Denver, Col., with her 
son, William, where she died in 1903. 

Children of Stephen and Margaret : 
Stephens- Francis, born Jan'y 24, 1856. 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 31 

Thomas Maurice, born April 1, 1858, died June 19,1863. 

William Arthur, born July 6, 1860. 

Margaret Hallam, born June 20, 1862. 

William Balcom, son of Francis and Priscilla, married 
Selinda Lewis, of Norwich, in 1846, who died January 9, 
1881. With the exception of a few years spent in the 
timber business with his brother, Stephen, in Mississippi, 
he devoted his business energies to mercantile pursuits in 
Oxford. His lifetime marked a most varied epoch in the 
growth not only of his locality but of our country at large. 
At its beginning the native Indian still crossed the beau- 
tiful Chenango, to dispose of his wares. The first school 
house was erected during his childhood, previous to which 
(1822) the young ideas were marshalled in a settler's dwell- 
ing. Mills and factories accompanied the canal, a wooden 
bridge spanned the river, and in due course of time was 
replaced by an iron structure. Steam supplanted water 
power, and mills as well as water traffic were dominated by 
it to such an extent that the canal, so glorious in its early 
years,, had to be discarded. Public buildings, parks, a 
memorial fountain and other indications of art influence 
came in due time. Electricity made its appearance and the 
span is completed — from a pine torch to the brilliant elec- 
tric lamp. His second wife was Miss Mary Ray, born in 
England, whom he married in 1882, in Oxford. 

Children of William and Selinda : 

Emma Louise, born March 14, 1847, married Geo. D. 
Hoyt; died March 18, 1873. 

Caroline, born March 20, 1849, married Samuel Put- 
nam, who died June, 18, 1892, at La Grande, Oregon. 

Ellen Cornelia, born April 15, 1857, married Frank 
Wilcox. 

William Gurdon, born March 10, 1861. 

Ward YanDerLyn, born Oct. 27, 1863. 

Frederick Newkirk, twin to above, died in 1864. 



32 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

Henry Francis Balcom, son of Henry and Mary, mar- 
ried Caroline Reeve in 1860. His youth was spent in Ox- 
ford, but in early manhood removed to Cleveland, Ohio, 
where for a long term of years, he was connected with 
wholesale and manufacturing concerns. Of late years he 
has been associated with an only son, Henry Tracy Bal- 
com, at Buffalo, N. Y., in handling musical instruments. 
In 1901 a reunion of the family was held at Buffalo, dur- 
ing the Pan-American Exposition, and evening sessions 
were held in their recital hall. 

Henry Tracy Balcom, just mentioned, has a son of the 
same name who is an only child and is the sixth inline of 
descent in this country to bear the name of Henry — be- 
longing at the same time to the ninth generation in America. 

Samuel Farnham Balcom, son of Henry and Mary, mar- 
ried Margaret Gammon in 1874. Thej^ had no children. 
He spent his youth in Oxford, enlisted in the Civil war 
and served in the army with credit. He spent several 
years as proprietor of a grain elevator at Lamar, Missouri, 
and engaged later in sheep raising in the Blue mountains 
in Eastern Oregon; where, in the winter of 1884, an inci- 
dent occurred that is one of many which shows the dangers 
and hardships the pioneers had to contend with : He had 
occasion to visit a railroad town some twenty-iive miles 
away, and owing to an accident his horse was unable to 
make the return trip. Starting home on snow shoes, he 
headed for a hunter's cabin some twelve miles away. Hav- 
ing the misfortune about noon to break one of the snow 
shoes and being encumbered with a heavy bundle of mail 
and some necessary articles, he found his strength giving 
out as night overtook him. Stopping at a large tree to rest 
he fell asleep and was awakened by the howling of wolves. 
Having no firearms except a heavy revolver, he decided not 
to attack the wolves until absolutely necessary. Having 



ANNALS OF OXFORD j^ 

Bome two miles furtlier to go he kept in open timber as 
much as possible, where the moonlight made things almost 
as bright as day. He stumbled on, the howling wolves 
getting bolder all the time. When within half a mile of 
the hunter's cabin the pack of hounds, some half dozen in 
number, hearing the wolves, came to the rescue. Ordinari- 
ly the dogs, with little better dispositon than a wolf, 
would have been almost as great a terror, but in this in- 
stance they w^ere very welcome, and Mr. Balcomsoon found 
himself enjoying cold venison and warm blankets. A few 
years subsequently, he moved to Eureka, Cal., making 
that his permanent residence, thus spanning the continent 
and one half the globe by completing the western journey 
begun by his forefather Henry in leaving England and 
continued by his ancestors, Henry and Francis. 

Stephen Francis Balcom, son of Stephen and Margaret, 
is the first of his line of descent, of seven generations in 
America, to bear more than one given name. He has prac- 
ticed civil engineering, being located at Indianapolis, Ind., 
of late years; and has incidentally given attention to 
genealogical research with the result that three divisions 
of the Balcom family in America have been traced. They 
number some six hundred families, and are scattered over 
the United States, Canada and Mexico. 

Stephen Francis Balcom was married to Eliza Hall in 
1880. 

Children of Stephen Francis and Eliza : 

Lucy, born July 9, 1881. 

Ethelwyn, born Feb'y 27, 1883. 

Mary, born Dec. 11, 1884, died Dec. 17, 1891. 

Henry Clarke, born Feb'y 2, 1887. 

William Arthur Balcom, son of Stephen and Margaret, 
has engaged in civil engineering work — mining surveying 
and engineering, irrigation ditch construction, and in rail- 



34 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

road construction and maintenance, during tlie last twen- 
ty-five years in Colorado. He was married in 1888 to 
Edna Wildman who died in 1893. They had no children. 
The following account of a trip taken by him in the snow 
across the mountains in Colorado, is a fit companion to the 
one related of his cousin, Samuel Farnham Balcom, in Ore- 
gon. The trip was taken to ascertain for the Union Pacific 
Railway Co., the probable cost of opening a road for stage 
and freight teams over Alpine Pass, Cottonwood Pass and 
across Taylor's Range. The two passes were crossed on 
snow-shoes at an altitude of over 12,000 feet, without un- 
usual incident, but the crossing of Taylor's Range, which 
was a much longer journey and with no ranches or camps 
on the line, was a much more diflacult task. The first night 
lifter crossing Cottonwood Pass was spent at a deserted 
log cabin. He and the guide tore up some of the floor and 
made a fire which soon brought down the snow from the 
dilapidated roof in a shower, making their quarters too 
uncomfortable for much sleep. The second night was 
spent at another log cabin, but in this instance they took 
the i^recaution to make the fire outside the open door. 
They then found that the heat was so scant that they could 
stay away from the fire hardly long enough to get a short 
nap. After a breakfast on hardtack, and melted snow for 
water, they resumed the journey at 4 o'clock a. m., as 
usual. On approaching the summit of the range that day 
about noontime, they found a barrier in their way in the 
form of a comb of snow which overhung the crest of the 
ridge. There being no way to surmount it they walked 
along under the overhanging mass for a mile looking for 
a break ; it being the last of April when the snow gives 
way at such places, forming a snow slide. They heard 
several such slides go thundering down the mountains, and 
were liable to be caught in one at any moment. They final- 
ly found a break, an opening some twenty-five feet wide, 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 33 

and so steep that it was almost impossible to climb. By 
perseverance and cutting foot holds in the snow or crust, 
they reached the top. Coasting on the down grade, where 
in places they left a trail the width of their person, made 
up for lost time, and evening found them at their destina- 
tion, half starved, worn out and with faces scorched, swoll- 
en and blistered by the hot sun's rays reflected from the 
snow. 

William G. Balcom, son of William and Selinda, grew 
to manhood in Oxford. While in school he printed a min- 
ature school paper and continued its publication for quit* 
a period, encouraged by his cousin. Miss Lucy A. Balcom, 
a well known writer in Thb Oxford Times and other peri- 
odicals of that day. The experience obtained in the mer- 
cantile business with his father, led him to continue in the 
same and he engaged later in that line at Bau Claire, Wis. 
He married Ida A. Dorwin at Eau Claire, in 1888. 

Children of William Gurdon and Ida : 

Callie, born February 24, 1889. 

William Dorwin, born April 3, 1895. 

Ward y. Balcom, son of William and Selinda, spent his 
early days in Oxford, where he attended school and ac- 
quired a liking for railroad work. He engaged in the same 
at various places in the Eastern states, as telegraph opera- 
tor, agent, etc. In 1889 he married Stella A. Arnold of 
Fitchburg, Mass. 

Children of Ward YanDerLyn and Stella : 

Fred Arnold, born March 15, 1890. 

Ward Irving, born Aug. 11, 1891, died Sep't 3, 1891. 

Helen YanDerLyn, born Nov. 24, 1892. 

Col. Samuel Balcom, son of Henry and Keziah, came to 
Oxford about the year 1791. He was associated with his 
brother Francis, in the construction of two bridges over 
the Susquehanna river, and in other jobs of carpenter 



36 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

work. Early one summer's evening, Samuel was walking 
by the river bank and heard a soft, sweet voice singing : 

'* The day is past and gone 

The evening shades appear; 
Oh, may we all remember well 

The night of death draws near." 

He listened amazed, entranced, and for a moment 
thought the voice was not that of earth, and looked toward 
the sky, but in a turn in the river bank where ran wild 
pink and white flowers, that made the sunset air sweet 
from their breathing blossoms, he saw Polly Knapp. She 
was vainly trying to catch at a spray of blossoms that hung 
temptingly beyond her reach. He startled her by an offer 
of help. 

*'Can I do that for you?" 

She turned round, her face bright with surprise. 

"Thank you, sir. I do want that branch very much." 

In a moment Samuel held the spray out to her, neatly 
trimmed by his hunting knife. She took it blushingly, 
and thanked him. 

"Good evening," said he, passing on. 

" Good bye," was the reply, as she looped the spray in 
her hair with skillful fingers. 

Golden were the months that year. Samuel became 
very regular in his evening walks, and somehow they man- 
aged to meet at one particular spot where tall trees shaded 
the river bank and from which the distant hills could be 
seen in perfect beauty. Thus began the acquaintance of 
Samuel Balcom and Polly Knapp, the adopted daughter 
of Elijah Blackman, which terminated in their marriage in 
1799. For upwards of thirty years they were consistent 
members of the Oxford Baptist church, and of which he 
was one of its founders. Mr. Balcom spent a greater part 
of his life as a farmer, lumberman and millwright. He also 
held several offices, and in 1840 represented Chenango 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 37 

county in the Electoral college as a Harrison elector. Mrs. 
Balcom died October 7, 1852, aged 72 years. 

Miss Lucy A. Balcom, of Oxford, was authority for the 
following interesting incident in the life of Mrs. Samuel 
Balcom : ''One summer day Polly Knapp, Sally Balcom, 
Elizabeth Battle and Betsey Loomis took possession of a 
canoe and went sailing on the beautiful Chenango, and it 
is related that they were not all together again until some 
forty years later when by chance as elderly matrons they 
met at the home of Miss Lucy Baloom's father and re- 
counted their experiences on that early excursion." 

In the course of years Samuel Baloom built a stone house 
on his farm, some two miles from Oxford, now the Will- 
cox stone house farm, a portion of it being devoted to the 
use of his mother and sister Leafa. 

Children of Samuel and Polly : 

Lyman, born Nov. 29, 1800, died May 19, 1887. 

Eliza, born Nov. 19, 1802, married Wm. Pearsall, of 
Apalachin, N. Y. 

Luke, born Nov. 29, 1804, killed in 1842, by a falling tree 
in Erwin, N. Y. 

Fayette, born July 12, 1807, married Calvin Cole. 

Benjamin F., born Jan'y 10, 1810, died Dec. 20, 1879. 

Harriet, born Feb'y 15, 1819, married Wm. Rhodes. 

Uri T., born May 17, 1815, died Nov. 1, 1893. 

Ransom R., born April 16, 1818, died Jan'y 6, 1879. 

George F., born Feb'y 6, 1823, died Dec. 21, 1879. 

Lyman Balcom, son of Samuel and Polly, married in 
1820 Clarissa Hollenbeck of Greene, who died in 1881. At 
an early age he was put in charge of timber lands belong- 
ing to his father at Painted Post, Steuben county. Later 
on, in selecting a homestead he chose low lands between 
the two streams whose confluence forms the Chemung river, 



38 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

and was one of the first of those in that section to adopt 
a plan of drainage that gave him soil with an inexhaus- 
tible store of fertility. He was Associate Judge of the 
County Court from 1840 to 1846, and also represented the 
second district of Steuben county in the Legislature in 
1867. Later in life he devoted much time to agriculture 
and stock raising. 

Children of Lyman and Clarissa : 

Maey E., born June 4 1821, married L. Hamilton, 

Samuel, born Dec. 13, 1822, died Sep't 23, 1890. 

Margaret, born Feb'y 21, 1825, married J. Sailor. 

Charles, born Jan. 31, 1827. 

Susan F., born March 3, 1829, married R. O. Smith. 

Jane C, born April 3, 1837, married W. S. Hodgman. 

Benjamin F. Balcom, son of Samuel and Polly, married 
Eliza Ann Root in 1829. Ht was associated with his father 
in timber lands and the lumber business in Steuben county 
during the early years of his life. He made the town of 
Campbell, in that county, his home until 1857, when he 
removed to Corning. He became interested in church work 
and for years served as elder in the Baptist church, hold- 
ing pastorates in Campbell, Corning, Bath and other towns. 
In 1879 Mr. Balcom and his wife celebrated their golden 
wedding. The occasion was given additional notice by 
the newspapers because of a journey through the snow 
made by their son Luke at a time when railroad trains 
were snow bound. Luke Balcom left home in Ocoato, 
Wis., on the morning of January 2, 1879, and because of 
delays by snow did not leave Milwaukee until afternoon 
on the following day. Leaving there they had two, and 
at times four locomotives on the run to Chicago. He ar- 
rived at Niagara Falls on the night of January 4, and 
found that his train was the seventh to arrive since any 
had gone forward. Finding on the following day that no 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 39 

attempt would be made to run trains, and realizing that if 
he was to be present at the golden wedding on the evening 
of January 8 he must start out and walk. He decided to 
undertake it, which he did that afternoon, reaching Lock- 
port, nineteen miles, by night. He made twenty-five miles 
the next day, with no dinner, remaining over night at Al- 
bion. The next day, the 7th, he found the Erie canal tow- 
path fairly good walking and reached Brockport at noon, 
and 5:30 p. m. found him in Rochester and at the home 
of his wife's mother, looking like a genuine tramp as she 
expressed it, having made thirty miles that day. He made 
ready for the final tramp on the 8th, but found that the 
first train after the blockade would start for Corning that 
morning, and boarding it reached home at noon on the 
eventful day. Before the close of the year Mr. Balcom 
again made the trip from Wisconsin, but under very dif- 
ferent circumstances, having been called by the death of 
his father which occurred December 20, 1879. 

Children of Benjamin F. and Eliza : 

Benjami:?^, born May 14, 1830. 

John, born April 17, 1832, died in 1832. 

Caroline, born May 4, 1835, died in 1839. 

James, born September 5, 1838. 

Luke, born May 8, 1842. 

Makk, born November 4, 1847. 

Uri Balcom, son of Samuel and Polly, spent his youth 
in Oxford, and at an early age began rafting timber down 
the Susquehanna river. In 1841 he married Jane Elizabeth 
Besley, at Campbelltown, N.Y., and in 1891 they celebrat- 
ed their golden wedding while spending the summer at 
Pittsfield, Mass. He began the lumber business at Ocon- 
to, Wis., in 1856. During the Civil war he raised a com- 
pany of soldiers and his services were so meritorious that 
he held the rank of colonel at its close. He continued the 



40 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

lumber business in Oconto up to within a few years of his 
death, although he made his headquarters in Chicago sub- 
sequently to 1868. He died November 1, 1893. They had 
no children, but adopted a niece w^ho became the wife of 
W. C. D. Grannis of Chicago. 

Ransom Balcom, son of Samuel and Polly, spent the first 
thirty-five years of his life in Oxford. He attended pub- 
lic school and the Academy, studied law with Judge Mc- 
Koon and always took great pleasure in referring to his 
legal studies under ''Count" YanDerLyn. He was ad- 
mitted to the Bar in the Common Pleas and Superior Court 
about 1841. He was elected to represent Chenango coun- 
ty in the Assembly in 1846. In 1853 he removed to Bing- 
hamton where he was elected a Justice of the Supreme 
Court in 1855. He was twice re-elected, serving in that 
office about twenty-one years. Failing health prevented his 
completing the last term, and his death occurred January 
6, 1879. His native village, towards which he always turn- 
ed with tender recollections, received back with pride the 
mortal remains which he by his expressed wish consigned 
to its guardianship. 

In 1884 Judge Balcom married Susan Farnham, of Ox- 
ford, who, after the death of her husband, held a position 
in the Treasury Department at Washington, D. C, until 
her death on January 4, 1900. She was the daughter of 
George Farnham ; her mother dying in her infancy she was 
brought up by her grandmother, Mrs. Samuel Farnham. 

Children of Ransom and Susan : 
LiLLA E., born September 2, 1847. 
Fred N., born October 26, 1851. 

George Balcom, son of Samuel and Polly, grew to man- 
hood in Oxford, married Florinda Keech of Preston, in. 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 41 

1842, at which place he made his home for a number of 
years. At thirty years of age he was converted and enter- 
ed the Baptist ministry. He was gifted with a fine voice 
which he used to great advantage in the way of speaking 
and singing at evangelistic meetings. The greater portion 
of his life was spent in special work of this nature and in 
organizing churches throughout New York, Pennsylvania, 
Ohio and many of the western states. In 1870 he pur- 
chased a farm at Kawker City, Kan., where a portion of 
his family continued to reside after his death in 1879. 

Children of George and Florinda : 

Ward, born May 29, 1846. 
Clark, born December 15, 1847. 
Flora, born September 27, 1849. 
Ellie, born May 27, 1861, died in 1861. 
Cora, born March 6, 1863. 
George E., born July 3, 1866. 

Family record of Samuel Balcom (son of Lyman and 
and Clarissa) and Mrs. Sarah Lynn Foote; who were mar- 
ried August 15, 1866 : 

Lillian Lynn, born September 5, 1868. 
Lyman Hunnewell, born December 4, 1869. 

Mrs. Foote was a daughter of Henry Balcom, and married 
L. B. Foote in 1848. They had a daughter, Mary Banks, 
who has taken the name of Mary B. F. Balcom. 

Family record of Benjamin (son of Benjamin F. and 
Eliza) and Melvina E. Dunkle, who were married Novem- 
ber 16, 1859 : 

Samuel, born September 15, 1865. 
Eliza, born September 25, 1869. 
Uri, born January 16, 1877. 



42 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

Family record of John (son of Benjamin F. and Eliza) 
and Rlioda A. Carpenter, who were married in 1854 : 
Rose, born April 26, 1856 
Jennie, born September 9, 1858. 
Frank, born January 10, 1861. 
Harry and Hattii, twins, born October 7, 1862. 
Jessie, born January 2B, 1867. 
Fred and John, twins, born September 22, 1870. 
Benjamin, born November 17, 1872. 

Luke, son of Benjamin F. and Eliza, married Mary A. 
Cheswell in 1867. They have one son, Edward Taylor. 

Family record of Mark M. (son of Benjamin F. and 
Eliza) and Anna M. Campbell, who were married October 
21,1868: 

Dean C, born August 7, 1869. 

Clarence G., born June 7, 1872. 

Pete C, born September 12, 1874. 

Family record of George E. (son of George F. and Flor- 
inda) and Nettie 0. Roke, who were married February 18, 
1885: 

Mabel F., born November 30, 1887. 

Nina M., born September 25, 1890. 

The death of Miss Lucy A. Balcom in 1901, left but one 
of the name in Oxford, viz: Mr. Wm. Balcom, who sur- 
vived her but a year, and thus the strong hand of Time 
scatters all families, particularly in America, to the four 
winds. In closing this account of the family it is proper 
to give special mention to Miss Lucy A. Balcom. As noted 
in The Oxford Times of April 10, 1901, the old files of 
this paper with hardly a week's exception show contribu- 
tions from her ready pen. She wrote the ode for the 
Jubilee celebration of Oxford Academy in 1854. Many of 
her townsmen, at home and abroad, were often made aware 
of her memory on the receipt of a pleasant reminder in 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 43 

verse of the day of their birth, a day they themselves might 
have forgotten. She was one of the iirst to organize the 
Aid Society that prepared clothing and articles of food 
and comfort which were sent to the soldiers in the lield 
and hospital from time to time during the War of the Re- 
bellion. The following copy of a letter recites one of the 
many instances referred to : 

The Ladies' Mount Vernon Association of the Union. 

New York City P. O., Station D., 
April 15th, 1859. 
To Mrs. H. L. Miller, Miss Lucy A. Balcom, Mrs. W. B. Race, Jr., Miss 
Helen Lobdell, Mrs. Rome, Miss Susan E. Tracy, Committee of Mt. V. L. 
Association. 

Ladies: — Permit me in behalf of the Association, to thank you for the 
liberal contribution, which the town of Oxford has made, through you to 
the Mount Vernon Fund — embracing, among its contributors, the pupils of 
the Academy, and the children of the District Schools. 

In this aid, which your citizens have given to preserve this spot sacred to 
Washington's memory, we feel they have helped to secure what he would 
value the most, as a tribute to his memory — almost the only thing we can 
imagine him willing to accept as a personal monument. May it tend to 
keep him personally before us! with his noble, unselfish, christian devotion 
to his country — his honest, upright, faithful discharge of duty. 

Accept my thanks for the prompt assistance you have given me and be- 
lieve me, Yours respectfully, 

Mary Morris Hamilton, 

These kindly acts and goodly offices to individuals and 
organizations were continued for years, until age enfeebled 
the body and impaired the brilliant mind. 

Nearly all of the Balcom name whose early lives were 
spent in Oxford, have passed over to the great majority, 
but their descendants are glad and proud to have their line 
of descent appear and know how intimately they are thus 
associated with the history of Oxford, for it was verily the 
nesting place of a branch of the family that, because of its 
numbers at least, bids fair to take some considerable part 
in the active life of the age, and although they are no long- 
er represented at Oxford, they cherish the thought that 
they are descendants of sturdy men who looked upon 
themselves as " citizens of a no mean city." 



44 ANNALS OF OXFORD 



He is in my opinion, the noblest who has raised himself 
by his own merit to a higher station. — Cicero. 



Loomis Family. 



JOSEPH LOOMIS, born in Braintree, England, about 
1590, died in Windsor, Ct., November 25, 1658. He was 
among the passengers on the "Susan and Ellen" from 
London to New England, September 19, 1635, and in 1639 
took up land situated upon " The Island," so called, in 
Windsor, Ct., which has continued in the ownership and 
possession of his descendants from that day to this. He 
built his house fearless of what might befall, and it is be- 
lieved to be the oldest homestead now standing in the 
United States. The place also has an added interest by- 
reason of the fact that there is an available fund of $1,- 
600,000 set aside to be used in converting it into an edu- 
cational institute where girls and boys between the ages of 
twelve and twenty will be taught in all departments of 
learning. The fund represents the combined estates of 
the last five lineal descendants of Joseph Loomis, emi- 
grant ancestor of the name in America. The coat of arms 
of the family bears the motto in Latin, "Do Not Yield 
to Evils." 

BENAIAH LOOMIS, a native of Egremont, Mass., was 
born July 15, 1752 ; married (1) Rachel Patterson ; mar- 
ried (2) Mrs. Prudence Corbin. He came to Oxford about 
the year 1790 and settled on the west side of the river, 
near the south line of the town, where he died March 8, 
1838. His wife, Rachel, died about 1815. Her father, an 
Irishman, was a tinsmith and first brought tin into Amer- 
ica. Hie descent from Joseph Loomis, the first of the 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 45, 

name in America, is : Joseph, born in 1590 ; Deacon John, 
born in 1622; Sergeant Daniel, born in 1657; Josiah, born 
in 1684; Josiah 2d, born in 1737; Benaiah, born in 1752. 
Benaiah Loomis was a soldier of the Revolution, and died 
soon after receiving his pension papers. 

Children of Benaiah and Rachel (Patterson) Loomis : 

Elizabeth, born July 15, 1772, died in 1863 ; married 
Philip Bartle. 

Catherine, born March 99, 1774, died in 1856 ; mar- 
ried Peter Rorapaugh. 

Edward, born February 2, 1777; married Mary Smith. 
He was the first settler in East Smithville. In 1800 he cut 
the first road in Smithville, from Oxford to the Flats, for 
which he received fifty acres of land, on which he built a 
log house and moved to with his wife. Mr. Loomis resided 
on this farm till within three years of his death, when he 
returned to Oxford and resided with his son Daniel on 
Clinton street. June 21, 1869, he was found dead in bed, 
having reached the age of 92 years. His wife died in 1850.. 
Children : 

VINCENT.born Oct. 4, lygg.died November 27, 1864 in Smithville, 
N. Y. Married (i) Mary Williams; married (2) Cynthia Moore; mar- 
ried (3) Mrs. Lucy (Willcox) Hamilton. Child by first wife: Daniel, 
married Laura Hodges. Children by second wife: Betsey, married 

William Adams, Polly, married Norris; Henry, born in 1832; 

Married (i) Caroline Landers; married (2) Mrs. Sarah (Bliven) Lewis. 
[Children of Henry and Caroline (Landers) Loomis: Allie, married 
Frederick Dibble ; Burdett H., unmarried; Millard C, married 
Grace Brown. All residents of Oxford]. Child by third wife: Jane, 
married Melvin Hotchkiss. ELEANOR, born May 2, 1801, was the 
first white child born in Smithville, married Daniel Williams. 
DANIEL, died March 9, 1896, in Homer, N. Y., aged 86. Married 

(i) Cline; married (2) Mrs. Diantha . Children by first 

wife: Vinson, married Betsey Stewart; Warren, married (i) Huldah 
Bartle ; married (2) Phebe Lewis. [Child by first wife. Perry A. J: 
Lucy M., Clark Edward, Betsie M., married Samuel Cline. [Child, 
Mary, married D. D. Newton of Homer]. Ransom, Floyd, married 
Fanny Nelson. LAVINA, married Charles Stratton. HANNAH,. 



46 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

married Gates Willcox. LOIS, married Jonathan Bennett. RACH- 
EL, married Charles Williams. ABIGAIL, married Joel Webb. 
ELLEN, married Thurston Willcox. BENAIAH, married Christ- 
mas day, 1839, Sarah A., daughter of Squire and Nancy (Whitten- 
hall) Hamilton, who died June 28, 1905, in Smithville, aged 85. 
They celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary in 1904 by a fam- 
ily gathering. Children: Alexander, unmarried; Edward B, mar- 
ried (i) Josephine Lewis; married (2) Louise Walworth; Sarah, mar- 
ried Arvine S. Lewis; Emeline, married (i) Adelbert Flagg; mar- 
ried (2) John Hanford of Greene; Ward, died in infancy; Mary Ver- 
nett, married Clark L. Webb. BETSEY, married George Starkey. 

Tabitha, born June, 1779, died in 1861 ; married Peter 
Bartle. 

Ruth, born March 20, 1781, died in 1835 ; married Jedu- 
than Greene. 

Daniel, born February 14, 1783, died November 18, 
1854 ; married Sarah Ten Broeck. Children : 

MARIA B., born September 3. 1801, died October 4, i85o;married 
George Sharp. ALVIRA, born June 3, 1804, died March 21, 1864; 
married Dan Robinson. LOVICA, born August 28, 1806, married 
Jeremiah Tillotson. EDWARD, born September 28, 1808, died 
September 14, 1834; married Philanda Burke. JOHN, bom March 
2, 1813, died March 6, 1832. WHEATON, bom April 11, 1817, died 
January 22, 1890; married (i) Catherine McGowan; married (2) Mrs. 
Cynthia McGuire. Children by first wife: Jeremiah T., married Maria 
Wheeler; Elvira, married Daniel P. Leach. DAN T., born Sep- 
tember 5, 1816, died in 1896; married Ruth Ann Williamson. Chil- 
dren: Charles W., Julia, married Oscar Briggs; Henry B., married 

Breed. CHARLOTTE, bom April 15, 1822; married William 

Williamson. POLLY ANN, bom May 21, 1824; married Nathan 
Smith. SARAH ANN, twin to Polly Ann, died in infancy. 

Jane, born March 21, 1785, died in girlhood. 

Amy, born February 25, 1788, died in 1823 ; married 
John Stevens. 

Nancy, born May 22, 1790, died in 1846; married 
Chauncey Hill. 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 47 



My name and memory. I leave it to men's charitable speeches, 
* * * and to the next a^es. — Bacon. 



General Benjamin Hovey. 



General Benjamin Hovey, a soldier of the Revolution, 
came to Oxford in November, 1791, and moved his family 
into a log house built by him the previous year near the 
present residenct of William M. Miller on Fort Hill, which 
was also used by him as a land office. It was he who gave 
our town a name. 

Benjamin Hovey was a native of Oxford, Mass., born 
March 12, 1758, and son of Daniel and Ruth (Tyler) Hovey, 
of Sutton and Oxford, Mass. Losing his father at an early 
age, and being the youngest but one of eleven children, 
with the family left in narrow circumstances, his chance 
of education was small, which was the regret of his life. 
At the age of 18, while he was deputy sheriff of Worcester 
county, which office he held for nearly fourteen years, he 
married Lydia Haven, daughter of Deacon John Haven of 
Sutton. He did almost entirely the sheriff's business of 
that large county in those arduous times which succeeded 
the Revolution and preceded the Shays insurrection. Pos- 
sessed of a good constitution, an athletic form, and a 
strong mind sharpened by ambition, and enterprising, he 
rode night and day in the discharge of his duties for many 
years, and retired from the office with credit and honor. 
In the Shays insurrection, he was an active partisan on the 
government side and assisted as lieutenant in quelling the 
rebellion. Soon after this difference was adjusted, his 
liberality in entertaining the large acquaintance he had 



48 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

made in the county drew very hard upon his resources and 
he was compelled to seek a home in the then unsettled por- 
tion of this State, where he could support according to his 
desire a young and increasing family. He first settled on 
the Susquehanna, four miles west of Wattles' ferry, near 
the present village of Unadilla, where he continued to re- 
side till November, 1791, when he removed to Oxford, or 
upon lot No. 92 in Fayette. 

From this time on he was successful in business, prov- 
ing to be the right man for the new community, and 
was of ten referred to as the "father of the settlement. '^ 
He was intimately acquainted with George Clinton, the 
first Governor of the Stateof New York, Melancton Smith, 
General Lamb, Jonathan Lawrence, General Thomas of 
Westchester, Colonel Willett, and many other prominent 
men of that day. In the year 1798 he was a Member of the 
Legislature, and procured the formation of Chenango 
county, of which he was one of the Judges. Aaron Burr 
was a member of the same session and they became in- 
timately acquainted. General Hovey was also a member 
of the board of trustees of Oxford Academy for a term of 
ten years, and during that period was absent but from one 
recorded meeting. During an absence from home shortly 
after his removal here, his family preserved life for some 
days by eating the grain from the ear in an unripe state. 
Being hospitable and generous beyond what his means 
would justify, he was unable to amass wealth. He was an 
expert promoter, but the expense often proved too heavy 
to ensure success. About the year 1804 he went to Ohio, 
and in connection with General Wilkinson and Aaron Burr, 
then vice-president of the United States ; and several oth- 
ers, projected the plan of canaling the Ohio at the falls op- 
posite Louisville. Some of the prominent men in the 
country formed a company, and General Hovey was ap- 
pointed their agent and given extensive control of the 



ANNALS OF OXFORD . 49 

work. This project indicated valuable advantages but wiis 
defeated of its success by Burr's expedition down the Miss- 
issippi, which created a rupture between Burr and Wilk- 
inson. General Hovey remained some time in that vicinity 
and attempted to raise a new company, but his principal 
patrons had disagreed, disheartening those who remained, 
and General Hovey, having spent nearly $1,500 in the af- 
fair, became discouraged and retired to the banks of Liike 
Erie, where he died in 1811. He had many warm friends 
throughout the State, and his enemies were those made 
during his political career. 

While a colonel of militia, and during a political cam- 
paign, he w\as tried for disobedience of orders by a Federal 
Court Martial and crushed in spirit ; but the trickety of 
this prejudiced Court Martial was made known to Gov- 
ernor Clinton, who was much displeased at the affair and 
at the next Council appointed him a brigadier general. 

The children of Benjamin and Lydia (Haven) Hovey 
were seven, as follow^s : 

Alphena, married James Glover, at Oxford, N. Y., in 
1795. They probably removed to Auburn, N. Y., and she 
was the ancestress of the Glovers, Rathbones, Johnsons 
and Tiffts, of Auburn. Also of the descendants of William 
Glover of Ottawa, 111., of the Hauptmans and Gages of 
East Saginaw, Mich., and of Ex-Governor Gage of Cali- 
fornia. 

EuTii, the wife of Hon. Uri Tracy, and ancestress of the 
Tracy s. 

Nancy, married Zalmon Smith of Oxford. They lived 
in Oxford and kept tavern on the site of the old Brigham 
tavern where Dr. C. H. Eccleston's bouse now stands. They 
afterwards removed to Greene, on the hill east of the vil- 
lage. 



50 * ANNALS OF OXFORD 

Mary, married Nathaniel Locke, the father of Charles 
F. T. Locke, an old time merchant of Oxford. She was the 
ancestress of the Smiths, of Portsmouth, Ohio. 

Alfred, of Montezuma, Cayuga county, ancestor of the 
Hoveys, Colvins and others, of Syracuse. He died at Syra- 
cuse, March 24, 1854, aged 76. He was one of the original 
Erie canal contractors and assisted in building the canal 
through the Cayuga marshes, in erecting the acqueduct 
at Rochester, and in blasting through the mountain ridge 
at Lockport. 

Otis, a portrait painter, of New York, who probably died 
unmarried. 

Sam [TEL, died young. 



WHIGS CELEBRATE.— The Whigs of this village 
and vicinity met at their old headquarters at Brig- 
ham's hotel on Clinton street, November 16, 1848, to 
mingle their congratulations over the election of * *' Old 
Zack," and to partake of an oyster supper. The occasion 
wjis joyous, the attendance large, and the enthusiasm was 
brimful and running over. At intervals a deep-mouthed 
cannon bellowed out the hoarse notes of victory, while 
shouts and cheers rang out upon the air. Several spirited 
speeches were made, and the supper ended with the march 
of a large procession through the streets headed by a band. 

* Zachary Taylor, twelfth President of the United States. 



JOSEPH COOK came to Oxford from Stockbridge, Mass., 
in 1807, and was for a time proprietor of a hotel on 
the west side of the river. He removed to Greene. He 
had a family of twelve children. 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 51 



I love everything that's old. Old friends, old times, 
old manners, old books, old wine. — Goi-dsmith. 



Indian Antiquities, 




Oxford boasts of Indian antiquities and of 
these the most interesting was the earth- 
work fort in tlie village, the remains of 
which were quite noticeable in the early 
settlement of the town, and were found on a mound which 
has since been called Fort Hill. The fort was one of the 
most eastern of the many fortifications in this and the 
western states, which at one time attracted considerable 
attention. Noth with standing the scientific remarks of Dr. 
Mitchell, DeWitt Clinton, and others, as to their origin, 
there is still an uncertainty with nothing but conjecture to 
guide one. The Oneida Indians had a tradition running 
seven generations back, but they could not tell who built 
the fort. From this and other circumstances, it is sup- 
posed to have been made before the discovery of this 
country by the Europeans. The fort was on a piece of land 
containing two and a half acres and was about thirty feet 
in height. This rise of land lies along the river bank about 
fifty rods, and at the southeasterly end the fort was situat- 
ed, which enclosed about three-fourths of an acre of land 
which was heavily timbered with beech and maple trees in 
1788. Outlines of breastworks from seven to ten feet in 
thickness were plainly to be seen at an early date. The 
fort was semi-circular in form like the old diagram above. 
Its base was toward the river, its curved sides encircled by 



52 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

a well defined ditch about four feet in depth, save at the 
ends, where gaps ten feet wide, were left for entrances. 

The antiquity of this fortification is more particularly 
evident from the fact that on the stump of a large pine 
tree, whose roots extended under and conforming to the 
ditch, one hundred and ninety-five circles could be counted 
proving an origin later than the fort, which was estimated 
from three hundred to four hundred years. It must have 
been a formidable place against the bow and arrow, and 
war club. The situation was pleasant and eligible in every 
point of view, commanding a beautiful prospect up and 
down the river, and there was no high land in easy dis- 
tance to annoy the garrison. Human bones, ancient earth- 
ern cooking utensils and other relics were found when ex- 
cavations were made. In October, 1897, while workmen 
were engaged in trenching the village for the system of 
water works they uncovered parts of two skeletons. The 
bones were found at a depth of five feet and were in the 
highway near the crosswalk west of the Congregational 
church. 

The Oneida Indians had a tradition connecting this fort 
with a giant chief called Thick Neck, a deadly foe to the 
Oneidas, who is said to have occupied it. The tradition 
is that the Antones, supposed to have belonged to the Tus- 
carora Nation, were the seventh generation from the in- 
habitants of the fort, among whom was the chief Thick 
Neck. When the Oneidas came into this vicinity he de- 
stroyed them, notwithstanding their many attempts to 
decoy him out of his stronghold. At last they succeeded 
in getting between him and the fort, when Thick Neck 
quickly turned, ran down the river to "^Warn's pond and 
secreted himself in the marsh ; but was soon discovered 

* Now called Lake Warn since the advent of summer cottages. 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 53 

and being unable to combat with the enemy, was killed. 
That no vettige ihould remain of the terrible chief, who 
in life was feared and hated, the Oneidas buried the 
body on the bank, the earth was leveled and leaves placed 
over the grave, and to this day no sign of his burial place 
has been found. The remnant of Thick Neck's tribe were 
adopted by the Oneidas. 

Nearly three miles above the Tillage on the west bank 
of the river is a mound of earth, which in earlier days was 
one hundred feet in circumference at the base, and ten feet 
high, and eridently the work of man. At the beginning 
of the settlement deep excavations were made and large 
quantities of a substance, supposed to be human bones, 
and several curious and fancy shaped stones were found, 
evidently formed by an artistic hand. This discovery led 
to a careful examination in the vicinity, which failed to 
find any signs of a fortification. It is supposed the place 
was the scene of a terrible battle and the mound a recep- 
tacle for the slain. As a corroborating circumstance, 
the mound is situated nearly midway between the old fort 
in this village and the one below Norwich. Its origin and 
the erent it was intended to commemorate will never be 
known, but it evidently belongs to the same class of an- 
tiquities with Thick Neck's stronghold on Fort Hill. The 
builders and those whose memory it was evidently de- 
signed to perpetuate, like many proud memorials of hu- 
man ambition, have been obliterated by the hand of time. 

On Padgett's brook, four miles below the village, there 
were in 1850 a succession of twenty-five disunited em- 
bankments having the appearance of a fortified place. 
They varied from one to two feet in elevation above the 
level of the surrounding lands, and supported a growth of 
aged trees. 



S4 ANNALS OF OXFORD 



Great of heart, magnanimous, courtly, 
courageous. — Longfellow. 



Tracy Family. 



Uri Tracy, eldest son of Daniel and Mary (Johnson) 
Tracy, was born at Norwich, Conn., February 8, 1764. He 
graduated at Yale College in 1789 and became a Presby- 
terian clergyman, and a missionary to the Indians ; came 
to Oxford in 1791 where, on August 28, 1793, he mar- 
ried, Ruth, daughter of General Benjamin Hovey. 

Mr. Tracy was the first principal of Oxford Academy, in 
the establishment of which he was a prime mover; and at 
his death was president of the Board of Trustees of that 
institution. He was first sheriff of the county, his term 
of ofiice extending from 1798 to 1801. 

Under the apportionment of March 31, 1802, the county 
had four representatives in the Assembly, and in 1803 Mr. 
Tracy, together with James Green, Joel Thompson and 
Stephen Hoxie were the members from Chenango. He was 
member of Congress from 1805-7, and again 1809-13 ; county 
clerk from 1801 to 1815; also the town's first postmaster, 
and the office was kept, together with the county clerk's 
office, in the basement of his residence on what is now 
Albany street on the lot now occupied by the residence of 
William Dunn. 

He was appointed first judge of Chenango county July 
8, 1819, and continued in that office until he was sixty 
years of age which was the constitutional age limit for 
holding the same. 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 55 

Mrs. Tracy was born in Oxford, Worcester county, Mass., 
December 8, 1775. She was for thirty years a commun- 
icant of St. Paul's church, and with her husband was con- 
firmed by Bishop Hobart in 1816. 

Mr. Tracy died at his home in Oxford, July 21, 1838, 
aged 75 years. The following is an extract from his obit- 
uary notice published in the Oxford Republican, July 25, 
1838 : 

All that is estimable in the husband, father, and friend, was possessed by 
him in an eminent degree. Ther« are few men whose equanimity was so 
constantly maintained, or whose whole course of conduct seemed to be reg- 
ulated by such fixedness of principle. He did not aim to excel in any par- 
ticular line of life, but rather strove to be useful in all, and to that end he 
directed the best energies of a highly cultivated and well balanced mind. 

He was a patron of literature and science, and was identified with the im- 
provements of the age, and every charitable and public project which prom- 
ised usefulness, shared equally in his counsel, and in his munificence. 

He lived above reproach, and a large circle of friends and acquaintances 
will long cherish the recollection of his many virtues. 

For a short period he was engaged in the Revolutionary struggle, and his 
love of liberty, and the institutions of his country, manifested through life, 
show how deeply his mind was imbued with the spirit that animated the 
patriots of that eventful period. 

As a private citizen no man was more universally esteemed, and very few 
hare filled so many important public offices and trusts with equal fidelity ; 
and it may be truly said of him, that he lived tvnd died a philanthropist 
and a Christian. 

Mrs. Tracy died at Oxford, January 31 , 1846. Their 
children, in whose veins the blood of '^ Lieutenant Thomas 

*Lieutenant Tracy rendered conspicuous civil and military service in the 
early days of the Colony of Connecticut, and was one of the founders of 
the town of Norwich. He was a direct descendant of the Emperor Charle- 
magne, the early Dukes and Kings of France and Jerusalem, William the 
Conquerer and the Dukes of Normandy, the Counts of Flanders, the West 
Saxon and Saxon Kings of England, and many other royal and noble 
houses. His paternal ancestor, the Sire de Tracy, was a Norman noble- 
man, and an officer in the army which invaded England under William of 
Normandy, A D. 1066. 

Lieutenant Tracy, of Norwich, Conn., is the ancestor of the Tracy fam- 
ily of America, and of all who have descended from them. The descent of 
the Hon. Uri Tracy of Oxford from Lieut. Thomas Tracy is as follows: 
Lieut. Thomas, Capt. John, John 2d, John 3d, Daniel, Hon. Uri. 



56 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

Tracy of Connecticut was mingled with that of the Wins- 
lows of Massachusetts, were : 

Samuel Miles Tracy (eldest son of Hon. Uri) was born 
in Oxford June 26, 1795 ; graduated at Hamilton college 
in 1816, studied law three years with Henry YanDerLyn, 
Esq., was admitted in 1818, and in NoTember of that year, 
he left Oxford for the " far west," traveling on horseback, 
and reaching Portsmouth, Ohio, he decided to locate there. 
He grew with the ifrowth of the place until he stood at the 
head of the bar. He held the office of Prosecuting At- 
torney for Scioto county for twenty-nine consecutive years. 
Judge Evans, in his history of Scioto county, says: *'He 
was perhaps the best lawyer who ever practised in Ports- 
mouth." He aided in building the first Ej^iscopal church 
in Portsmouth. He was twice married; had one son and 
three daughters by his first wife. He died in Portsmouth, 
December 25, 1856, aged 61. 

Otis J. Tracy, was born in Oxford September 17, 1797, 
and always resided in the county. Unassuming in his 
manners, and retiring in his habits, he instinctively shrunk 
from the strife and turmoil of political life. He was, how- 
ever, for several successive years Supervisor of Oxford, 
and discharged the duties of the office with ability and 
fidelity. While his talents and integrity commanded the 
respect and esteem of all, the kindly sympathies of his 
manly heart endeared him to a large circle of friends. 
Col. Tracy died at Oxford, August 21, 1850, aged 53. He 
was thrice married. His first wife, Jane D. Hyde, died 
November 13, 1820, at the age of iv), leaving a son, Joseph 
0., born May 2, 1820, and who died at Northumberland, 
Pa. His second wife, Eliza Cnshman, died August 19, 
1828, leaving two daughters, JaneE., who married Luman 
B. Fish, and Marj^ B., who married Dr. William W. 
Packer. Mr. Tracy then married for his third wife Mar- 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 57 

garet Storms. Their cliildren, besides three who died in 
infancy, were: 

ROSWELL S., bora 1830, enlisted in 1862 in Co. K, loth N. Y. 
Cav., served three years, and died at Big Flats, N. Y., April 2, 1874. 
Married Elizabeth Brooks of Oxford, died May 5, 1899. JOHN S., 
bora in 1831; died in Michigan. SARAH SOPHIA, bora in 1836; 
married Charles Everson, and died in Michigan. WILLIAM 
E., bora in 1838; died in Oxford April 4, iqoi ; married Helen 
Devoll. Children: John, married Lucretia VanTassell; Jennie, mar- 
ried John Beckwith; William, unmarried. CHARLES, born in 1840; 
enlisted in 12th Mass. Regt. and was killed at Antietam, September 
17, 1862; unmarried. HENRY H., born 1843; enlisted in 44th N. Y. 
Regt, was wounded near Richmond, and died January 12, 1897 in 
Oxford from the result of a runaway accident. Married Mary Delia 
Brooks. Children: Charles, Frederick F., married Arlette Curtis; 
Maude, married Joseph Collingwood ; Ross. 

Uri Tracy, Jr., was born in Oxford January 24, 1800, 
and on January 15, 1826, married Persis Packer, daughter 
of William Packer, Esq., of Preston, N. Y. He spent 
the whole of his life in the village, and on the estate where 
he was born. Was engaged some years in merchandizing. 
He was elected Justice of the Peace six consecutive terms 
of four years each. He was often the nouiinee of both 
political parties, and at such times elected without opposi- 
tion. His decisions were rarely reversed in the higher 
courts, and he acquired the name, "the upright magis- 
trate. ' * H* had served nearly the last term, making twenty- 
four years in office, when he died April 6, 1856, aged 5Q. 
His widow survived him but one year and died May 3, 
1857, aged 54. The children were : 

SUSAN HOSMER, born in Oxford May 4, 1827. Married John H. 
Morris of Syracuse September 19, 1849, and died in Lock Haven, Pa., 
August 8, 1861, aged 34. He died in Syracuse August, 1862. They 
left one daughter, Clara Mae, bom at Oxford, November 26, 1850, 
who married William M. Pursell, of Portsmouth, Ohio, and they had 
eight children, born in Portsmouth, CHARLES PACKER, born in 
Oxford December 5, 1829, removed to Portsmouth, Ohio, in 185 1, 
where he became prominent in business and founded the business 
house of C. P. Tracy & Co., now in its fifty-second year. He mar- 



^8 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

ried Isabella, daughter of Captain William McClain, and died 
in Portsmouth, January i6, 1874, aged 45. HENRY READ, born in 
Oxford, December 9, 1S33; removed to Portsmouth, Ohio, in Sep- 
tember, 1857, and entered the business house of C. P. Tracy & Co. 
with which he is still connected after forty-eight years. In May, 1864, 
enlisted in Co. E, 140th Ohio Volunteer Intantry in which he served 
as Second Lieutenant. Was Director and Vice-President of the 
Portsmouth National Bank from 1875. Removed to Boston, Mass., 
in 1886, where he has since resided, unmarried. JOHN BAILEY, 
bom in Oxford, April 12, 1838; removed to Ohio in 1853. Enlisted 
in May, 1864, in Co. F, 140th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, serving there- 
in as Sergeant. Served several terms as Treasurer of the City of 
Portsmouth and County of Scioto. Married Eliza Brady, and is now 
living near Portsmouth, having six children ^living) and numerous 
grandchildren. 

Mary Tracy, only daughter of Hon. Uri, was born in 
Oxford, August 17, 1802; married Peter Dickinson who 
was extensively engaged in the lumber business in Penn- 
sylvania, with yards in Baltimore. Their home in Oxford 
was on the corner, the present residence of Dr. J. W. 
Thorp. They removed to Baltimore, and some years later 
to Lock Haven, Pa., where she died February 26, 1868. 
Mr. Dickinson died in Wellsboro, Pa. Their children 
were : Charles Oscar, born in Oxford, May 4, 1827 ; was 
married, and died in Wellsboro, Pa. Peter Tracy, who 
was born in Oxford, was twice married, had two -sons by 
his first wife and was living in San Francisco, Cal., in 1890. 

Charles Oscar Tracy, youngest son of Hon. Uri, was 
born in Oxford, August 20, 1804. He was educated in 
Oxford Academy, and studied law with Henry Van Der 
Lyn, Esq. Removed to Portsmouth, Ohio, in 1826, where 
he located as a lawyer. He married December 20, 1827, 
Maria Kinney, daughter of Aaron Kinney, Esq., of Ports- 
mouth. They had nine children, all born in Portsmouth, 
where he died October 19, 1855, aged 51. Mr. Tracy left 
to his native place the example of his virtuous life, and 
the memory of his honored and unblemished name. 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 



59 



HiAL Tracy, second son of Daniel and Mary (Johnson) 
Tracy, was born July 5, 1776, in Norwich, Ct. He mar- 
ried Susanna Gifford of that place and they removed to 
Oxford about 1803, locating with his brother Daniel on 
the Lobdell farm, where his children were born. After the 
death of his brother, he bought what is now known as the 
John M. Green farm, where he died January 17, 1842, and 
his wife May 22, 1857. His nephew Daniel remained on 
the Lobdell farm. Mr. Tracy was a younger brother of 
the Hon. Uri Tracy, then settled in Oxford, which no 
doubt was the reason of his coming to the same town. Mrs. 
Tracy was sister of Joseph Gifford of Norwich, Ct., who 
also removed to Oxford. Children : 

Melissa, born in Connecticut ; married Ebenezer Hav- 
ens, lived at Dix, Schuyler county, and had four children. 

Eliza, born in Connecticut ; married John Green of Ox- 
ford. Children : Susan Eliza ; married Abner R. Holcomb. 
John M., married Marie E. Townsend. Mary M., died 
young. Mai Y., died young. Lucy Ann, married Wil- 
son G. Mowry, lived and died in Steuben county. 

Susan, born in Connecticut ; married Ira R. Main ; lived 
and died in Schuyler county. 

Sophia, born in Oxford ; died August 14, 1869; mar- 
ried Dyar McCall of Oxford. Child: Olive E., married 
Benjamin F. Edwards. 

Daniel Tracy 2d, youngest eon of Daniel and Mary 
(Johnson) Tracy, and brother of Hon. Uri Tracy, with his 
wife and son, Daniel 3d, came from Norwich, Conn., about 
the year 1803, with his brother Hial and family. They 
settled a mile and a half south of the village on what was 
then known as the Gordon farm, now the Lobdell farm. 
The house was a large one and the two brothers with their 
families occupied it together, and it was here that most of 
their children were born. After the death of Daniel and 



6o ANNALS OF OXFORD 

his wife on the farm, it was occupied by Daniel 3d, who in 
April, 1833 sold it to Henry Balcom and moved to Towns- 
-end, N. Y., where he died March 16, 1858, aged 74 years. 
He married in Oxford, Mary Havens, who died September 
22, 1854, in Townsend. Children all born in Oxford : 

Lucy, born in 1803, died July, 1865, in Havana, N. Y. ; 
married in Oxford Cyrus B. Main. Children : Louisa, 
married in Townsend, George Corwin ; died in Havana, 
1872. Philura, married AYilliam Cashing; died in Dix, 
N. Y., 1862. Alonzo, married M. Eliza Collins; died in 
Dix. Tracy C, married Ellen Haumer, both reside in 
Ithaca. 

Isaac J., born October 15, 1805; died April 11, 1891; 
married November 16, 1828, Lydia Beverly. Children: 
James M. ; married (1) Ann Chapman ; married (2) in Penn- 
sylvania. Eunice A., born August 9, 1831; died August 
11, 1843. Sarah J., married George H. Chapman. Elmon 
L., married Roxana L. Ransom. Had three children, one 
living. 

Eu:mce, born 1807 ; died July 6, 1840 ; married Caspar 
Evans. Had two children. 

Ira, born August 9, 1809 ; died May 25, 1881 ; married 
Cornelia Chase. Had seven children. 

Albert, born September, 1812; died January 24, 1884; 
unmarried. 

Ebexezer, born April, 1815; died January 20, 1894; 
married Catherine M. Chapman. 

Daniel 4th, born January 24, 1817 ; died October 12, 
1877; married (1) Sarah A. Lewis; married (2) Louisa 
Watkins in Havana, N. Y. Four children by first wife, 
two by the second. 

Sylvanus H., born February 3, 1820; died May 11, 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 6i 

1887; married (1) Maria Hamilton in Townsend ; married 
(2) Maria A. Chapman. One daughter by first wife. 

John G., born January 3, 1822; married April 1, 1855^ 
Mrs. Sarah A. Evans, both residing at Townsend. 

Mary Tracy, sister of Uri, Hial and Daniel, was born- 
September 22, 1722, in Norwich, Ct. She came to Oxford 
and married Daniel Baldwin of East McDonough, N. Y, 
Her death occurred January 7, 1829, at the age of 5Q. 
Children : Mary, died July 23, 1860, aged 56 ; married 
Pardon Smith, of Oxford. Jemima, died May 14, 1886^ 
aged 79 ; married Horace Corbin of McDonough. Electra^ 
died young. 



JONATHAN BALDWIN owned a piece of flat land 
above the river bridge. One summer after he had cut 
a fine quality of grass and cocked it up the river rose 
rapidly from a heavy gtorm and carried the cocks down 
tlie river. On discovering his loss he hastened to the 
bridge and as a particularly large cock was about to pass^ 
under, threw his pitchfork into it exclaiming : ''If God Al- 
mighty wants that hay, he wants a fork to pitch it with.*'^ 



THE FIRST PHYSICIAN to settle in Oxford was Dr. 
Timothy Eliot, who was born at Killingworth, Ct.,. 
in 1773. But little is on record of him except that he 
died November 2, 1796. 



THE FORT HILL MILL was built in 1793 or '4, by 
Theodore Burr and Jonathan Baldwin, the former of 
wliom owned it. It is still *' grinding away." 



62 ANNALS OF OXFORD 



And him who, with the steady sledge, 
Smites the shrill anvil all day long. — Bryant. 



McNeil Family 



John McNeil, born December 4, 1767, and Mary (Wise) 
McNeil, born December 8, 1770, with their two sons, Ira 
and Luman, came to Oxford from Hillsdale, Columbia 
county, in February, 1791. They first settled in the vicin- 
ity of Lake Warn, a few years thereafter removed to the 
place next below the Lobdell farm, where he died July 26, 
1832, aged 64. His wife died March 15, 1843, aged 73. 

At the time of their arrival there were but one frame 
and some two or three log houses where the village now 
stands ; consequently they became familiar with the priva- 
tions and hardships inseparably connected with a new and 
unsettled country, when but a lodging place had been made 
in our village, and all around it was dense forests, in which 
roamed wild beasts, from which at night their roar and 
angry cries could be heard. 

Mr. McNeil took up a hundred acres of land, but was 
chiefly occupied with his trade, that of blacksmith. Mrs. 
McNeil was one of the few who constituted the Baptist 
church in this village. Children : 

Ira, born October 30, 1789 ; married Clarinda Houck of 
Lee, Mass. Worked several years with his father at black- 
smithing, which he afterwards pursued in the village till 
his death, October 30, 1841, aged 52. His wife died March 
27, 1841, aged 53. Children: 

JOHN, died February 9, 1893; married Helen L., daughter of 
General Chas. M. Reed of Erie, Pa. They lived the latter part of 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 63 

their lives in Elmira, N. Y., where they died. Children: Charles, 
Rufus, Clara, Agnes, Nelly, Frankie, John and Mary. CHARLES, 
married Mary Jane Denigon of Oxfoid. Moved to Cleveland, Ohio, 
in 1853, where he died January 27, igoo, aged 84. Mrs. McNeil still 
resides in that city. Children ; Frank, born in 1841 ; married (i) Lois 
LeVake; married (2) Johannah Fitzgerald. (Three children by first 
marriage, Nelly. William and Mary). William Denison, born in 1S44, 
went into the Civil war, contracted army fever and died at home 
August 25, 1S64. Abby Jane, married Julius M. Carrington of Mich- 
igan and lives in Cleveland, Ohio. (Three children, Anna Deni.son, 
Mar>' Belle, and Charles McNeil). HENRY, married and died in 
California. PETER S. S., married Abby Billings of Elmira, where 
they both lived and died. His death occurring February 21, 1881, 
aged 55. FREDERICK B., died November 3, 1893, aged 67; mar- 
ried (i) Eliza A. Bradley, who died in 1870, leaving one child Kate; 
married (2) Mrs. Susan White, who died January q, 1906. Kate, 
daughter of Frederick B, and Eliza (Bradley) McNeil; married Sidney 
Dennis, died in Iowa in 188S, leaving two sons and one daughter. 
LEVERET, married, lived and died in Elmira. KATE, married 
(i) Benjamin Nichols of Lee. Mass. ; married (2) Andrew Craig of 
Jasper, N. Y. Children: Edward, Andrew and Albert, twins, and 
Charles. 

LuMAN, born January 31, 1792; married in 1810, Fitche 
Church of Oxford, with whom he lived for a period of 
more than sixty-Uve years. In 1813 he moved to Cov- 
entryville and there worked at his trade as a blacksmith 
until 1815, when he returned to Oxford and took up his 
residence in this village. He remained for nearly thirty 
years, when he retired to the farm where his long life was 
peacefully and quietly closed December 23, 1879, at the 
age of 88. From 1849 to 1853, Mr. McNeil was postmaster, 
and from time to time held many town offices. He was the 
last survivor of the earliest settlers and residents of the 
town and village. Mrs. McNeil died May 20, 1876, aged 
87. Children : George, born May 18, 1816 ; died February 
10, 1883. Fitche, (adopted) died December 15, 1845, 
aged 19. 

Sophia, born February 7, 1794; died January 1, 1866; 
married Erastus Smith. 



64 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

Lewis, born August 27, 1796 ; died in Delaware county ; 
married Clara Warn. Children: Andrew, James, Dvvight, 
John, Thomas, Ann Eliza, married Leveret Rathbone of 
Greene; Elizabeth, Susan, married George N. Palmer of 
Chenango Forks, N. Y., died January 2, 1905, InElmira; 
Jnlia, married Andrew J. Rockwell ; died February 3, 1905, 
in Elmira. 

Charlotte, born December 6, 1798; died December 29, 
1891, in South Oxford ; married David Willoughby. 

John G., born March 17, 1800; died January 31, 1866. 
Unmarried. 

Andrew M., born September 17, 1805; died January 
23, 1868, in Oxford. Married Eliza Maria Smith, died 
July 31, 1887, aged 71. Children : 

GEORGE L., born February 13, 1837; married Lucia Miller of 
South Oxford, born September 17, 1838. Children: Merrrit A., born 
February 23, 1866; died March 18, 1893, E. WARD, born April 5, 1869. 
CLARK, born April 27, 1839; married Marion Webb of Oxford. Child- 
ren: Nellie, married Norris Carnegie; Mary, married Eli Willcox. 
MARY SOPHIA, born June 28, 1841; died January 7, 1852. MIL- 
LARD D., (See article following). FITCHE, born December 25, 
1847; died July 8, 1848. 

Charles A., born November 17, 1807; died May 30, 
1884, in Lanefiboro, Pa. ; married Philura Main, who died 
November 25, 1879, in Oxford, aged 73. Children : Ray, 
died November 22, 1847, aged 17; Theodore F., married 
Mary Annette Westover ; Harriet, married Frank A. Lyon 
of Lanesboro, Pa. ; Achsa, married Edward F. Phelps of 
Binghamton. 

Millard D. McNeil was born September 12, 1844, on 
the farm now owned by Mrs. Alice E. McCall one mile below 
the village. He spent his early years in labor upon the 
farm and in attending the common schools, finishing hi& 
education at Oxford Academy. His lirst work away from 
home was teaching district school ; but one term satisfied 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 65 

him that that profession was not to his liking and he se- 
cured a clerkship at a small salary in the store of William 
Balcom, then a leading grocery man of Oxford. After a 
few years he entered the dry goods business, associated 
with his brother George and Cyrus A. Bacon. After a 
short time the partnership was dissolved and Mr. McNeil 
accepted a clerkship in the mercantile firm of Clarke Broth- 
ers, where he developed a shrewd business insight which 
eventually led to his entrance into the firm as junior part- 
ner. Here he became identified with the leading commer- 
cial and business interests of the town. Retiring from the 
firm in 1885, he embarked in the grocery trade with W. 
A. Carl, whose interest he subsequently purchased and 
conducted the business until he disposed of it to Whitney 
& Pughe. Mr. McNeil was appointed postmaster by Presi- 
dent McKinley in 1899, and reappointed by President 
Roosevelt in 1903. He married January 8, 1868, Mary A. 
Flagg, of Smithville, N. Y. Children: Clarence H., mar- 
ried January 18,1899, Elise Hampton of Poughkeepie ; en- 
tered West Point Military Academy in 1892 ; graduated 
in June, 1896, with rank of Second Lieutenant. Now 
holds the rank of Captain and is stationed at Fort Totten, 
New York harbor. Frederick A., teller First National 
Bank, Oxford. 



BRADFORD CHURCH, born December 7, 1795, in 
Oxford; died December 26, 1884, at Rock Falls, 
Iowa. At an early age he married Miss Anna W. Barnes 
of Oxford, who died in October, 1884, at Como, 111., aged 
87 years. 



rx ACRE WARNE was the original settler of the land 
-■— ^ on which is located the pleasure resort now known 
as Lake Warn. 



66 ANNALS OF OXFORD 



Thou bringest * * * * 

Letters unto trembling hands, — Tennyson. 



Mail Service in Early Days. 



In the early days of the town before the official appoint- 
ment of any regular post-rider, letters were carried by 
chance travelers. The tavern and family rooms in private 
houses were used as gathering places for the mail. Letters 
were thrown carelessly on an open table or tavern bar, for 
all comers to pull over till the owners claimed them. 

Uri Tracy was Oxford's first postmaster, and John Tracy 
succeeded him soon after his arrival in 1805, holding the 
office till 1838, when Peleg Glover was appointed. Fol- 
lowing is the succession of postmasters : James W. Clarke, 
1841 ; Cyrus A. Bacon, 1843 ; Luraan McNeil, 1849 ; Cyrus 
A. Bacon, 1853; James W. Glover, 1861; Benjamin M. 
Pearne, 1878; Frederick P. Newkirk, 1886; Bradford G. 
Greene, 1890; Herbert Emerson, 1895; Millard D. McNeil, 
the present incumbent, 1899. 

In 1802 the only post-town in Chenango county bore the 
name of " Oxford Academy." 

In 1817, the postmaster at Oxford received a salary of 
$127.93; at Norwich $103.20, and Bainbridge a yearly sum 
of $6.00. 

In 1826 it took a calfskin to pay the postage on a letter. 
It is told of a woman of that day, who received notice from 
the postmaster that she had a letter upon which twenty-five 
cents were due, and not having that amount of money, she 
without help killed and skinned a calf, selling the hide to 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 67 

a tanner, for which she received twenty-live cents and was 
thus enabled to get her letter. 

The first mail carrier was Charles Thorp, of whom noth- 
ing is now known. 

When the postoffice was established at McDonough, 
about 1825, the mail was carried on horseback in saddle- 
bags to that place from Oxford every Saturday. 



FOURTH OF JULY BATTLES.— During the early 
'20s and even many years later, the boys of the east 
and west sides of the village used to gather every Fourth 
of July and fire any old missle at each other. Those on 
the east side w^ere stationed at the base of Fort Hill, and 
those on the west side on Navy Island. The engagement 
was usually watched by many spectators, who loudly ap- 
plauded when an especially effective "shot" was made. 
After the sport became monotonous a flag of truce was 
raised and hostilities ceased. As both parties were satis- 
fied a retreat was ordered, those on the east side retiring 
to a point near the Fort Hill block and then to the com- 
mon, now^ Washington park, in front of Perkins Hotel. 
The west side boys retired to the common, now La Fay- 
ette park, where the usual fun and frolic of Independence 
Day was indulged in by each party to their heart's con- 
tent. In those days Independence Day was not forgot- 
ten, and the erection of a Liberty ijole on the common on 
the west side of the town was an episode of yearly occur- 
rence. It was guarded all night lest the east side boys 
might capture it. 



68 ANNALS OF OXFORD 



"I despise them all. If," said Mr. Stiggins, 
'if there is any of them less odious than 
another, it is the liquor called rum — warm, 
my dear young friend, with three lumps of 
sugar to the tumbler." — Dickens. 



Bartle Family. 



John W. Bartle came from Germany previous to the 
Kevolution and settled in Columbia county, and in or 
about the year 1791 removing to Oxford with his six sons 
and one daughter, and failing by some v^rong doing of 
others to secure land which had been promised him, set- 
tled on the west side of Chenango river at the mouth of 
Bowman's creek, four miles below the village, on the 
place owned and occupied for many years by his great- 
grandson, Erwin B. Bartle. There Mr. Bartle kept the 
first inn in the town, and there he, his son David, his 
grandson West, and his great-grandson Erwin D. Bartle, 
lived and died. His children were : 

JoHi!^, a harness maker by trade, who lived and plied 
his vocation in various parts of the town in which he also 
died. He married (1) Miss Duffey, by whom he had ten 
children ; married (2) Lydia Tuttle, who bore him ten more. 
Nineteen children attended his funeral. 

Peter, born September 24, 1769 ; died in Ohio, March 
32, 1831. He located on what was afterwards known as 
the Jacob Buckley farm, and was a surveyor, running all 
the township's lines in this vicinity. He married twice ; 
his first wife was Tabitha Loomis, daughter of Benaiah 
Loomis. This marriage, which took place in May, 1795, 
was the first one contracted in the town. Four children 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 69 

were born to them : Annis, Uri, Caroline, and Lot. Soon 
after the close of the war of 1812, Mr. Bartle went west, 
where he contracted his second marriage and had seven 
children. 

Hendrick, took np his residence where Cyrus Crandall 
now lives ; married Tabitha White, by whom he had eight 
children. Both he and his wife continued to reside on the 
homestead where they settled until their deaths. 

Philip, born in 1772, settled where Lewis Ketchum 
now lives ; married Betsey Loomis, born in 1770, a daugh- 
ter of Benaiah Loomis, and with whom he lived in unbroken 
harmony nearly seventy years. They had no children. 
'^ Mr. Bartle built the first school house and his wife was 
the first teacher," says the State Gazetteer; but it appears 
that the Academy was the first school house and Uri Tracy 
the first teacher. ^' Uncle Philip" and ''Aunt Betty," 
as they were familiarly known, were universally kind to 
all, and their home on Panther Hill was known far and wide 
as a haven of rest for the poor and needy, and of unbounded 
hospitality. Mr. Bartle later in life bought the farm where 
Harvey J. Stratton now lives, where he died October 1, 
1861, in his 90th year. Mrs. Bartle died July 28, 1864, 
aged 94 years. 

Andrew, married and settled in South Oxford; he 
afterward moved with his family to Junius, N. Y., where 
he and his wife died. 

David, succeeded to the ownership of the homestead, 
where he and his wife, Rhoda West, died. Eight children 
were born to them. 

Elizabeth, married Henry Gordon. 



70 ANNALS OF OXFORD 



Joy to the Toiler! — him that tills 
The fields with Plenty crowned; 

Him with the woodsman's axe that thrills 
The wilderness profound. — Hathaway. 



Solomon Dodpfe. 



Solomon Dodge was born in 1767 in Vermont and came 
to Oxford in 1791 from Sidney in company with Daniel 
Tucker. There were but two houses in the village at that 
time. He was in the employment of General Hovey and 
worked under him in cutting the road from the Unadilla 
river to the Chenango at Oxford. His second coming to 
Oxford was in the fall of 1795 in company with Mrs. Jona- 
than Baldwin, who came through from Egremont, Mass. 
At this time he settled on what is known as the Morse 
farm, owned by Alpha and Edward Morse. Mr. Dodge 
made a small clearing, using the logs to build his first 
house, which had neither chimney or windows, excepting 
a hole in the roof and a blanket fur a door. After he had 
cut the trees far enough away so that they would not 
fall on the building, he put up a second log house, which 
was considered quite luxurious, for it had doors, windows 
and chimney. He married Dorcas Burlingame not far 
from 1796, who was born March 12, 1766, in Vermont. She 
had one sister, Azubah, and one brother, Ritchison, who 
was the first surveyor of the town. Mr. Dodge sold out 
in 1802, to Daniel Denison, and returned to Willet where 
he purchased a large farm, but meeting with many re- 
verses, returned to Oxford after five or six years and set- 
tled west of the village in what is known as " Dodge Hol- 
low," where he died of numb palsy in April, 1830. The 
only descendants of Mr. Dodge now living in Oxford, are 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 71 

Herbert Emerson, B. M. Emerson, and John E. Jones. Mr. 
Dodge was a lover of a good horse and in his day owned 
many fine ones. While living in "Dodge Hollow'' he 
built a race track on his farm, which on many occasions 
called together the sportsmen of that day to witness the 
strife between the owners of fast steppers. After the death 
of her husband, Mrs. Dodge lived with her daughter, Mrs. 
Gideon Lawton in McDonough, where she died in 1845. 
Children, all born in Oxford : 

Marshall, married Abigail Lawton, and was a clothier. 
He was a soldier in the war of 1812, and when dying ex- 
pressed a wish to be buried in Oxford, his birthplace. He 
was buried in the cemetery a mile aud a half west of Ox- 
ford on the old State road. His grave like many other sol- 
diers of that war, is uncared for. The greater part of his 
life was spent in McDonough. 

Harry, married Mary Blackman, daughter of Elijah 
Blackman of Oxford; lived in McDonough for several 
years and then moved away, and all trace of him and his 
family has been lost. 

Polly, twin to Harry, married Gideon Lawton, and 
lived for several years in Oxford, and then moved to Mc- 
Donough where they both died. Children: Thomas, Eliza, 
Harry, Lucinda, and Russell, born in Oxford ; Almira, 
William, and Charles, who died in boyhood, born in Mc- 
Donough. All went to Pennsylvania, excepting Eliza, who 
married Moses Emerson of McDonough, and Lucinda, who 
lived with her grandfather Dodge until she was fifteen. 
She married A. J. Moore of McDonough. 

Russell, married Sally Hamilton, conducted a tan- 
nery for several years in McDonough, and went to Steuben 
county and died in Addison. 

MARTi]sr, married Betsey Barnes and lived and died in 
McDonoHffh. 



72 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

Almira, married Charles Burlingame, a cousin, and 
moved to Willet, where they both lived and died. 

Ira, married Almira Betts and lived in Oxford a few- 
years, then went to Pennsylvania where his wife died. He 
went to Iowa and died there. 

Alfred, married Almira Bemas, whose father, Almon 
Bemas, kept a hotel below Oxford. They moved to Steu- 
ben county and died there. 

Israel, went to Steuben county, and there married Sally 
White. He died at Westfield, Pa. 



CAPTAIN SOLOMON FENTON, born in Connecticut 
June 23, 1749, was a soldier during the war of the 
Revolution. He was wounded at the battle of Saratoga, 
where he had captured a British officer in person. He died 
in Oxford, December 25, 1831, aged 82 years. His wife was 
Sybil Snow, born September 19, 1749, and died September 
29, 1824. They came to Oxford about the year 1816 to 
reside with their daughter, the wife of Ira B. McFarland. 



JOHN TEN BROECK lived at an early day on the farm 
at South Oxford on which is now the Ten-Broeck- 
Warn cemetery. His children were : Jeremiah, John, 
Derrick, Mrs. Dan Loomis, Mrs. Amos Gray, and Maria 
and Ann, first and second wives of Jabez Robinson of 
Sonth Oxford. 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 73 



The mill-wheel has fallen to pieces. Ben Bolt, 

The rafters have tumbled in, 
And a quiet which crawls round the walls as you gaze 

Has followed the olden din. — English. 



Peter Burghardt. 



Peter Burghardt (Burgot) came to Oxford with his wife 
and eight children from Great Barrington, Mass., in 1792, 
and settled on the farm now^ owned by F. P. Newkirk. Ho 
removed at an early part of the nineteenth century to Alle- 
gany county and died in Kentucky while engaged in build- 
ing bridges. He erected the first grist mill in this town 
on Hovey's creek, one and one half miles west of the vil- 
lage. His wife died at Warren, Penn. Two daughters 
died in Oxford, Mary, who married John Dodge, and left 
many descendants, and Sally, wife of Abijah Lobdell, Jr., 
who has only two descendants now living : Miss Helen M. 
Lobdell and Miss Augusta C. Godfrey of this village. 
Lucretia married (1) Selah Burlingame and moved to Illi- 
nois ; married (2) Parsons. 

The first death in this town was an infant daughter, 
Happy Leona, of Mr. Burghardt. 

There were four sons, Moses, Gerritt, Peter and Abra- 
ham, and they all went to the western part of New York 
state, where their decendants are still living. 

Mr. Burghardt was one of the first trustees of Oxford 



74 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

Academy, also one of the first vestrymen of St. Paul's 
church. His son-in-law, Abijah Lobdell, Jr., was also one 
of the first vestrymen, and it was at his house the first 
Episcopal services were held. The prayer book then used 
is now in the vestry of St. Paul's church. 

Mr. Burghardt was very strong in his belief in the Epis- 
copal faith and having contributed to build a Presbyterian 
church in Great Barrington, he with other Dutch settlers* 
many of them wealthy, and nearly all Episcopalians, asked 
to have preaching in their own language on week days at 
their own expense. The Rev. Mr. Hopkins refused wdth 
the reply : '' What, Dutch preaching in the meeting house? 
No, that shall never be." The Dutch resented the rebuff 
and stayed at home from church, which angered the minis- 
ter into threatening the tithing men from the pulpit, and 
they entered a complaint with the magistrate. Peter 
Burghardt and his brother were among the offenders. The 
magistrate was obliged to fine them or commit them to the 
stocks, though this was against his will ; and they were 
advised to go to the stocks as a quicker and surer means 
of victory, which they did, with Judge Woodbridge pres- 
ent as their friend and legal protector from further insults. 

The name Burghardt was originally Borghghardt, then 
Burghardt, and Burgot. The descent of Misses Lobdell 
and Godfrey is : 

I. Heindrick Borghghardt married Maria von Hoesen. 
Lived in Albany, N. Y. II. Conraed Borghghardt, mar- 
ried Gesie von Wir at Kinderhook, N. Y. III. Peter Burg- 
hardt, married Mary Church at Great Barrington, Mass. lY. 
Sally Burghardt married Abijah Lobdell, Jr., at Oxford, 
N. Y. Y. Helen M. Lobdell. Y. Sarah Lobdell married 
George W. Godfrey. YI. Augusta C. Godfrey. 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 75 



As the laws are above magistrates, so are the magistrates 
above the people; and it may truly be said that the mag- 
istrate is a speaking law. — Cicero. 



Town Meetings. 



The first legal town meeting was held on the first Tues- 
day in April, 1794, at the house of General Benjamin 
Hovey , and from that time till the division of the town, 
meetings were held alternately in the eastern part one 
year and the next in Oxford village, so called, many years 
before it was incorporated as a village. The officer! voted 
for received their nominations on the day of election ; a 
caucus for electioneering purposes was then unknown. At 
this meeting Ephraim Fitch was elected supervisor and 
Elihu Murray town clerk. Peter Burghardt and John 
Blandon were elected fence viewers. It w^as " Voted the 
town to give three pounds bounty on each wolf kill'd in 
the Town in addition to what the County gives." 

At the town meeting in 1795 it was "Voted the Town 
chuse their officers (Supervisor and Town clerk) by the 
Clerk's taking each man's name and who he votes for in 
writing." 

In 1800, Anson Cary was elected supervisor, and Capt. 
Samuel Farnham, clerk. The following records are copied 
from the town book : 

Voted, that James Phelps, Uri Tracy and John Holmes, be a committee 
for settling the lot commonly call'd the ministerial lot, and that said com- 
mittee be allow'd for their services one dollar per day, 

OATHS OF Commissioners of EXCISE. 

We, Ephraim Fitch, James Phelps and Anson Cary, commissioners of 
excise for the Town of Oxtord in the County of Chenango, do Solemnly 



76 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

Swear in the presence of Almighty God that we will not on any account or 
pretense whatsoever, grant any Licenses to any person within the said town 
of Oxford, for the purpose of keeping an Inn or tavern, but only in such 
case as appears to us absolutely necessary for the benefit of travelers ; and 
that we will in all things while acting as commissioners of excise do our 
duty according to the best of our Judgement and abilities, without fear, 
favor or partiality according to LAW. 

Signed, Ephraim Fitch, 

James Phelps, 
Anson Gary. 

Resolved at a board of commissioners of excise for the Town of Oxford, 
held on the 6th day of May, 1800, that Capt. Samuel Smith, Samuel John- 
son, Benjamin Wilson, John Dibble, Solomon Kellogg, Jonathan Bush, and 
St. George Tolbud Perry, are suitable persons to be licensed to keep Inns or 
Taverns in theTown of Oxford, and that it was necessary to have taverns at 

the above places. 

Signed, Ephraim Fitch, 

James Phelps, 
Anson Gary. 
The above is a true copy of the original. 

S. Farnham, Glk. 

At the town meeting in 1801, it was — 

Voted, to accept a report of the committee appointed at the last Town 
meeting to settle the public lot with the following alterations. Viz,, that the 
Settlers now on the lot should have their Leases and pay five pr. cent. pr. 
annum; having the same rent free five years from the istday of January 
Last ; and that those hereafter going on should have their lots at the same rate 
and that their interest should begin Jaa'y ist, 1S02, and that Uri Tracy, 
James Phelps, and John Holmes be a committee for that purpose to give 
leases. 

At the town meeting in 1802, it was — 

Voted, that Hogs do not run at large, and that the annual Town meeting 
be held at the house of Elihu Murray next year. 

Voted, that the widow Dibble be releas'd from paying the excise for tav- 
ern license for the last year. 

Proceedings of election, 1807 : 

At the annual Election began and held in the Town of Oxford, in the 
County of Chenango, on Tuesday the twenty-eight day of April, 1807, and 
continued by adjournment from day to day for three days successively, in- 
cluding the 28th day of April. 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 77 

We certify the following persons had the number of Votes for the offices 
set opposite their respective names as hereafter particularized : 

(Viz.) 

Morgan Lewis for Governor 169 

Thomas Storm for Lieutenant 169 

Daniel D. Thompson, Governor 140 

John Broome, Lieutenant 140 

Caleb Hyde, Senator 170 

Cabel Sampson, Senator 138 

William Floyd, Senator 123 

Alexander Rice, Senator 119 

Moss Kent, Senator 25 

Daniel Tompkins, Governor i 

Solomon Pier, Reuben Bristol, Gurdon Hewitt, William McCalpin, Ben- 
jamin Yale, Inspectors of Election. 



JOHN ADAMS, a worthy citizen of Oxford for many 
years, and who served with honor in the war of 1812, 
died August 29, 1862. He was a shoemaker by trade and 
also made shoe lasts in a little old shop that stood on the 
site of Rafferty's saloon on Fort Hill. His children were 
John T., who enlisted in Co. K, 10th N. Y. Cavalry, and 
was killed in an engagement near Stony Creek, Va., Octo- 
ber 27, 1864 ; Drayton, who died in the West ; Dwight, who 
enlisted in the 17th Regiment, N. Y. Volunteers serving 
through the war of the Rebellion ; and a daughter, Mary. 



FROM November 7 to 15, 1845, inclusive, 9,965 firkins 
of butter were cleared at the oflBlce of the canal col- 
lector in Oxford. At this date it would be impossible to 
secure a third of that number of firkins in the entire 
county. The shipment of milk has revolutionized the once 
great butter industry of Chenango county. 



78 ANNALS OF OXFORD 



And see the rivers how they run 

Through woods and meads, in shade and sun, 

Sometimes swift, sometimes slow, — 

A various journey to the deep, 

Like human life to endless sleep! — Dyer, 



Lyon Family. 



David, Samuel and Thomas Lyon, brothers, came from 
Great Bend, Pa., in canoes in 1792 and settled upon Lyon 
brook, then called Can-na-wa-gon, which has since become 
familiar by reason of the high bridge built over it by the 
Ontario & Western Railway. The brothers purchased 
three miles square of land at one shilling per acre, and 
after meeting with various vicissitudes finally cleared the 
land, developed several fine farms, and erected grist and 
saw mills. During the winter of 1792-3 snow fell several 
feet deep and the men could not hunt, though game was 
plenty, and their provisions gave out. Samuel, on snow 
shoes, sought the cabin of the Bennetts and found a barrel 
of peas, which the latter had left on departing for their 
winter quarters at Great Bend. The peas sustained life 
until game could be procured. Many of the early settlers 
almost perished from w^ant of food at times during the first 
few years. 

Elizabeth Lyon, a sister, married Cornelius Jacobs in 
1784, who was one of the body guard of General George 
Washington, and of w^hom mention is made in another 
article. 

Thomas Lyon became a major, and led a regiment of 
State troops from this county in 1812. When they were 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 79^ 

recruiting in this village and sending soldiers to defend 
the frontier, the old red house on Greene street, known as 
the Thurber homestead, razed to the ground in August, 
1904, served for a short time as a barrack for the enlisted 
men. Young lads gratified their curiosity by going on the 
sly to look upon the raw recruits, and to see them arranged 
on the floor for sleeping. Those same young lads were 
present at the military funeral of Major Lyon held not 
long after, who was killed at Toronto. 

Toward the close of April, 1813, General Dearborn, 
under whom Major Lyon served, crossed Lake Erie with 
seventeen hundred men with the intention of attacking 
York, now Toronto, and the chief depot of the British 
posts in the w^est. A landing was made before York on 
the 27th of the month under hot fire, but the Americans 
pushed on and the enemy were driven from their works. 
The Americans were still pressing towards the main works 
when a magazine of the fort containing a hundred barrels 
of powder, exploded, a plot of the British. Two hundred 
Americans were killed or wounded, among the mortally 
hurt being Major Lyon, who was carried on board the 
commodore's vessel and there died the death of a hero. 

David Lyon was for many years in partnership with 
James A. Glover in the old stone blacksmith shop which 
stood east of the Congregational church on the site of the 
residence of Melvin Walker. 

George R. Lyon, son of Samuel, learned the blacksmith 
trade of Mr. Glover, and in 1822 moved to Greene, w^here 
he began the iron business, which has since developed in- 
to the Lyon Iron Works, an important industry of that 
village. 



So ANNALS OF OXFORD 



A wild and broken landscape, spiked with firs, 

Roughening the bleak horizon's northern edge. — Whittikr. 



Bennett Family. 



Moses Bennett and sons came from Great Bend, Pa., in 
April, 1792, ascending the Susquehanna and Chenango 
rivers by canoe, there being no road or other means of 
conveyance. They saw but one house between Bingham- 
ton and Oxford, and that at Chenango Forks. They erect- 
ed cabins and raised a crop that year on two miles square 
of land which they bought at one shilling per acre. After 
passing the winter in Great Bend they returned with their 
families the following spring. As there had been no mill 
erected they were obliged to break up their grain in a 
mortar, until Mr. Bennett had contrived a small hand 
mill, which supplied not only their wants, but was fre- 
quently resorted to by the pioneers near and far. There 
were no settlers between the Bennetts' and what was called 
the Castle, occupied by the Oneida Indians, two miles 
south of Norwich. The Indians were numerous through- 
out the valley at this time and had a favorite resort near 
the Halfway House. Mr. Bennett used to relate that one 
summer's day the chief returning to the Castle after a 
short absence found the camp in an uproar, caused by one 
of the tribe bringing in a keg of rum, which he had bar- 
tered for with a trader in Binghamton. Unable to control 
the drunken lot he hastened for assistance, soon returning 
with Mr. Bennett and his nine sons, and a few Indians who 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 8i 

had been following a hunt. A fight ensued in which fifty 
were killed or wounded, those who were sober enough fled 
to the forest. The rum was poured out on the ground and 
peace was soon established again in the camp. 

James Bennett, the eldest son of Moses, enjoyed telling 
of those days when pathways through the forest could only 
be traced by means of marked trees. He visited Norwich 
when it was without a house, to find the trees swaying 
with pigeon nests, the remnant of a feathered encampment 
of the previous year, upon the present site of that village. 
On the 25th of November, 1858, he fell from a ladder and 
received injuries which proved fatal. Mr. Bennett was 85 
years of age, and had resided nearly sixty years upon the 
same farm. Catherine, his wife, died April 2, 1847, aged 73. 

James C. Bennett, son of James, born November 4, 1807, 
resided upon the old homestead till his decease, which oc- 
curred suddenly April 6, 1878, at the age of 70. He was 
twice married, his first wife, Catherine, died February 3, 
1836, aged 21 ; Sarah A. Sherwood, his second wife, born in 
1819 in Guilford, died September 15, 1901, in Norwich, 
Children : 

Ann Augusta, married J. J. Yan Allen. 

Dealette, married Daniel E. Comstock; died suddenly 
June 7, 1905, in Norwich. Mr. Comstock died April 20, 
1901, in Norwich. 

Alice, married Charles L. Turner. 

J. HoAVARD Bennett, lived on the place for many years, 
then moved to Bainbridge, where he still resides. 



S2 ANNALS OF OXFORD 



Trumbull has painted him,— a face 
Filled with a fine, old-fashioned grace, 
Fresh-colored, frank, with ne'er a trace 

Of troubled shaded. — Dobson. 



Samuel Miles Hopkins, 



Samuel Miles Hopkins was a son of Samuel Hopkins, a 
soldier in the war of the Revolution, who marched to the 
defense of New York in 1776. He was descended from 
Stephen Hopkins of the Mayflower, w^hose great grandson 
wrote " Stephen Hopkins, "with a weak hand but a stout 
heart, beneath the Declaration of Independence, while the 
signer's brother was Ezekiel Hopkins, the first Admiral 
of the American Navy, and the equal in rank with Wash- 
ington himself. 

Samuel Miles Hopkins was born May 9, 1772, at Salem, 
in Waterbury, Ct. ; died October 8, 1837, at Geneva, N. 
Y. ; married October 5, 1800, Sarah Elizabeth Rogers of 
New York city, born February 1, 1778: died December 
17, 1866. 

In 1784 Samuel Miles Hopkins went to live in the family 
of his uncle. Dr. Lemuel Hopkins of Hartford, where he 
laid the foundation of a classical knowledge. On com- 
mencement day, 1787, he entered the Sophomore class of 
Yale college. For a year his classical books had been 
neglected, and he compassed in six weeks, without an in- 
structor, the usual reading of a year in the classics of the 
schools. He passed three years at New Haven. He was 
not in good favor wdth the faculty, and took no pains to 
conciliate their good will. They gave him one of the three 
English orations for commencement, which were then re- 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 83 

pnted the highest appointments. He refused to attend, 
and they refused him his degree until thirty years later, 
when they conferred on him the degree of Doctors of Laws. 

In 1791 having resolved on the profession of law, he en- 
tered the office of Judge Reeve in Litchfield, Ct., whose 
law school contained more than twenty pupils. In March, 
1798, when he had only studied about eighteen months, he 
was proffered an examination for admission by the gentle- 
man of the bar. This was in violation of a general rule. Im- 
mediately after his admission to the bar he had the small- 
pox. Early in April accompanied by his father, Mr. Hop- 
kins went on a ride across the Housatonic valley of Con- 
necticut and Dutchess county to Poughkeepsie, where he 
put himself under the tuition of Chancellor Kent and Jacob 
Eadcliffe. His object was to acquire a knowledge of the 
practice of the New York courts, which then was thought 
no small art and mystery. It was the sole business of a 
three years' clerkship, and he acquired it in eighteen days, 
by studying sixteen hours out of the twenty-four and re- 
citing two in the evening. He kept the life in him by now 
and then running a mile or two up a hill. Embarking on 
a sloop he with four New England young men went to New 
York city, where he had letters of introduction to Judge 
Hobart, James Watson and Colonel Aaron Burr. Thelatter 
made the motion, and when the Court sought to exclude 
tkemby an ex post facto rule, Burr succeeded in exempting 
them from its operations. Hopkins passed a most splendid 
examination and his license was dated on May 9, 1793, the 
day he was 21 years old. In a sketch of the life of Mr. 
Hopkins written by himself in 1832, he states : 

I was received with infinite kindness by the gentlemen to whom I had 
letters. I told them I could no longer be a burden to my father, and that I 
desired them to recommend me to a new country, where I could most certain- 
ly earn $52 in the first year, since I could live for $1 per week. They recom- 
mended Tioga, and gave me letters, and I hastened home. My father was 



84 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

at Hartford, as a member of the Legislature. My mother searched the till 
of his chest and found, I think, $io, or perhaps $10.25. With that and with 
a valise which contained half a dozen shirts, a set of Blackstone, a skin of 
parchment bought at New York, and some black seals, and on the horse 
Phoenix, which my father had raised for me, and which Phoenix was the first 
in official order of all my line of Phoenixes, I bade adieu to my mother and 
dear brothers and sisters and took the road to an unexplored and unknown 
wilderness. What a moment for my mother — what a moment forme ! One 
hundred and ten miles west from Catskill, through a country almost all 
very new, brought me to the village of Oxford, and to the house of Ben- 
jamin Hovey, the founder of it, and who about eighteen months before had 
cut the first tree to clear the ground where this village stood. Here, too, I 
found Uri Tracy (of the class in college two years older than myself), and 
whom after nearly forty years I still count among the most valued of my 
friends. 

I settled at Oxford as a lawyer. My first law-draft I made by writing on 
the head of a barrel, under a roof, made of poles only, and in the rain, 
which I partially kept from spattering my paper by a broad brimmed hat. 
In such a village as this, the first framed building was an academy of two 
stories, and Mr, Tracy was the teacher. No Yankee without the means of 
education ! Judge Hobart, my friend and patron, was to hold the circuit in 
June at Owego; and his kind notice of me was an excellent introduction to 
the county. The first case I ever tried was in defending a man indicted for 
forgery, which was death, and on which the attorney general of the State 
in person supported the prosecution. Judge Hobart sustained the objec- 
tion I took, and the prisoner was acquitted. And in this country I rode 80 
miles to Newton (Elmira) to attend a Court of Common Pleas in my own 
county, and was too happy to win a jury cause and get a fee of $8, perhaps 
the most gratifying I ever received. Sometimes I rode all day in the rain, 
forded the swift flowing Chenango in water up to my horse's back, found 
my whole library and stationary wet by the operation and lost my way in 
returning up the river, the path — not road — being too blind to follow. In 
attempting to follow the Nanticoke in a freshet I was obliged to go in a 
canoe and forcing Phoenix into the river, to lead him swimming while the 
ferryman directed the canoe. But how wonderful is instinct! The horse 
had never swam before, yet when he felt the force of the torrent, he breast- 
ed the stream, and dreading to be swept downwards he carried the whole 
of us up stream so far above the landing place, that the horse became en- 
tangled in floating tree tops and that I came near losing him. At another 
time I rode west to Cincinnatus, where at 18 miles was a house, north 18 
miles farther off was another house, but in utter darkness at night I lost 
my way and passed the night in one of the most incessant, steady, pouring 
rains I ever knew. I visited Onondaga when but two white families were 
in the "hollow," and attempted a rude estimate of the weight of the water 
of the salt spring, when not as many as a dozen of the kettles were in ope- 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 85 

ration or ever had been. My name is first on the roll of attorneys in Cayuga. 
I became convinced that I could grow up in the country and become as 
rich as I wished. Col. Burr had, almost by force, made me receive a library 
of choice law books, which he selected, saying that "I might settle it in my 
will," if I pleased. But Mr. Watson suggested the idea of a removal to 
New York for the sake of the society of able men, of mental improvement, 
and of professional advancement. He afterwards invited me to his house, 
imported for me about $1500 of law books, the foundation of my present law 
library. He loaned me whatever money I had occasion for, and left me to 
pay it (as I did) years after, from the avails of my professional business. 

I went to New York in the fall or winter of 1794 and took up my lodg- 
ings in the princely and hospitable house of Mr. Watson, quitting with a 
good deal of regret my Oxford friends, my village half acre and charming 
new office, and taking Phoenix back to my father. The winter I employed 
in very intense study for counsel's examination. But in the course of that 
time Mr. Watson began to propose to me the project, which occupied my 
time afterwards for two years in Virginia and two in Europe engaged in 
selling Virginia lands, which ended in a complete failure. 

Mr. Hopkins married in 1800 and rented a house in New 
York city at $1000 a year. At that time he had an office 
full of clerks, and lived in a style sufficiently though not 
exceedingly elegant, and his connections in the best rank 
of society brought him public influence and popularity. 
Later a rapidly increasing family made his expenses enor- 
mous and a check in business cramped his finances. He 
saw he must reduce his living and leave the city, which he 
did though it was with difficulty that he met all his en- 
gagements. In 1810 he purchased jointly with his brother- 
in-law, B. W. Rogers, a share in two tracks of land which 
had been reserved by the Indians, or their agents, at Mt. 
Morris, and the Leicester tract on the Genesee river in 
western New York. He bought merino sheep and went to 
farming. In 1811 he removed to Geneseo and in 1813-14 
was a member of the Xlllth Congress. In August, 1814, 
he laid out the village of Moscow on a plain which far and 
wide was cov€»red with a young growth of oak and hickory. 
Here he spent ten years, but the adventure failed and in- 
volved him in debt, and he had no other resource but to 



86 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

sell everything at an immense sacrifice and trace his course 
to Albany to resume the practice of law in the spring of 
1822. Here he made every previous arrangement, having 
been a member of the Senate during the winter. He never 
made money by his profession, for he always took the cases 
of the poor and helpless. His home was an asylum for 
dependent relatives— young people who were brought there 
to be educated, or older ones who were given positions in 
the household, and alse of distressed strangers, and for- 
eigners, iucli as exiled Greeks and Poles. 

The great chief Red Jacket, the eloquent orator, was a 
frequent visitor at his ''Western home." On a winter 
evening at Albany a silent figure would glide in, and after 
a few moments would as silently steal away; this was 
Aaron Burr, despised by every one, but tolerated and 
kindly treated by Mr. Hopkins, because of benefits received 
from him when he was a struggling young lawyer. Daniel 
Webster, and the Chancellors and Chief Justices ; LaFay- 
ette, on his second visit to America, and the great Sir 
John Franklin, were friends and callers at the Hopkins 
home. 

In 1832 Mr. Hopkins and family removed to Geneva 
where after five years he sank peacefully at rest ''in the 
sure and certain hope of a glorious resurrection." 

Mr. Hopkins was a fine figure of a man, six feet kigh, 
and perfectly formed for strength and activity. He had 
soft brown hair with light blue eyes. He ante-dated the 
era of beards, and always shaved his face carefully. When 
in Paris he was called "le Phoebus Americain." 

The children of Samuel Miles and Sarah Elizabeth (Rog- 
ers) Hopkins were : 

Mary Elizabeth, born April 13, 1802; died February 
28, 1857 ; married William Gordon Ver Planck. 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 87 

William Rogers, born January 2, 1805 ; died Novem- 
bor 12, 1876. 

Julia Anne, born February 22, 1807 ; died March 5, 
1849 ; married William E. Sill. 

Hester Rogers, born November 5, 1808 ; died October 
8, 1845 ; married Charles A. Rose. 

Samuel Miles, D. D., born August 8, 1813, for many 
years Professor in the Auburn Theological Seminary. 

WooLSEY Rogers, born July 14, 1815, now resides at 
Stamford, Ct. 

Sarah Elizabeth, born August 20, 1818; married John 
M. Bradford. 



BALLOON ASCENSION.— Saturday, June 28, 1862, 
Prof. H. Squires made the first balloon ascension in 
this village. A large number of people witnessed the then 
novel exhibition, while the Norwich and Oxford Bands 
contributed much to the pleasure of the day. At 4. p. m., 
Prof. Squires took leave of his terrestial audience in front 
of the Exchange block, rising rapidly and gradually mov- 
ing up the river for a mile or more, when the balloon took 
a south-easterly course, having been visible more than an 
hour, and sank out of sight in Guilford, about six miles 
distant. Previous to the ascension a company of fantas- 
tics made an amusing appearance on the streets. 



The whole number of inhabitants of the town of Oxford 
in September, 1830, according to the census taken by An- 
son Mead, was 2,041. 



88 ANNALS OF OXFORD 



The hungry Judges soon the sentence sign, 

And wretches hang that Jurymen may dine. — Pope. 



Anson Cary 



Anson Gary came from Windham, Ct., to Union, Broome 
county, where he resided for a short time, and then de- 
parted for Oxford in 1792. He came up the Susquehanna 
and Chenango rivers in a canoe paddled by an Indian 
named Seth, and took up the lands now owned by the 
Charles A. Bennett estate and John Cary. Mr. Cary 
was a Revolutionary pensioner, haring entered the army 
at the age of 16 and served in three campaigns of the war. 
Re was a very large and obese man, and was the first 
blacksmith to locate in Oxford. He worked at his trade 
and carried on his farm a great many years, and was also 
famous as a pettifogger before Justice's courts. He held 
the office of justice of peace, was appointed sheriff of the 
county March 1, 1805, and for a considerable time one of 
the Judges of the Court of Common Pleas. He died May 
3, 1842, aged 80. He married March 4, 1784, Miss Han- 
nah Carew, who died July 9, 1842, aged 78. Children: 

Horatio, born March 27, 1775 ; died February 10, 1855, 
in Lockport, N. Y. Married Betsey Rhodes. 

Minerva, born October 15, 1778; died May 23, 1859, in 
Wisconsin. Married Amos A. Franklin. 

Harriet, born July 29, 1789 ; died on the old home- 
stead, August 9, 1863. Married Adolphus B. Bennett 2d. 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 89 

George A., born May 8, 1793; died suddenly April 21, 
3 869 ; married (1) Sarah Wattles of Oxford, died June 18, 
1821 ; married (2) AdalineCrandall, died suddenly October 
26, 1882. Child by first wife : Sarah, married William H. 
Mason of Norwich. 

Palmer C, born March 31, 1793; died May 13, 1875; 
married Rowena Osgood. Children : Anson, died Jan- 
uary 28, 1877, aged 50; married Hannah Franklin. Lucy, 
died unmarried. Rowena, married Theodore Waters of 
North Norwich. Jane, married Charles Clark. Frances, 
married January 8, 1856, Francis L. Cagwin of Joliet, Wis. 

Zalmon S., born August 31 , 1800 ; died August 23, 1854 ; 
married Pamelia Randall of Connecticut. Mr. Cary when 
but three years old set fire to his father's unfinished resi- 
dence, which was destroyed. He lived and died on a 
portion of the old homestead, now occupied by his son 
John R. Children : Harriet, married Elijah A. Bradley 
of Macon, Ga. Sarah Elizabeth, married February 22, 
1857, Rev. Stephen L. Roripaugh. Helen, married James 
Wiswell. Mary, died unmarried. John R., married Mrs. 
Josephine (Converse) Williams and has one son, Robert. 

Hannah, born June 17, 1802 ; died October 8, 1855, the 
day set for her marriage. 

Albert G., born July 20, 1807; died suddenly July 26, 
1881 ; married Melissa Mathewson. Studied medicine with 
Drs. Perez Packer and William G. Sands. Practiced in 
several localities, but a deformity of his lower limbs pre- 
vented him from getting around with ease. Child : George, 
died in early manhood. 



On the 12th of October, 1836, snow fell to the depth of 
over two feet in this vicinity. 



90 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

None but himself can be his parallel. — Theobald. 

Jonathan Baldwin. 



Prominent among the first settlers was Jonathan Bald- 
win, born in Egremont, Mass., February 11, 1765, who 
came on foot, accompanied by Theodore Burr, with his 
axe upon his shoulder by the Catskill turnpike in the 
spring of 1793. These young men were architects, mill- 
wrights and bridge builders in search of a location and em- 
ployment. Mr. Baldwin took up several acres on the site 
of the village, extending from State street as far as the resi- 
dence of Mrs. Richard Youngs on Clinton street and in the 
rear enclosing the old cemetery, a gift from him to the vil- 
lage. He paid for the land from such wages as five dol- 
lars per month. 

Haring made a small clearing and put in some wheat, 
they returned to Massachusetts in the fall, by way of 
Utica. Their route was a narrow path through the bound- 
less forest indicated only by marked trees. At intervals 
there were attached to trees small covered boxes for mail. 
Travelers examined these for letters to go their way and 
delivered them. 

On the 3d of March, 1794, Mr. Baldwin married Miss 
Parthenia Stanford of Duxbury, Mass., and soon after re- 
turned to Oxford and built the house now owned and oc- 
cupied by Francis G. Clarke, leaving his wife until the 
road could be made so that a horse could make the pas- 
sage. While thus engaged he boarded with Peter Burg- 
hardt. The next fall his wife came in company with Sol- 
omon Dodge. In July, 1796, Mr. Baldwin moved his wife 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 9r 

and infant daughter, Miriamne, into the house he had 
erected. It was minus windows and doors, there his son 
Harvey was born the next day. 

Mrs. Baldwin brought from Massachusetts a mitten full 
of apple, currant and rose seeds, which she planted, aided 
by a nephew, David Baldwin, who cleared away the under 
brush. She said she never should eat the fruit from trees 
of her own planting ; but lived to see those sam« apple 
trees bear thirty bushels each of wholesome fruit. 

Mr. Baldwin laid the foundation of the large building, 
now the St. James hotel, and prepared window frames, 
sash and doors for building a large hotel ; but when the 
interests of Oxford were sacrificed, and the county seat 
located at Norwich, he left the work unfinished. Al- 
though at times profane, which gave him the name of 
'^Deacon," he was an honest man. 

He donated half the land for LaFayette square, now 
LaFayette park, and as one of the first trustees of Oxford 
Academy, gave freely of time and money to advance the 
interests of that institution. He was the builder of many 
of the first houses, together with the first school house on 
the west side of the river, and the second river bridge. 

No early name is more prominent than Jonathan Bald- 
win's; the benefactor of the poor, a sterling character, re- 
taining his intellectual faculties unimpaired until his death 
at the age of 82, which occurred July 2, 1845. The com- 
munity at large mourned his loss. Mrs. Baldwin died 
April 21, 1848, aged 77. Their children were: 

Miriamne, born January 15, 1793 ; married October 26, 
1817, Peleg B. Folger, a shoemaker, from Hudson, who 
came here soon after the war of 1812, and died Feb- 
ruary 5, 1857, aged 65. Mrs. Folger died January 25, 1881, 
aged 84. Children: Parthenia A., died April 4, 1890, at 



92 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

Bingliamton ; unmarried. William, married Melissa Gray 
of Scranton. Eben, married Lucy Hall. John, married 
Elizabeth Hall. Hannah, married Dr. S. F. McFarland. 
Mary, married William Benedict. 

James Harvey, born July 2, 17^6 ; married Elizabeth 
Shaffer of Lewisburg, Pa., and died in Pennsylvania, 
August 11, 1832, while engaged in bridge building. Child- 
ren : Jonathan, Harvey, Maria, Jane and Cordelia. 

Sophia, born June 22, 1800 ; married Frederick Greene. 

Nancy, born January 13, 1801, died in infancy. 

Happylone, born July 2Q, 1802, died unmarried Jan- 
uary 12, 1833. 

Louisa, born March 24, 1804, died unmarried Novem- 
ber 10, 1883, aged 79. 

Thomas, born July 4, 1805, diedSeptember 25, 1875 ; mar- 
ried Rebecca Buckly, vrko died suddenly January 11, 1875. 
He lived and died on the farm now owned by his daugh- 
ters, Mary L., wife of Charles A. Bennett, and F. Ada- 
laide Baldwin. 

Charles, born July 23, 1807, died unmarried December 
8, 1849. 

Betsey M., born March 25, 1809, died unmarried No- 
vember 2, 1899, aged 90. 

Samuel, born in March, 1811, married Jane Hagaman 
of Greene; died at Corning, in 1852. Children: Ann, 
James, died in army ; Jane, Kate. 

John, born November 6, 1813, died unmarried May, 
1895. 



Eleazer Smith, a patriot of the Revolution and also en- 
gaged in the French war, was among the early settlers of 
Oxford. He died in Greene December 8, 1822, aged 75. 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 93 



One who joarneying 
Along a way he knows not, having crossed 
A place of drear extent. — Bryant. 



Joseph Dickinson 



Joseph Dickinson born in 1774 in Connecticut; died 
April 19, 1862, in Oxford; married November 9, 1797, 
Mary Rowland of Connecticut; born about 1776; died 
January 15, 1863, in Oxford. 

Mr. Dickinson, at the age of 19, John Gott and another 
man, whose name cannot be recalled, eamefrom Connecti- 
cut in 1793. The three had a horse and one would ride a 
distance and hitch, then another would take his turn and 
so on to their journey's end. They crossed the Hudson 
at Albany and passed through the Mohawk valley to Utica, 
where there were but two log houses and a log barn. Con- 
tinuing their journey to Richfield Springs by Indian trail 
they cleared the leaves from a large sulphur spring and 
drank the strong water. The deer had a hard beaten path 
where they had come to drink from the same spring. From 
Richfield Springs through New Berlin to Thomas Root's 
in Oxford they w^ere guided only by marked trees, as there 
were no roads, only paths and *' blazed" trees. The 
houses, or log cabins, were long distances apart and often 
they found it very difficult to find anything to eat. The 
only articles you could get one cent of money for were 
potash and salts. The nearest grist mills were at Sidney 
and Chenango Forks, and Mr. Dickinson often would tie a 
bag of corn or wheat on the back of a horse, and going 
ahead in the path lead the animal to mill, often being 
absent three days. On one occasion he returned late at 
night and found his children had gone to bed crying with 
hunger. Mrs. Dickinson hastily prepared a meal from the 



94 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

grist and all were soon enjoying a feast that was remem- 
bered to tlie end of their days. Sometimes butter was 
made in a wooden box rocked back and forth by hand, and 
w^hen fine starch was required it was prepared from grated 
potatoes. There were no doctors within a long distance 
and Mr. Dickinson helped set a number of broken bones 
for his neighbors, using splints by cutting a small bass- 
wood tree, which was very soft. Mr. Dickinson, one of 
the Tracys and Frederick Hopkins w^ere all churchmen 
before they came to Oxford, and would meet once in two 
or three weeks and read the service of the Episcopal 
church. After a time others joined with them and in the 
course of a few years regular services were held in the Til- 
lage. Children : 

Joseph, Jr., born October 4, 1798; died September 1, 
1845 ; married September 17, 1739, Roxy Dodge. Child : 
Eoxy. 

Maey, born June 25, 1800; died Februarys, 1884; mar- 
ried January 25, 1820, Alison Hopkins. 

Lydia A]S"n, born September 1, 1802; died July 18, 
1870; married January 6, 1830, Andrew Mead. 

Harriet, born January 20, 1806; married December 21, 
1823, Zelotes Blinn. Had eleven children. 

Elisha, born May 14, 1808; died April 26, 1809. 

Haxxah, born March 4, 1810; died March 23, 1884. Un- 
married. 

Elisiia, 2d, born April 6, 1812 ; died November 3, 1889 ; 
married November 26, 1835, Phila Mowry. Children: 
Lydia E., married Thomas Wheeler. Almira, died in in- 
fancy. , daughter, died in infancy. 

David, born June 27, 1815; died September 1881 ; mar- 
ried June 26, 1840, Mary M. Kinney. Children: Harriet, 
born in infancy; Charles and Julia. 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 95 



He was not of an age, but for all time. — Ben Jonson 



John Buckley. 



John Bulkley, now spelled Buckley, was born in Con- 
necticut and came to Oxford in 1795, settling in the western 
part of the town upon a farm which he purchased and lived 
upon till his death. In the winter months he worked at 
his trade, a wheelwright, and during the summer months 
engaged in farming. He married Hannah Decker of Ger- 
man descent, by whom he had seven children : Cynthia, 
married Angus Bartle ; Jacob, Hannah, married Uri Bar- 
tie ; Peter, married Ruth Ann Bartle ; Polly, married 
David H. Bixby ; Rebecca, married Thomas Baldwin ; Sally 
Ann, married Eliakim Bixby. 

Jacob Buckley, born in 1804, married Clarinda, daugh- 
ter of Stephen Hastings of Smithville, and died October 
15, 1884, on the old homestead. He learned the trade of 
millright and owned and operated sawmills in Oxford and 
Smithville. Mrs. Buckley died January 8, 1895, aged 88 
years. Children : Sarah Jane, died in infancy ; Marion, 
married Charles Stratton ; died November 9, 1901; Wil- 
liam P. ; Almeda, married John P. Davis; A. Anvernett, 
married Henry D.Willcox, died January 14, 1904; Mary 
A., married James Warn. 

William P. Buckley, born October 2, 1838, died Aug- 
ust 22, 1905. He was educated at Oxford Academy. He 
taught school for several terms and then took up the work 



96 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

of a carpenter and joiner, which he learned thoroughly, 
becoming one of the best of mechanics. In later years his 
reputation as a contractor and builder extended through- 
out the surrounding country, as is shown by the many fine 
residences and public buildings he had put up in Oxford 
and adjoining towns. For seven years he was captain in 
the State militia. Mr. Buckley married in 1865, Ruth A., 
daughter of Uri and Hannah (Buckley) Bartle, who died 
August 29, 1892. One son, J. Burr, was born to them. 
Mr. Buckley's second wife was Mrs. Helen (Lewis) Brown, 
widow of Smith Brown of Preston, whom he married De- 
cember 26, 1894. 



DEATH OF PRESIDENT TAYLOR.— President Zach- 
ary Taylor died at Washington, July 9, 1850. On 
the receipt of the news in Oxford the several church bells 
were tolled for an hour. On the day of the funeral a can- 
non was fired half-hourly during the day, and the bells 
again tolled for an hour and places of business closed. 



IN 1822 the business of the county increased and sub- 
stantial signs of prosperity and wealth appeared on 
every hand. The farming interest became important and 
the Gazette in July announced that ''ten thousand dollars 
had been expended by three merchants of this village for 
black salts within two months preceeding." 



AN EARTHQUAKE.— Shortly after 11 o'clock a. m., 
October 20, 1870, tw^o distinct shocks of an earth- 
quake were felt in this village. The shock lasted nearly a 
minute, and people hurriedly vacated their buildings, fear- 
ing they were about to fall. 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 97 



From yon blue heaven above us bent, 
The grand old gardener and his wife 
Smile at the claims of long descent. 

— Tennyson. 



Eber Williams 



Eber Williams was born November 6, 1776, and mar- 
ried Martha Bennett November 7, 1799, at Foster, R. I., 
which town they left October 16, 1808, moving to Warren, 
now Columbia, N. Y. After remaining there three years 
they came to Oxford and settled in the dense woods on 
the farm now owned by Mason Whipple, and better known 
as the Stephen Weeks farm. In 1814 Mr. Williams sold 
to Philo Pier, and removed to a farm in Columbus, this 
county; remaining there three years he returned to Ox- 
ford and went on the farm he originally owned, occu- 
pying it till his death. 

Mr. Williams was fifth in descent from Roger Williams, 
who settled Rhode Island in 1636. The line of sviccession 
being: Roger, Daniel, Joseph, Benoni, John, and Eber. 
His father was born December 27, 1742, and died in 
August, 1843. His mother was a sister of Stephen Hop- 
kins, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independ- 
ence, and his wife was a descendant from the Royal house 
of Tudor, England. 

Mr. and Mrs. Williams died on the same day, October 
3, 1867, aged 91 and 87 respectively, and were buried in 
the same grave. 

Their children were: 



98 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

Daniel B., born September 3, 1800; lived for manj 
years at Cincinnatus, where he died, May 28, 1889. 

Polly, born April 7, 1803, married Vinson Loomis, and 
died in Smithvillo. 

Sally, born June 6, 1809, married Isaac Wright, and 
died in Wisconsin. 

JOPIN A., born May 28, 1813, lived at Beloit, Wis. 
Martha C, bom July 10, 1815, mamed Wilson S. 
Case; moved to Spring Valley, Wis. 

Julia A., born October 25, 1817, married Stephen 
W'eeks, and died on the homestead farm July 4, 1876. 

In the fall of 1828 a number of Mr. Williams' neigh- 
bors had a quantity of butter on hand, but found no 
buyers in Oxford. They urged Mr. Williams to take it 
at ten cents a pound, or they would pay him four dollars 
per hundred for selling it for them. Mr. William con- 
sented, and sent his son Daniel to Rhode Island with 
the butter. He started November 28, with a yoke of oxen 
and a pair of horses for a team, with a long-reached, high- 
boxed wagon, and thirty hundred pounds of butter, ex- 
clusive of thirty heavy firkins for packages and some other 
loading, making in all about thirty-five hundred pounds. 
Daniel walked beside the team and was fourteen days on 
the road, making about 260 miles. He had a common- 
sized log chain to fasten a wheel in going down the steep 
hills. When descending the eastern declivity of the 
Catskills, he chained one wheel as usual, but, it occur- 
ring to him that it might not hold, fastened another wheel 
with a strong rope, and had gone but a short distance 
when tlie chain broke, but, luckily, the rope held and he 
descended in safety. With the assistance of relatives in 
Rhode Island Daniel sold the butter and the oxen. Dur- 
ing the month of Januar^^ he started for home, the weather 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 99 

remaining warm till he crossed the Connecticut river, 
when it became intensely cold, and, on reaching the Hud- 
son river, found he could not cross on account of the 
floating ice. Learning that the river was open at Troy, he 
drove to that city, reaching the landing just after the 
last boat for the day had crossed. He then went to 
Lansingburg, crossed on the bridge, passed through Sche- 
nectady, striking the Albany turnpike at Post's Tavern, 
and stopped a few days with relatives in Herkimer. From 
there he came home, having made a trip in mid-winter of 
about 600 miles, a hazardous undertaking for those days. 



WHAT THEY ADVERTISED.— In April, 1819, Sam- 
uel Farnham advertised " An assortment of choice 
Liquors and Groceries, suitable for the sick as well as those 
in health." John Tracy, P. M., advertised a list of let- 
ters in post office. Ep. Miller, president of the board of 
village trustees, called a meeting of that board, to '^ Meet 
on the 1st Tuesday of May at 10 A. M." L. Sherwood & 
Co., had '^ Just received from New York a great variety 
of goods suitable for the season." Ransom Rathbone had 
*' For sale, a large quantity of Men's and Boys' Knapt, 
Merino and Wool hats, which he will sell as low as can be 
purchased at any hat factory in the county." The notice 
by one of the citizens offering *' A smart, active, healthy 
negro" for sale, evinced that the sable cloud of slavery 
yet hung over the State. 



The population of Oxford in 1855 was town, 1,900; vil- 
lage, 1,218— total 3,118. 






loo ANNALS OF OXFORD 



Yankee Doodle, twist the cat — 

Buttermilk and brandy; 
Guess I'll bet my Sunday bat 

They'll find I'm a boy quite handy. 



Josiah Hackett. 



Thus sang Josiah Hackett as he entered the village on 
the 10th of July, 1798, a beautiful summer afternoon 
with a touch of rain in the wind. He was a man of forty 
years, dressed in short breeches, long stockings with the 
accompaning shoebuckles, and carried a musket over his 
shoulder, which he termed " The Bloodsucker." Approach- 
ing a humble abode, whose friendly door stood open and 
from which the housewife looked forth, he addressed her 
as follows: 

" Madame, I'm a soldier, a shoemaker, and a traveler, 
seeking a place of shelter until I can make arrangements 
to locate in this section of God's country. I've been to 
the inn, but, fags and catnip! their rooms are taken for 
the night, and the landlord said he couldn't lodge another 
person nohow. Can you lodge me till morning? " 

" Yes," was the smiling reply ; " I think we can make 
room for you, tliough my husband, Mr. Hovey, is not at 
home just at present. He is at the Academy, where Jus- 
tice Kent, Esq., is holding court. But you look tired, 
come in and wait. He will be here soon." 

^' Thank ye, ma'am, I am that tired that if I was carried 
to the highest court of Juncture I couldn't make a move 
to resist." 

He was ushered into the kitchen, whose floor of rough 
boards was cleanly swept and the huge stone fireplace 



ANNALS OF OXFORD loi 

was apparently ready for the preparation of the evening 
meal. On the mantle over the fireplace stood a candle- 
stick, a sausage stuffer, a spice mill, and a candle mold. 
By the side of the fireplace hung a smoke-blackened al- 
manac, and by the hearth stood the high-backed settle, 
a sheltered seat for the long winter evenings. Within a 
short time Gen. Hovey appeared and soon the two were 
busily engaged in conversation. In answer to a question 
in regard to himself, Josiah replied: 

" I am from Lyme, Conn., where I was born in 1758. 
When the alarm that preceded the battle of Bunker Hill 
spread through the country, I took my musket, which I 
call * The Bloodsucker,' and started for the scene of con- 
flict, where we were busier than seven bumblebees in a 
punkin blow. Since then my musket goes where I go. 
She's a quick-witted jade, but she's trusty and true." 

" What is your business here? " asked Gen. Hovey. 

" I am a shoemaker, and want to locate in this new 
country, and was told you were a land agent. I made in- 
quiries at the inn for lodgings, but could not get in. ^ Bab- 
bit ye, an' be darn'd,' says I, and moved along." 

^' No, they have now more than they can accommodate," 
replied Gen. Hovey. " Hon. James Kent, Esq., one of 
the Justices of the Supreme Court of judicature of the 
State, held Circuit Court here to-day, the first in the his- 
tory of our youthful county." 

" Oh, by the lurry and living jingo ! had I known that 
court was in session I might have come earlier, as I would 
liked to have heard the proceedings," said Josiah, as he 
took a pipe and tobacco from his pocket. 

" They were not interesting, as there was no business 
to transact at this sitting. It was a mere matter of form, 
you know. But Justice Kent is a keen man, and I pre- 
dict that he Avill at least be Chancellor some day." 



I02 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

" Oh, well, then I haven't lost a nation sight of jigger- 
marees, if there was no business before the court." 

" No," replied the General, " but as to your business 
here. You are a shoemaker, you say, and we need a man 
here of that trade as much as any other. The community 
is growing, and you'll get a good living." 

" Fags and catnip ! I'm not only a shoemaker, but a 
patriot also, as * The Bloodsucker,' my trusty musket 
which has never missed fire, can testify. I come to this 
country to earn a living for myself, wife, and little one, 
and I'll be soused in a butter tub if I don't do it. I also 
came for game, and they who know me best say I'm a 
good marksman. Uts, bobs, and butakins, but that won't 
do for me to say." 

" And you are a patriot? " 

" Yes. I saw a wonderation sight of fighting, but more 
about that some other time. Last fall my health was so 
poor that I thought I'd have to lie down in the graveyard 
and draw the green coverlet over my poor old body for 
the long sleep. I couldn't set in meeting, or scarcely lie 
in bed. A doctor told me I was afflicted with a complaint 
of the lungs, and that I had better move on west when 
summer came, or my flesh would waste and I would grow 
weaker and bowed down. ^ All right,' says I, ' I insign 
to see what your advice is good for if it costs me my fire- 
ball colt I '"^ 

^^ You appear quite rugged now." 

" Yes, I have been on the way several weeks and got 
rid of a flamation wheezing and difficulty in breathing. 
Ods, bodkins, but I like this new country, and will locate 
here, or a few miles out. 'Drather be out of the hamlet, 
where I feel all over goose pimples, and where I'll have a 
better chance at game that abounds in this section. When 
* The Bloodsucker ' gets a fair chance at any of it, it will 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 103 

find its gizzard ripp'd out as quick as a pig can crack a 
walnut.'' 

" Well, we can locate you any where you choose. Let 
me see, what did I understand your name is " 

" Josiah Hackett, Si for short. A soldier, a shoemaker, 
and now a traveler. I love my country, and rabbit ye, 
the day of its birth, the glorious Fourth, whose anniversary 
was but last week, is the day of days for me. It is my 
Bolemn wish, and may the great and living Father grant 
it, that the hour that ends my life may come upon the 
Fourth of July." 

" That is an odd wish. But you are yet in the prime of 
life and undoubtedly have many years yet before you." 

" That is very true, but I shall always have that desire, 
for to me it is a sacred day." 

It was now the supi)er hour, and Mrs. Hovey called them 
in from the rear of the dwelling where they had been 
sitting. On the following morning arrangements were 
made by which Josiah located near the " Desserts," in the 
«outh part of the town, and it was he that gave the 
name to that section. 



On July 4th, 1845, forty-seven years later, Luman Fish 
entered C. F. T. Locke's store and said: 

" Well, Locke, ' Uncle Si's ' got his wish at last." 

" Do you mean old Si Hackett? " inquired Mr. Locke, 
as he proceeded to tie up a pound of tea he had been 
weighing. 

" Yes ; you know he has always wished to die on the 
Fourth of July, and to-day the end came. We'll never see 
^ Uncle Si,' with * The Bloodsucker ' over his shoulder, 
again." 

" Well, well," said Mr. Locke, as he stepped in front of 



104 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 



the counter. We'll miss him and his musket. He was 
always firing a salute on Independence day." 

'' Yes," was the reply, " and a better marksman I never 
saw. He came here when the town Avas new and when 
there was plenty of game. He used to say his musket was 
a quick-witted jade, but trusty and true." 

" That's so," replied Locke. He was a great hunter, and 
they say he fought bravely in the Kevolution." 

" Yes, and he was that patriotic that to this day he 
could hardly bare to talk to an Englishman. And an- 
other thing, we'll miss his singing ^ Yankee Doodle ' on 
all occasions." 

" Well, if St. Peter hears him singing as he approaches, 
he'll be so astonished that Si will dodge in the gates of 
heaven without the countersign." 




e^j 










OLD WOOD CUT— Showing Academy, Ladies' and Gentlemen's Board- 
Halls. > The present school building occupies the site of the old academy, 
which was taken down and re-erected in the Lackawanna railroad yard 
for a store house; the ladies hall (formerly the fourth academy building 
standing next to the Baptist parsonage) was again removed to Greene-st., 
and is now a residence. The gentlemen's hall (now Morton flats) alone oc- 
cupies the site of what once was the scene of a flourishing boarding school. 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 105 



That best portion of a good man's life, 
His little, nameless, unremembered acts 
Of kindness and of love. 

— Wordsworth. 



William Gile. 



Deacon William Gile, who kept a clothing store on the 
east side of the river, owned and occupied the house op- 
posite the Congregational church, so long occupied in 
later years by Cyrus M. Brown, the hatter. Mr. Gile was 
attentive to his business, never leaving it for any purpose 
outside of it, except for such things as he thought the 
welfare of the Presbyterian church demanded. Of his 
earnings he was a liberal giver, both to the church of his 
choice and to such benevolent and charitable purposes 
as he thought deserving. For several years it was his 
practice to set apart the net proceeds of one day's sales 
in each week for better purposes, and the larger the 
amount of the sales the better he was pleased. About 
the year 1829 the Presbytery, to which the church in 
Oxford belonged, sent him as a delegate to the general 
synod which met in Philadelphia. For several years he 
was superintendent of the Sunday school, taught a Bible 
class, and was the leader in all church work. 

Mr. Gile was not a politician, as the term is generally 
applied, but always voted for those he thought the best 
men, regardless of party; a strictly temperance man, and 
bitterly opposed to slavery. On the disruption of the old 
colonization society and the organization of the abolition- 



io6 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

ist party he became one of the first abolitionists in Ox- 
ford, and from that time on always voted that ticket when 
there was one in the field. 

Deacon Gile was born in Providence, R. I., and moved 
to Oxford about the year 1808. A few years later he 
married Ann, daughter of Capt. Abram Stephens, at that 
time owner of the property in Preston, known far and 
near as the " Green IMeadow farm." Mr. Gile resided in 
this village until the year 1818, when he disposed of his 
property and with his family emigrated to Ohio, moving 
in a w^agon to Olean Point on the Allegheny river. Here 
he built a flat bottomed boat, or ark, and floated down 
the stream to Gallipolis, Ohio, remaining there seven 
years. Epidemics and fevers were so common in that 
country that the entire family were sick all of one season, 
and, becoming discouraged, he determined to leave. In 
the meantime the title to his property in Oxford had 
reverted to him, and he wdth his family returned, moved 
into the old home on Fort Hill, remaining until about 
1839, when he again sold out and went to Steuben county. 
From there he moved to Wisconsin, where his wife died. 
He then resided with his children, spending a portion of 
his time with Joshua in Iowa, Gordon in Wisconsin, and 
Caroline, his youngest daughter, in Hannibal, Mo., where 
he died of cholera in 1876. He died as he had lived, a 
firm believer in the principles and faith of the Presby- 
terian church, in mind and body as vigorous as at the 
age of 40 ; and respected by all who knew him. His chil- 
dren, beside those already mentioned, were Margaret, wife 
of Charles N. Shumway, who died October 20, 1846, aged 
31; John, Ruloff, and William S., who in 1888 was Com- 
missioner of Fisheries for Kansas, with residence at 
Venango. 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 107 



O youngsters! the elderly man has his enviable memor- 
ies, and not the least of them is the memory of a long 
journey in mid-spring or autumn on the outside of a stage 
coach. — George Eliot. 

Early Traveling and Mail Routes, 



Traveling by land was for a few years limited and haz- 
ardous, so that travel by boat w^as the more popular, 
although canoes were perilous. Transportation was al- 
most wholly done by water, and in the winter merchandise 
was drawn on rude sledges. As horses multiplied women 
rode with as much ease as men. Young girls rode on 
side saddles, while older women rode behind men on pil- 
lions, padded cushions which had a sort of platform 
stirrup. 

The first roads were called " trodden paths," narrow 
worn lines, scarce two feet wide, trodden over pine needles 
and fallen leaves among the tree trunks by the feet of the 
red men as they walked stealthily in Indian file through 
the great forest. Later these paths were deepened and 
worn bare by the coarse and heavy footwear of the pio- 
neers, others w^ere formed by the slow tread of domestic 
cattle as they wound around the hillside to pasture or 
drinking place. Then a scarcely broader bridle-path for 
horses, with blazed trees as guide posts, widened slowly 
to traveled roads and uneven cartways. 

Gen. Benjamin Hovey entered into an agreement with 
the agents of the State in 1789 to open a road from the 
Unadilla river, to Cayuga lake, near Ithaca. It is known 
as the old State road and is the same which is now 
traveled from the Unadilla River to this village, and 



io8 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

thence west to McDonough, Cincinnatus, and Ithaca, 
with very little alteration in the course. The materials 
for carrying on the surveys of the Gore of the " Twenty 
Towns " and for cutting the State road were brought up 
the Susquehanna and Chenango Kivers in canoes from 
Athens, Penn., a distance of about eighty miles, against a 
rapid current nearly the whole distance. 

Francis Balcom, while living in Unadilla, became ac- 
quainted with Gen. Hovey, and through him, took in 
hand the work of cutting the timber, bridging streams, 
grading and otherwise constructing the road from Rock- 
dale on the Unadilla river to Oxford on the Chenango 
river. Those who assisted him were his brother Samuel, 
Andrew Sprowl, Thomas and James McCalpin, all skilled 
woodmen. They selected a spot on the east hill to erect 
a cabin, wherein they might find shelter. One day was 
devoted to cutting and hauling logs, which, when ready 
fitted, were drawn to the spot by binding chains around 
their waists. Before night-fall the cabin was ready for 
occupancy, and Joab Enos took charge of it and boarded 
the road-makers. In 1804 Francis and Samuel Balcom 
took a contract to build a bridge across the Susquehanna 
river at Wattles ferry and one at the Catskill turnpike. 

The corduroy road was the first improvement made to 
render public highways passable by vehicles. Miry ground 
and cliuck holes were filled up with sapplings and logs, 
and whole roads were made of transverse logs touching 
one another, cut in lengths about twelve feet long. 

The two-wheeled cart, clumsily built and wasteful of 
power, was next used by our forefathers for transporta- 
tion purposes, though the transfer of merchandise still 
was chiefly in the winter by ^' sledding.'' In those days 
the winters were severe with deep snow. The pioneer at 
that season of the year had little else to do, and the rough 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 109 

and clumsy-built roads were made smooth by the passage 
of the sleds. 

After a few years regular freight wagons or sleighs, 
besides the mail coach, were run and a vast amount of 
travel and traffic passed over the old State road, or Cats- 
kill turnpike in the days before canals and railroads. For 
many years distances were reckoned from tavern to tav- 
ern, and stone mile posts were met with at every mile 
of the road. 

All the products of the farm, butter, grain, lumber, 
wool, etc., had to be drawn over this road to reach a 
market, and returning teams brought the merchants their 
merchandise. As even little towns furnished freight, the 
aggregate was large, and, as they neared the Catskills, the 
number of teams on the highway seemed enormous. 
Droves of hundreds of heads of cattle and sheep were of 
daily occurrence; stages, with two and three extras; 
teams, heavily loaded, passed both w^ays ; taverns as often 
as every two miles the whole length of the road, and all 
crowded nearly every night. Private carriages without 
number, loaded with people and their baggage, all helped 
to swell the vast calvalcade that daily passed over this 
popular turnpike. 

The haulers of freight w^ere sturdy and healthy men, of 
regular habits, though not always strictly temperate. 
Their life was much too vigorous for them to be drunkards. 

During the winter sleighs and pungs took the place 
of wagons. They were heavily loaded with frozen hogs, 
poultry and venison; firkins of butter, bags of beans, 
peas, sheep-pelts, deerhides, skins of mink and fox, oc- 
casionally a bear skin; nuts that had been gathered by 
the children, yarn that the housewife had spun, and stock- 
ings and mittens that the white-haired mother had knitted ; 
homespun cloths and linen. Besides this were hay and 



no ANNALS OF OXFORD 

oats for the horses, and food to last the teamster until 
the end of the trip, which consisted of doughnuts and 
cheese, cold roast pork, sausage, and " rye and injun " 
Meals at the taverns cost but little, a " cold bite " could 
be had for a shilling, and a warm meal two shillings, but 
the teamsters often preferred to take their own food with 
them, which they ate at the taverns, and, if they washed 
their own dishes, the landlord got six cents for furnish- 
ing hot tea, and was expected to throw in a glass of 
whiskey when the bill was settled. It was immaterial to 
tavern keepers whether or not they served meals. More 
profit was made on the liquors sold and sleeping accommo- 
dation given, though the latter was crude enough. Great 
fires were built in barroom and parlor, the teamsters 
spreading blankets and robes upon the floor, rolled up in 
them and slept with feet toward the fire, thus forming 
a half-circle. Ten cents was paid for the privilege of 
thus lodging, but the sale of rum and cider made a fat 
wallet for the tavern keeper. 

In winter the teamsters were attired in heavy homespun 
clothing, calfskin boots with trousers tucked inside, and 
fur-lined overshoes over the boots. Over all these were 
bright red knit leggings, which came up nearly to their 
thighs. They wore a fur or buffalo skin coat, a red com- 
forter and fur cap with ear protectors. Many also had red 
silk sashes around their bodies, tied on the left side with a 
double bow with tassels. Their hands were encased in 
double-pegged mittens, leather or fur gloves. The costume 
made the men picturesque figures at the taverns. 

The first mail route through Oxford was from Coopers- 
town to Binghamton, then called Chenango Point, and 
was without doubt established soon after the settlement 
of Oxford was begun. The little community at first was 



ANNALS OF OXFORD in 

supplied with a semi-monthly mail, then a weekly mail 
was carried over this route on horseback as late as 1819, 
when a stage line was formed from Utica to Binghamton 
by Joseph Willoughby of Oxford, who commenced a 
'* stage wagon with two horses," making weekly trips, 
which were soon changed to semi-weekly. In 1821 George 
Munsell of Binghamton purchased Mr. Willoughby'a 
route, running semi-weekly and himself driving. In 1825 
he put on a post coach and four horses and continued one 
of the principal proprietors of the Utica line for many 
years. 

In 1822 a stage route and mail line was formed from 
Catskill to Ithaca, which soon became a very general thor- 
oughfare of travel. The stage left Catskill every Sunday 
morning and arrived in Oxford on the following Tuesday 
morning. Leaving Oxford on Wednesday afternoon it 
arrived in Catskill on Friday afternoon. In later years 
the route was improved and the stage left Catskill for 
Ithaca every morning on arrival of boats from New York, 
via Delhi, Unadilla, Oxford, etc., the route being 165 
miles long. Leaving Ithaca every morning at 3 o'clock, 
the stage arrived in Catskill the second day. Thirty 
pounds of baggage was allowed and 140 pounds was equal 
to a passenger. The fare was four cents per mile. 

Burr Bradley, who drove the stage on the Catskill line 
in 1822, was a striking character and an important indi- 
vidual; popular with travelers and acquainted with 
everyone who resided on his lengthy route. He was a 
good natured fellow and his arrival in town was hailed 
with joy by all the juveniles, which he announced by fre- 
quent blasts upon a long tin horn, that echoed through 
the valley from the head of Albany Street. This was 
also a signal for the loungers to bestir themselves and 



112 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

gather on the tavern porch as the stage drew up with 
vehement " Whoas ! '^ He was never without a story, 
which he would tell in such a humorous way that many 
considered it a treat to ride with him, and he was a 
general favorite of the boys and girls, with whom he 
cracked his jokes. His team was covered with ivory rings, 
and he was alw^ays talking to it w^hen not conversing 
with the passengers. He never was without a runaway, 
kicker, and biter in his team; sat up straight, kept his 
reins taut and whip erect in his left hand. He talked to 
his horses as he would to a person. " Git up. Bill, have 
to touch ye up if ye git shirky.'^ " If you don't do better, 
Tom, I'll swap ye off fur one of Ben Butler's old sheep, 
and git the best of the bargain then." He carried from 
town to town, and from house to house, general news, 
sometimes gossip, and often word in regard to the health 
of friends. His progress along the highway was eagerly 
watched by the farmer in the field, who paused in his 
work until the stage was lost to sight; while at every 
house faces at the small windows greeted him and his 
passengers. He would stop his team at a lonely spot, 
where a little home was located, perhaps miles from 
town, and to the pale and anxious woman who came to 
the door joy and thankfulness would radiate her features 
at his message : " Sam's fever has left him, and he's hun- 
grier than a b'ar. The doctor says he's comin' out all 
right." And, with a " God bless you. Burr, for the good 
news," he would drive on. At another place he would 
leave the message : " Mary and the baby will be up next 
trip. Wants ye to tell all the folks so she wont miss 
seeing any of 'em." Burr had a kindly disposition and 
was a good friend to everyone but himself, which eventu- 
ally led to his death by a fall from his stage, resulting in 
a broken neck. He was sincerely mourned by old and 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 113 

young, and his many acts of kindness were remembered 
for years. 

About 1822 Ethan Clarke came to Oxford and pur- 
chased the Stage House, now the Hotchkiss House, and 
later became connected with the stage line that stopped 
at his house. 

In 1823 mail coaches and stages ran twice a week from 
Oxford to Albany, Utica, Catskill, and to Newburgh by way 
of Binghamton 

In 1825 Jacob P. Hill carried on horseback the first mail 
from Oxford to McDonough. 

In 1829 the Oxford and Cooperstown line left Oxford 
daily, Saturday excepted, at 4 a. m., and arrived at Coop- 
erstown in the evening. This route was a part of the 
Ithaca and Albany line of post coaches, which made the 
trip in three days. The line was intersected at Oxford 
by the Binghamton, Catskill and Utica line. All baggage 
was carried at the risk of the owner. A writer in the 
Chenango Republican, published in Oxford under date 
of January 20, 1830, said : " It is not generally known 
in this section of the county which is the shortest and 
most convenient route to New York. One who is inti- 
mately acquainted, recommends leaving this village either 
on Tuesday, Thursday, or Saturday morning — will pass 
through Chenango Point, and reach Montrose the evening 
of each day, passing through Milford and Morristown, in 
New Jersey, and reach New York the third day from 
leaving Oxford." 

In 1836 stages ran from Utica to Oxford and Bing- 
hamton every day except Sunday; leaving Utica at 5 
A. M., they reached Oxford the first day, thence to Bing- 
hamton next day at noon. 

In 1847 A. H. Watkins, then a resident of Oxford, es- 
tablished a coach communication betwelen Oxford and 



114 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

Nonvich. The coach left Oxford daily at 8 a. m. and 
2 p. M., and on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 7 
p. M. Returning, it left Norwich at 10 A. M., and 5 P. u. 
every day, and on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at S 
A. M. also. The fare was twenty-five cents one way, or 
thirty-eight cents round trip. 

In May, 1847, the fare was reduced on the Bingham- 
ton, Utica and Albany route, and a four-horse post coach 
left Binghamton at 7 a. m., arriving at Utica at 12 p. M. 
the next day. Returning, it left Utica at 3 p. m., reaching: 
Binghamton the next day at 11 A. M. An accommodation 
left Oxford every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 
5 A. M., reaching Utica at 5 p. m. 

The old four-horse post coach, or Concord coach, was 
a clumsy vehicle, hung on thoroughbraces, which lurched 
over the rough road like a ship in a seaway. They con- 
tained three seats with leather cushions. Behind the mid- 
dle seat was a broad leather strap to support the backs 
of passengers. Two seats on the outside would accom- 
modate four persons besides the driver. In winter the 
coacli was placed on runners. Curtains were closely but- 
toned at the sides and big buffalo robes and a liberal 
supply of straw contributed a slight degree of comfort. 
When the coach stopped at a tavern the passengers would 
alight to warm themselves, hanging their shawls and 
broad-flapped coats on a wooden peg and draw up before 
the log fire, the men in the barroom were surrounded by 
a group of townsmen eager for the latest news, and from 
the ladies in the public sitting-room the landlady often 
got much information from the fashionable world. 

In January, 1848, Mr. Watkins fitted up a stage on 
runners and appropriately named it the '' Snow Bird.^^ 
It was placed on the " accommodation line ^' between 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 115 

Oxford and Norwich. A stove was securely fastened 
inside, which insured a comfortable ride. 

Accidents were of occasional occurrence, of which we 
will mention one. On October 10, 1834, as the stage 
was near Unadilla on its way to Oxford, the horses be- 
came frightened at the bloody cloths about a butcher's 
wagon, ran away, and threw themselves with the coach, 
which was well filled with passengers, down a steep bank. 
The coach was crushed to pieces and two residents of Ox- 
ford were among the injured : the Kev. Mr. Bush receiv- 
ing a fracture of the collar bone, and Cyrus A. Bacon 
severe bruises about the head. One horse was instantly 
killed. 

In 1848 A. H. Watkins & Co.'s Catskill route to New 
York was popular on account of the day arrangement. 
Covered carriages were run to Gilbertsville, and four- 
horse coaches from there to Catskill. The line left Oxford 
at 7 A. M. on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, remained 
over night at Stamford, making a passage to New York 
in two days with no traveling at night. Returning the 
stage left Catskill daily for the Chenango Valley; on 
Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday for Oxford, and on the 
alternate days for Greene and Ithaca. 

Four-horse coaches in January, 1849, left Oxford daily, 
Sunday excepted, on arrival of accommodation line from 
Utica, and arrived in Deposit in time for the Erie train 
to New York. The fare was |5.15. The Monday morning 
stage left Oxford at midnight and run in time for trains 
to New York the same day. 

In April, 1851, a stage commenced running tri-weekly 
between Oxford and Cooperstown, leaving the former place 
at 6 A. M. and arriving at the latter at 5 P. M., and return- 
ing on alternate days at the same hour. 

In August, 1851, G. M. Bartle and I. Slater started a 



ii6 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

daily stage from Oxford to Deposit, leaving Oxford at 
6 :30 A. M., passing through Coventryville, South Bain- 
bridge, Vallonia Springs, Sanford Centre, and arrived 
at Deposit at 1 p. M., in time for the Express east. Re- 
turning it left Deposit at 7 A. M., after arrival of morning 
train from New York, reaching Oxford at 3 P. M. 

In July, 1858, arrangements were made with the Syra- 
cuse and Binghamton and the Erie railroads, whereby 
passengers were receipted directly through to New York 
at the rate of |6.00. The stage left Oxford at 6 :15 A. M., 
making connections at Chenango Forks and giving pas- 
sengers two hours in Binghamton, landing them in New 
York City the same evening. 

In May, 1861, two lines of stages passed daily through 
Oxford and the fare was reduced to $5.85 to New York. 

In June, 1866, Peter Packard started a stage line from 
Oxford to Unadilla to connect with the i^lbany and Sus- 
quehanna, now the Delaware and Hudson railroad. 
Leaving Oxford at 8 A. m., passengers reached Albany 
in time for evening boats on the Hudson river to New 
York. Later the stage line was changed to Sidney, and 
then to Bainbridge, as the railroad was extended to those 
places. 

The year 1870 saw the last of the four-horse mail coach 
in the Chenango Valley, as the New York, Ontario and 
Western railway ran its first passenger and mail train 
into this town on the 21st day of February of that year, 
and the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western railroad 
was opened on the 19th of December of the same year. 



ONE of the pastimes in early days was that of gather- 
ing at the river during Spring freshets and watch 
the lumber rafts float down stream to tidewater. 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 117 



As Tammie gloured, amazed and curious, 
The mirth and fun grew fast and furious.— Burns, 



River Bridge Bee. 



The first bridge across the majestic Chenango at Ox- 
ford was built by Theodore Burr, an architect and famous 
bridge builder, from Egremont, Mass., in the year 1800. 
The second bridge was constructed under the direction of 
Jonathan Baldwin in 1823-4. At the commencement of 
this work it was necessary to procure the assistance of 
numbers of men and teams from the neighboring towns 
in drawing stone for the abutments and piers. This plan 
of united effort for a single object was to be termed a Bee. 
It was a new kind of one, though not the first. 

In order to intensify the pro bono publico spirit w^hich 
would prompt a general acceptance of the invitation to 
men with teams, on the laborious occasion, the committee 
resolved to celebrate the day, and at the same time pro- 
vide substantial beef rations, by roasting an immense ox 
on a frame or spit, after the manner of a grand barbecue. 

On September 7, 1822, a meeting of the inhabitants of 
the village and town was held at Clark's Hotel, where 
the subject of a new bridge w^as discussed. In January, 
1823, the following call was issued : 

NOTICE 

The undersigned Commissioners of OXFORD BRIDGE, request the 
inhabitants of Oxford, Smithville & Preston, to assist in drawing 
STONE from Mr. Abel Smith's to said bridge in this village, on Sat- 



ii8 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

urday next. As the people of the above towns are interested in re- 
pairing said bridge, it is expected a punctual attendance will be given. 

S. Balcom, ^ 
J. Stratton, > Corn's. 
S. Parker, ) 
Oxford, Jan. 28. 

In February, 1823, another meeting was held and the 
following handbill was issued: 

OXFORD 

BRIDGE BEE. 

[Cut of Ox as Roasting.} 

At a meeting of the inhabitants of Oxford, at Clark's 
Hotel, on the 19th of February, 1823, to take into con- 
sideration the Bridge about to be constructed over the 
Chenango, 

HEZEKIAH MORSE, Chairman. 

C. A. Thorp, Secretary. 

Resolved, That the inhabitants of Oxford, and the adjacent towns, 
be invited to attend in person, and with teams, on Friday the 28th 
February inst for the drawing of Stone necessary to the New Bridge. 

Resolved, That Ransom Rathbone. Ira Willcox, Abijah Lobdell, 
Henry Mygatt, Epaphras Miller, and Erastus Perkins, be a committee 
in behalf of the village, to co-operate with the Commissioners in carry- 
ing the above project into effect. 

Resolved, That Ethan Clark, George A. Cary, Uri Tracy, Jun., 
David St. John, Marcus Sherwood, Charles A. Hunt, Luther Newcomb. 
Ira M'Niel, Austin Rouse, Ebenezer Sherwood, Thomas Newkirk, Ros- 
well M'Call, George Farnham, Oliver T. Bundy, .John W. Allen, Richard 
Van Wagenen, Frederick Stratton, Erastus Smith, George C. Billings. 
and Rufus Hopkins, be a committee of vigilance, whose duty it shall 
be to notify the people of the above meeting, and to give to the pro- 
ceedings of the day force and activity. 

Resolved, That Amos A. Franklin, Otis .7. Tracy, Samuel Cole, 
Solomon Dodge, Edward Loomis, Jeremiah Ten Brook, Asa Beverly, 
Shubal Coy, Samuel Lewis, Luther Osgood, Jesse Keech, Daniel Shum- 
way, Joseph Noyes, and Solomon Bundy, be appointed captains of 
the Bee, to direct the loading and unloading of teams, the whole to 
be under the superintendence of the commissioners. 

The importance to the people of Oxford, and the neighboring towns, 
of having a firm and substantial Bridge across the Chenango, it is 
hoped, will procure a general attendance. The stone are quarried and 
in piles, and the sleighing is excellent. Those who have teams are 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 119 

•olleited to come with thciii, and those who have no teams, are re- 
quested to attend to assist in the loadinjij and iinloadinfj?. 

Five Ilnndred Dollars were reiinired to he suhscrihed for the Rridj^e: 
more than that sum has been already subscribed. The object of this 
Bee is to increase the funds for building a permanent Bridge. The 
labour thus furnished by the liberality of individuals has no connection 
with the subscription. 

A FAT OX will be roasted on the VILLAGE GREEN near the Bridge, 
and at five o'clock, each man who has particii)ated in the labors of 
the day, will be at liberty to line his hrcad-baskct with as much roast 
beef and trinmiings, as he can conveniently cany. This repast, fur- 
nished through the patriotism of our citizens, will he offered to those 
•nly who assist in getting stone for the Bridge. Drones, poachei"s, and 
interlopers, whose only object is sport, will not be fed. To guard 
against imposition, tickets of admission to the supper table, will be 
distributed by the captains of the Bee. Capt. John Fisher, aided 
by several young men, will conduct the BAKBECUE. The best of hay 
will be provided for the horses. 

Gentlemen who reside in the adjacent villages, w^ill confer a favor 
by procuring and sending labourers and teams. All who afford us 
assistance in any shape, are cordially invited to cut in for a lunch of 
Ihe Ox. 

Samuel Balcom, J 

Simeon Parker, V Commissioners. 

John Stratton, ) 

Oxford, February 22, 1823. 

The great day finally dawned and with it came men 
and teams from far and near to assist, and those from 
opposite sides of the river vied with each other in getting* 
fii*st at the work. The day proved to be very stormy 
and intensely cold, but all worked diligently, and big 
bonfires were kindled to lessen the severity of the weather. 

The ox had been roasted entire on a spit passing through 
its body, which was suspended between two wheels, and 
made to revolve over the fire for two days and a night 
in cooking it. Tickets, marked with the word " Barbecue,'^ 
had been distributed among those who had assisted, who 
instantly thronged about the tables when roast ox was 
announced. Potatoes and bread in huge quantities were 
provided with the beef, and he was lucky who could fill 
both hands with the trio of edibles, as the foremost ones 
at the table were rudely pressed forward by hungry bat- 
talions in their rear. 



120 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

The air was full of chill, and many of the crowd were 
full of enthusiasm, as Ira Wilcox, the Fort Hill merchant, 
had been a very liberal provider of cider and whisky. 
After a terrible battle with the beef, in which scarcely 
a trace was left, their spirits rose to such a pitch that 
dishes and potatoes alike were sent sailing through the 
air. Amid frantic yells for more beef, when there was 
no beef, the jovial horde snatched the spit with the remains 
of the roast, composing the frame of the creature only, 
supported still by the two wheels, and gave an exhibition 
through the principal street on the west side of the vil- 
lage. They then rushed merrily singing across the bridge 
towards Fort Hill. It is impossible to impart the impres- 
sions which the sight, and especially the sounds of the 
procession, inspired in the minds of an unoffending pub- 
lic, except, that, in the case of the Fort Hill merchant, 
we are able to get a gleaning of his " impressions," as 
he afterwards sat on the occasion. Mr. Wilcox was stand- 
ing in his store door, when, as in a waking vision, he 
beheld the unusual spectacle bearing down upon him over 
the bridge. He stood, arrayed in all the stern dignity 
which he could wear so well, and withal, in a black suit 
of smoothest cloth. With glasses adjusted, and eyes riv- 
eted on the advancing apparition, he shouted : 

"Don't you come over here with that; we won't 
have it! " 

" Yes, we will, too ! " was the reply in a chorus of babel 
voices. 

Then, before the merchant prince could realize his posi- 
tion, he was seized and placed astride the moving carcass. 
The panorama passed on amid the cries of " Hail to the 
King ! " with its added accumulation of backbone, which 
Mr. ^^^ilcox was known to possess, through the street* 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 121 

of the east side of the river. Then the good natured 
merchant was unhorsed, with his broadcloth bearing the 
glistening marks of a tallow dip. Thus passed this me- 
orable day into history. 



THE MANNER in which the celebration of the suc- 
cessful laying of the first Atlantic cable was carried 
out, in the evening of August 6, 1858, was worthy of Ox- 
ford in her best days. Although but a short time could 
be given for preparation, residences and stores were bril- 
liantly illuminated, the old Academy boarding hall with 
its hundreds of candles in the windows made a sight that 
is remembered to this day. The Oxford Band from the bal- 
cony of the Lewis block discoursed excellent music, a six- 
pounder in front of the Stage House kept up a regular 
cannonading, and a balloon ascension closed the festivities. 
The balloon was, no doubt, the handiwork of *"Hank'' 
Knapp, who used to make huge paper balloons of many 
colors and send them uj) on all public occasions. The 
streets were thronged with people, all expressing joy at the 
wonderful feat in laying a telegraph wire under the Atlan- 
tic ocean and being able to send messages o'er the sea. 

* Henry S. Knapp was one of the twenty or thirty young men who learned 
telegraphy in Oxford and later filled responsible positions as managers and 
operators in the west. Mr. Knapp died several years ago. 



MANY STORIES are told of Joseph Walker, odd of 
speech and emphatic in expression. One will illus- 
trate : Mr. Walker was ill, his last sickness in fact, and 
his old friend and neighbor, Cyrus A. Bacon, dropped in 
to see him. "Good morning, Mr. Walker," he said, 
"how do you feel today?" "Poorly, poorly, how do you 
get along, Bacon !" "I don't feel very well myself, Mr. 
Walker," replied Mr. Bacon. The sick man rolled his 
eyes and murmured, "Ah, Bacon, they want us." 



122 ANNALS OF OXFORD 



And this our life, exempt from public haunt, 
Find tongues in trees, boolvS in the running brooks, 
Sermons in stones, and good in everything. 

— Shakespeabe. 



In Rafting Days. 



Ira B. McFarland, of whom mentiou is made elsewhere 
in the Annals, often related his experience in the vast 
pineries which, in the early history of the country, filled 
the valleys of the Chenango and the Susquehanna, and 
covered the intervening hills and broad tablelands. The 
forests, as they stood in their primitive glory, contained 
tall and straight trees, many of them gigantic in size, 
lifting their regal heads heavenward, and sweeping in 
one vast wilderness for miles upon every side, constituting 
a source of untold wealth. Some of the trees w^ould be 
four and five feet in diameter, and seventy feet to the 
first limbs. Many of the pines would make four thousand 
feet of lumber, and the manner in which they were pre- 
pared for transportation, in the form of lumber, to distant 
markets is interesting. 

A '^ gang " of men would enter the woods with axes and 
saws. The choppers going before would select their trees, 
passing by the ordinary and taking only the noblest speci- 
mens. The tree fairly down, it was examined, and it 
required but a trifling imperfection to condemn it, and 
then it was abandoned and left to decay. The first step 
in the process of cutting the felled tree into logs was to 
"butt" it, that is, from four to eight feet of the trunk 
next the stump would be sawed off and rejected. This 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 123 

was doue because this portion of tlie tree was generally 
"• shaky," or tilled with seams, wliich would render it of 
little value when converted into lumber. This condition 
of the lower portion of the trunks of pine and hemlock 
trees is probably caused by the swaying to and fro of the 
tree, year after year of its life, whenever the winds blow, 
which bends the solid wood just at this point, and neces- 
sarily strains the fibres and rends them apart by the 
powerful action and weight of the great body above. 

Sawmills were erected upon a creek or river bank, to 
which the logs would be drawn during the winter season, 
and there converted into lumber ready for rafting down 
the river when the spring freshets came. A raft would 
generally contain about forty thousand feet of lumber, 
making it in length not far from one hundred and forty 
feet, and in width from tw^elve to sixteen feet, with a solid 
depth of three feet. Sometimes a cabin would be made 
of a few of the boards and placed in the center of the 
raft, which afforded protection for the raftsmen against 
the cold driving rains and boisterous winds of the early 
spring season. A straw bunk and one or tw^o kettles were 
usually all the outfit the cabin contained. Coarse bread, 
pork and beans, and potatoes w ere the daily rations. To 
guide the raft, two oars w^ere provided, one at the forward 
end, the other at the rear end, and consisted of a large 
pole thirty or forty feet in length, resting by the center 
over a head block, with a wooden pin through it, which 
permitted it to turn in any direction. Upon the end in 
the w^ater w^as fastened a long, wide plank, that formed 
the rudder, which was easily operated by means of the 
long lever portion extending back of the head block. The 
oars, W'ith an occasional use of poles, would guide the 
raft most effectually, and a pilot and one hand was all 
that was needed to run down as far as Columbia, on the 



124 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

Susquehanna. Here over a stretch of forty miles, through 
swift rapids and among numerous rocks, the aid of five 
men were required to manage the raft. At Columbia 
another gang of men took the raft on down to the head 
of tide water on Chesapeake Bay. Here fifty or more 
rafts would be put together and run to Baltimore, where 
the lumber found a ready market. 



A MAP OF THE VILLAGE of Oxford, drawn in 1824 
by the late Henry R. Mygatt then a boy in his teens, 
is in possession of Charles W, Brown. The map shows 
only the now main streets as they then existed, with the 
buildings located thereon. A wooden river bridge, three 
times the length of the present iron structure, extend- 
ed nearly to what is now Canal street, there was no "Navy 
Island" (now the main business street) nor was the Che- 
nango canal built. LaFayette Park is on the map as 
Baldwin's square, and Washington Park as Academy 
square from the fact that the first academy was located 
there in 1794 ; Clinton street was Baltimore street, and 
State Cayuga street. Cork Island is shown above the 
bridge. The island was somewhere in the vicinity of the 
present Basket factory, but time and floods have changed 
the channels and its location is lost. 



ONE GENERAL TRAINING DAY Wayne Berry, a 
noted character, came to town on horseback and 
rode up in front of the Stage House when the grith broke 
and he fell off into the mud, still seated in the saddle. 
The crowd broke into a laugh, when Wayne, seated in 
the mud, exclaimed: "Gentleman, it's a d — d good 
horseman that sticks to his saddle." 




OXFORD ACADEMY AKD'UNION SCHOOL 




OXFORD MEMORIAL LIBRARY 



ANNALS OF OXFORD i2«> 



Our land is rough and poor; we grow but little produce, and 
so we build sehoolhouses and cburches and grow men — Websteb. 



Oxford Academy. 



Oxford Academy was planted in the wilderness three 
years after the town was founded. Its charter, under the 
legal title of " The Trustees of Oxford Academy/' bore 
date January 12, 1793, but was not granted until Janu- 
ary 27, 1794, and was one of the first four given in the 
State west of the Hudson. Among other matters it re- 
cited the following: 

Whereas the subscribers have severally contributed for the purpose 
of erecting in Academy in the town of Jericho in the county of Tioga, 
for the instruction of youth in the learned languages and other branches 
of useful knowledge; 

And, whereas, a lot of land has been purchased, and a building 
erected thereon, in the town aforesaid, out of the moneys contributed 
as aforesaid, for the use and profit of the said Academy. Now, there- 
fore, we do respectfully make application to the Regents of the said 
University, and request that the said Academy be incorporated, and 
be subject to the visitation of the said Regents ; and we do hereby 
nominate Benjamin Hovey, John Patterson, Uri Tracy, David Bates, 
Nathaniel Wattles, Witter Johnson, Charles Anderson, Jonathan Fitch, 
John McWhorter, Sleuman Wattles, Joab Enos, Benjamin Ray, Samuel 
Coe, Solomon Martin, Avery Powers, James Phelps, Gershom Hyde, 
and Peter Burgot. to be Trustees for the said Academy ; and we do 
hereby specify and declare, that the said Trustees shall be called and 
distinguished by the name of the Trustees of Oxford Academy in the 
county of Tioga. 

For one hundred years it lasted in its own independence, 
and then was merged into the free school system of the 
State, and is now designated Oxford Academy and Union 
School. The academy building, which was removed in 



126 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

1895 to give place to the present handsome and commo- 
dious edifice, was the fifth structure in succession since 
the charter was granted. 

The first building completed and occupied was erected 
in the autumn of 1792, and was the first framed building 
raised in town. It was used for a private and classical 
school for more than eighteen months, and was taught 
by Uri Tracy, a graduate of Yale, who also was the first 
principal of the Academy. 

The site of the first house was on the northwesterly side 
of Washington Park, near the residence of the late Dr. 
George Douglas. It soon proved too limited for the increas- 
ing needs of the schools, and in December, 1797, was sold 
with part of the site for eighty pounds. A part of the lot 
was released to Benj. Hovey in exchange for twenty rods of 
land in the southerly part of the common, near the present 
residence of Joseph E. Packard, and the second building 
was erected and completed on this site in the autumn of 
1799. 

This second Academy was destroyed by fire and never 
occupied, and a third building was erected upon the same 
site in the first year of the past century. This third struc- 
ture was removed from the lot on the common in 1806 
to the southerly side of Merchant's Row, at its intersection 
with Greene Street, opposite lands now a part of the 
estate of the late Ward YanDerLyn. Here it continued 
in use for the school until about the year 1832, when it 
was sold to the trustees of the Methodist Episcopal church 
who used it as a place of public worship until the erection 
of their present church on Fort Hill. 

At a meeting of trustees in October, 1794, it was 

Voted. That this Board consider themselves indebted to Uri Tracy 
in the sum of £'^0 for his services as principal during six months past 

Voted. That a petition be presented to the legislature requesting 
them to grant unto the Academy of Oxford the beaefit of the land in 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 127 

the county of Tiog:a set apart for the purpose of promoting literature. 

Voted. Tliat Mr. Solomon Martin be requested to procure a seal for 
this board, to be known as the seal of Oxford Academy ; and that 
the expense of procuring the same be paid by the Treasurer. 

Voted. That a committee of three be appointed for the purpose of 
procuring a teacher. 

Benjamin Ilovey, Uri Tracy and Solomon Martin were chosen ac- 
cordingly. 

Voted. That a member of this board attend the Regency of the 
University the ensuing winter relative to the future support of this 
encorporation, and that Benj. Ilovey be requested to attend for that 
purpose. 

Voted. That a committee of three be appointed for the purpose of 
keeping the academy in repair and to make some alteration in the 
water now brought to the house for the use of the school. 

Voted. That the proprietors of the private librai*y have liberty 
to erect a book case or other necessary equipments for their accom- 
modation, free of expense, in this house. 

Voted. That if any scholar break glass, or injure this house, he, or 
his guardian shall repair the same at his own expense. 

Voted. That the secretary be directed to transmit a copy of thia 
and the former proceedings of this board to the Treasurer and Teacher 
of the school within fifteen days from date, and that he charge the 
expense thereof to this board. (Signed.) 

Benjamin Hovey, Uri Tracy, Solomon Wattles. John McWhorter, 
Witter Johnson, James Phelps, Joab Enos, David Bates, Benj. Ray, 
Avery Powers, Solomon Martin. 

It was in the third Academy, under David Prentice as 
principal, afterwards professor of the Greek and Latin 
in Geneva (now Hobart) College, that among other names 
the roll bears those of Horatio Seymour, sometime Gov- 
ernor of the State; John W. Allen, who in 1840 was 
Postmaster General under the first Harrison ; Ward Hunt, 
who afterwards sat upon the bench of the Supreme Court 
of the nation; Joseph G. Masten, Avho was a Judge of 
the Superior Court of Buffalo; Charlemagne Tower, 
whose name was familiar in the world of business and 
finance; Ferris Forman, who was afterwards graduated 
at West Point, and was in the war with Mexico, and 
reached honorable rank in the army ; Henry W. Rogers, 
a leading lawyer and popular citizen of Buffalo, and 
prominent in political life; and Henry R. Mygatt, who, 
during nearly forty years of able and honorable practice 



128 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

of the law in Oxford, was the liberal citizen, the steadfast 
patron and friend of the Academy, adding to her strength 
and usefulness by his willing service, wise counsel and 
constant benefactions. Of those who were with them at 
school, Hon. Frederick Juliand of Greene, Mrs. Elizabeth 
(Hopkins) Newkirk and Mr. Alanson Hull of this town, 
were the last survivors. Horatio Seymour as a schoolboy 
was known as '' Pompey " Seymour, a nickname he brought 
with him from the circumstance of his birth place being in 
Pompey, Onondaga County. He was tall of his age, figure 
in just proportion, brilliant black eyes, straight as an 
arrow, and graceful in every move. In athletic exercises 
he was ahead of his companions, and in his studies was 
always perfect. Every Wednesday afternoon was decla- 
mation, and he was the orator par excellence that others 
tried to imitate. His favorite piece was the speech of 
Eobert Emmet, in his own defense before the English 
court that condemned him. He had other declamations, 
but the students always were delighted when he spoke 
and acted this piece. 

The fourth school building, dedicated January 2, 1832, 
was erected on the easterly side of Fort Hill, opposite 
the Baptist church, and was far in advance of any be- 
fore in its architecture and fitness for school purposes. It 
was surmounted with a dome to which a new bell was 
added, which is still in use to summon students to duty. 
What a long array of students in succession have heeded 
it calling them to their tasks! How many have heard its 
glad welcome to entertainment and festival and anni- 
versary ! How sweetly, may be sadly, its sweet tones have 
vibrated in the young, brave hearts of some on battle 
fields, while they thought of the severed ties of dear kin- 
ship and tender association never perchance to be renewed 
on this side the veil ! 




ki'«^-y't >'l^ 



t( 







h **• fr |i***,^-r'^« V 







i\ 



I. . :■ 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 129 

In this building a separate apartment for girls was 
first instituted under a preceptress, the gentler sex having 
until then been wholly under the training of the principal 
and his male assistants. The school now entered upon a 
career of great prosperity and wider usefulness, under 
the mastership of Merritt G. ^IcKoon, and Miss Emily 
C. Benedict, the first female instructress ever employed 
for the school. The employment of a female teacher was 
a subject of grave consideration, for, at a meeting March 
12, 1830, it was resolved " That Messrs. VanDerLyn, 
Tracy, and Clapp be a committee to examine and report 
on the expediency of establishing a female branch to the 
Academy.'' As the committee were all lawyers, their re- 
port in favor of the employment seemed to put at rest 
as least every legal objection that could be urged against it. 

John Abbott succeeded Mr. McKoon, and in no equal 
term of life has its patronage been so wide spread as during 
their principalship, covering a period of over twenty years. 
It reached quite beyond mere local limits and gathered 
students not only from other and distant sections of this 
State, but from those adjoining east, west and south. The 
catalogue of 1840 had three hundred and ten names, and 
within fifteen years 3000 different students had been in 
attendance at the school. 

The fifth and last school building erected by the Trus- 
tees of Oxford Academy, stood upon the site of the present 
Union Free School. It was longer in service, and more 
students have gone out from it, than from any that pre- 
ceded it. Its dedication August 1 and 2, 1854, called 
together an assemblage of vast proportion, the second of 
which is in book form and familiar to many. Of the 
men who shared the labors and duties of that occasion, 
nearly all have gone beyond the great divide. Joseph G. 



130 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

Thorp, the last survivor of the trustees is at rest in the 
Kiverview Cemetery. Of those who took part in the liter- 
ary exercises, Miss Lucy A. Balcom and Rev. Daniel Wash- 
burn, each of whom contributed an ode, are with the 
great majority beyond. Of the local committee which 
had in hand the general care and direction of the cele- 
bration none are living. 

The writer, who was then in his fifth year, distinctly 
remembers but one event at the Jubilee. The assembly, 
seated on rough benches, filled the yard facing the build- 
ing, and the Oxford Band was present to assist in the 
musical part of the programme. We were too young to 
be left at home alone, nor could we be fostered upon the 
neighbors, for they, too, were at the Jubilee. So, hand in 
hand with our maternal parent, we joined the jubilant 
throng. All was well till half of the programme wa» 
finished, then came a selection from the Band. It was 
our first experience with a Band, and we rather liked it 
until the bass drummer loudly struck his instrument, then 
the serenity of the occasion was amusingly diverted by 
the sudden dive we made under the benches. Caraway 
sprigs and peppermint sticks could not dispell our fear» 
nor prevail upon us to come forth until the selection was 
finished. Then, with tearful eye, we were taken from 
the scene to the Times office, and left to be called for at 
the close of the afternoon exercises. 

The fourth Academy, which had stood on the east side 
of Fort Hill, was moved during the summer of 1854, and 
placed near the river and the new school building, and 
used as a boarding house for teachers and students. Here 
Merrit G. McKoon, first principal in the fourth building, 
died very suddenly November 28, 1854. After years of 
service elsewhere he had come back in the full vigor and 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 131 

ripe experience of manhood, with high, fond hope of the 
future, to take again the principalship of the school in 
the new Academy. His burial from the same building 
where he had with such zeal and devotion entered upon 
a new career of useful and honorable service, was well 
and fitly ordered by the trustees. At his death the roll 
contained the names of one hundred and ninety-nine stu- 
dents committed to his care. 

Of those who followed Mr. McKoon as principal, the 
longest term of service, extending beyond ten years, was 
that of David G. Barber, beloved by all of his students. 
It was during the early part of this period, that more 
than sixty, who had been or were then students of Oxford 
Academy, went forward to the defense of the Republic 
against armed rebellion. Some of these closed their school 
books and came not back again. Edward S. Bragg, a stu- 
dent of 1844, who was breveted a general for meritorious 
services and afterwards made minister for the United 
States to Mexico, was early in the list. A beautiful bronze 
tablet, figured in low relief of the schoolboy and the young 
soldier, attracts the eye as one enters the Academy hall, 
and bears the inscription: 

CENTENNIAL TABLET 

1794-1894 

Erected in Commemoration of the Patriotic Action of the Students 
of Oxford Academy who, in 1861-1865, voluntarily periled their lives 
in defense of the Union and the Flag. A tribute of Perpetual Remem- 
brance and undying honor by the Trustees, Teachers, Students and 
Friends of Oxford Academy in Centennial Celebration assembled, in 
June 28-29, 1894. 

The Centennial of Oxford Academy, June 28 and 29, 
1894, brought together men and women from far and near, 
erstwhile teachers and students, to hear kindly words of 
welcome, and speak, heart to heart, glad centennial greet- 



132 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

ings. It was an event that is faithfully recorded in a 
book compiled by the late Major O. H. Curtis, which will 
have added interest and value with the passing years. 

Following is the succession of principals: Uri Tracy, 
1793, '04; Elisha Mosley, 1795; John Kinney, 1807 ; Rev, 
Wm. Hyde, 1808; David Prentice,^ 1821; Wm. D. Beattie, 
1825; Rev. Edward Andrews, 1826; Wm. D. Beattie, 
1828; Merritt G. McKoon, 1832; John Abbott, 1843; 
Myron M. Goodenough, 1852; Chas. E. Vanderburgh, 
1852; Abel Wood, 1853, William Wight, 1854; Merritt 
G. McKoon, 1854, until his death; Frederick Humphrey, 
1854; J. C. VanBenschoten, 1856; H. Barnes, Jr., 1858; 
David G. Barber, 1859-70 ; Henry E. Storrs, 1870 ; Her- 
bert J. Cook, 1870 ; Rev. Charles Woodward, 1872 ; Charles 
W. Brown, 1872; Warren C. Hubbard, 1872-73; Rev. 
Frank B. Lewis, 1873; James A. Brown, 1879; Frank 
D. Budlong, 1883; Frederick L. Gamage, 1885; Herbert 
P. Gallinger, 1893; William C. Joslin, 1895; R. H. Coe, 
1896 ; Robert K. Toaz, 1899 ; E. M. Sanders, 1906. 

Oxford Academy, having rounded out its century 
of prosperity, gracefully retired as a private academy 
and became merged in the free school system under the 
name of Oxford Academy and Union School. The new 
building, of brick with Oxford blue stone trimmings, was 
erected at a cost of $20,000. The building was formally 
opened September 7, 1897, with appropriate ceremonies. 
Addresses were made by Hon. Charles W. Brown, princi- 
pal, Reginald H. Coe, and Hon. Charles R. Skinner, Su- 
perintendent of Public Instruction of the State. 

David Prentice, LL. D., though far advanced in years, was in 1855 
teaching in Geneva, N. Y. On Christmas day of that year he received 
the gift of $5rX) from five of his former Oxford pupils. The donors 
were ex-Governor Seymour and Judge Hunt of Utica ; Judge Martin 
and Henry W\ Rogers, Esq., of Buffalo, and Henry R. Mygatt of Oxford. 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 133 

In this grand wheel, the world, we're spokes made all. — Brome . 

Hull Family. 



The first record of the Hull family is of Benjarain Hull 
and his wife Amy of Connecticut. He was impressed in 
the British army during the Revolutionary war, and never 
heard from His wife died at the age of one hundred 
years, five months and twenty-five days. 

Their son, John Hull, married Martha Pardee. Their 
children were : Eli, Eliasaph, Elijah, John, Ebenezer and 
Rosa. 

John Hull, son of John and Martha (Pardee) Hull, was 
born April 21, 1771; died September 4, 1864, in Oxford; 
married July 2, 1797, Hannah Wood, born May 14, 1778 ; 
died January 16, 1845, in Oxford. In 1798, when he was 
27 years old, Mr. Hull, accompanied by his wife, left North 
Haven, Ct., and settled upon the land now known as the 
William Hogan farm, about two miles south of Oxford 
village. He found a wilderness never before inhabited, 
and lived to see the opening and settling of all the vast 
territory of Central New York, for over sixty-years of a 
busy life was before him when he came to his new home. 
He lived to see cultivated farms, thriving villages and 
teeming cities take the place of the unbroken wilderness 
he first knew : Children : Sally, born July 10, 1798 ; died 
in Pitcher, N. Y. ; married Levi Post; Eli, born Novem- 
ber 21, 1799; died in Clinton, N. Y. ; Riley, born Aug- 



134 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

ust 11, 1801; died in Chautauqua, N. Y. ; Samuel, born 
April 12, 1803; died in Stockbridge, N. Y. ; Clark, born 
Decembers, 1804; died in Owego, N. Y. ; Zerah, born 
January 8, 1807; died October 30, 1841, in Ann Arbor, 
Mich. ; twice married. Children by first wife: Sabra C, 
born September 9, 1831, in Otselic; married October 1847, 
Dr. Tracy S. Cone; died February 3, 1902, in South Ox- 
ford; Sarah C, married Greene of Grand Rapids, 

Mich. Child by second wife : Zerah. Harry, born July 
6, 1809 ; died January 30, 1902, in Af ton ; married (1) 
Amelia Pendleton ; died March 18, 1864, in Oxford ; married 
(2) Abbie Cook. Children by first wife : Harriet, married 
(1) Peter G. Brink; married (2) P. E. Golden of Varna, 
Thompkins county, N. Y. ; Henry P., married (1) Mary 
C. Roush; married (2) Dora M. Leslie; resides at Ken- 
drick, Idaho; Sarah J., died April 18, 1874, aged 25, at 
Knob Noster, Mo. ; unmarried. Harriet, twin to Harry ; 
married Adams of Owego, N. Y. ; John, born Sep- 
tember 20, 1811 ; lived and died in Guilford, N. Y. ; mar- 
ried Eliza Bolles. Children: William H. H., residence in 
New York city ; John died in Norwich, N. Y. ; Mary, mar- 
ried Eugene Bunnell of New York city. Eliasaph, born 
July 21, 1813; died August 14, 1872, in Oxford; married 
June 25, 1848, Ellen Goodrich of Avon, Conn., died De- 
cember 11, 1906, at Germantown, Pa. Child: Ella M., 
married Nathan A. Bundy, resides in Philadelphia. 

Ebenezer Hull, son of John and Martha (Pardee) Hull 
and his wife Bedee Jacobs, were married January 2, 1803, 
at North Haven, Conn. They came to Oxford in 1804 and 
settled on the East Hill on the farm now occupied and 
owned by their son, James H. Hull. Coming to this town 
at an early day they were among the pioneers of Chenango 
county. On July 24, 1849, Mr. Hull, while engaged in 
the field accidentally fell from a load of hay, receiving in- 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 135 

Juries from which he died almost instantly. His age was 
73. For thirty-five years he was a communicant of St. 
Paul's church. Mrs. Hull died February 24, 1844, aged 
64. Children: Levi, 1st, born April 23, 1804, in Con- 
necticut ; died in infancy ; Alanson, born May 21, 1806, in 
Oxford; died February 3, 1905, in Oxford; married (1) 
May 26, 1828, Wealthy Warner of Jackson, Washington 
county, N.Y., who died December 28, 1863; married (2) 
September 15, 1868, Betsey (Hale) Tully of Norwich, who 
died March ], 1875. Alanson Hull was Justice of the 
Peace for several years, and lived seventy-five years upon 
the farm he purchased in 1830. He was at one time post- 
master, with the ofiice at his home, which was called Ox- 
fordville. At his death he was the oldest communicant of 
St. Paul's church and the oldest person in town. Children 
by first wife: Edwin A., (1) married Martha Merrill; 
married (2) MaryAnn Hatch ; resides at Hinsdale, Catta- 
raugus county, N. Y. ; Joseph J., married Sarah M. 
Mead ; Sarah E., married (1) Israel Jacobs ; married (2) A. 
J. Ackley; resides on the homestead ; Martha W., mar- 
ried John W. Manning of Coventry. Ebenezer, born June 
4, 1809, in Oxford; died July 24, 1887, in Oxford; un- 
married; Levi, 2d, born April 13, 1811, in Oxford; died 
young; Elijah, born February 14, 1814, died unmarried; 
James Henry, born November — , 1825 ; married Jane K 
Kinney, who died December 8, 1898, aged 72. 

Elijah Hull, son of John and Martha (Pardee) Hull, 
married Nancy Blakeslee. Their children were : William, 
Willis, Philemon, and Mary, who died young. 

Willis Hull, son of Elijah and Nancy (Blakeslee) Hull, 
died February 10, 1895, in North Haven, Ct., aged 76; 
married Emily Bradley, who died January 14, 1899, in 
Oxford, aged 83. For many years they resided in Oxford 
on the farm now owned and occupied by James Burke, on 



136 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

the road to the O. & W. station. Children: Lavina B., 
married James O. Dodge of Oxford; Margaret A., mar- 
ried J. Boardman Smith, of New Haven, Ct. ; died Septem- 
ber 20, 1862. Child : Arthur H. Smith, resides in New 
York city. 



IN 1832 the McDonough Mineral Springs were exten- 
sively advertised and well patronized. Gideon Miner 
had charge of the hotel at one time and later he conduct- 
ed for Oxford Academy the gentlemen's boarding hall, 
now Morton flats. There were a happy lot of boys in the 
hall at that time, and they kept the genial boarding house 
manager busy guessing what was going to happen next. 

G. D. Phillips ran a line of stages from Oxford to the 
Springs every Friday afternoon, and carried many jolly 
loads of health and pleasure seekers during the season. 



ALAMANZER WATSON one of the early harness mak- 
ers had a sign on his shop on Fort Hill which read : 
*'Cash Paid for Dekin Skins." One day C. F. T. Locke 
hailed Mr. Watson with ''Say, Alamanzer, what are yon 
paying for dekin skins?" ''Twenty-five cents," was the 
answer. "Good," said Locke, "I'll go and skin every 
deacon in my church and send you the hides." The dea- 
cons of Mr. Locke's church would have been something of 
a curiosity, even unskinned. 



It must have been an open winter in 1851, for on De- 
cember 15th it is recorded that a boat loaded wnth mer- 
chandise arrived on the canal from the north. 




PARK HOTEL— Decorated for the (bounty Firemen's Tournament in 1898. Hotel re- 
modeled from the old Perkins Tavern, now a double residence. 




P^'i&^^3^^Ka9fc«H^- 



THE HOTCHKiSS HOUSE 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 137 



For he by geometric scale, 

Could take the size of pots of ale. — Butler. 



Old Tavern Days, 



The earlier taverns were not the comfortable institu- 
tions of today for there were but few travelers. The 
rooms were low studded, with great beams overhead, the 
floors hard oak boards white, smooth and well * 'sanded." 
The important feature of the inn was the barroom, with 
the quart pots, pint pots, gill pots, glass bottles, tank- 
ards and its cavernous fireplace, on which huge logs crack- 
led in winter time as the smoke ascended the mammoth 
chimney. Around the room were big, comfortable chairs, 
red settees, and a huge bunk wherein the hostler slept at 
night and on which the village loafer generally roosted 
during the day, and by the fireplace hung the "flip iron" 
a necessary adjunct in the days when flip was a popular 
tipple. Near the bar was a standing desk, with a lid, on 
which stood an ink horn, quill pens and sandbox. In the 
desk was kept the account book which recorded the 
debt of delinquent tipplers and accounts of the tavern. 
The following gives an idea of the cost to a guest at the 
**Oxford Village Stage House" ''for a day's keep," being 
a copy of a bill rendered in 1821 : 



T. Jackson 


Bill 


Breakfast 


$ 0.31 


Dinner 


0.25 


Supper 


- Q.25 


Brandy Wine & Segars 


0.19 


Lodging 


0.13 


Horse keeping and Oats 


- 0.50 



Handbills were tacked to the walls, advertising stolen 



138 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

horses, runaway apprentices and stage lines ; the gorgeous 
§how bill was then unknown. Here is a copy of one of 
the old Stage House bills : 

Oxford yiUage 

I Stage ^^^ Ibouse. 



ETHAN CLARK, | 

% D EGS leave most respectively to inform his friends and ^ 

g D the public, that he has taken the TAVERN STAND '4 

^. on the west side of the Chenango river in the village of ^. 

^ Oxford, and has made upon the house a general and com- ^ 

^ plete repair. He is now ready to furnish travellers and ^ 

K gentlemen who wish to spend a few days in the village, ^ 

^ or boarders, with every accommodation that the situa- ^ 

tion of the country will afford. His bar shall be supplied ^ 

with the best of liquors, his table furnished with the ^ 

choicest viands, and his charges as reasonable as at any ^ 

other public house in the county. He assures all those ^ 

who may be pleased to call upon him, that his indefati- A 

^ gable personal exertions, together with the most assidu- ^ 

y ous attention of his family, shall not be wanting to rend- ^ 

P er his house pleasant and comfortable. gl 

« ^^ His Stables and sheds have also been repaired so ^ 
b as to furnish extensive accommodations to horses. 

*^^*A Stage arrives at his house twice a week 
from Newburgh and Geneva, via Chenango Point — 
once a week from Catskill — and twice a week from 
Albany and Utica. 
Oxford, 6th November, 1821. 



^^ 



The landlord enjoyed the right to sell liquors and in 
those early days all classes indulged in the practice of 
drinking; in moderation to be sure, but as often as occa- 
•ion demanded. The landlord was an important person- 
age, his name was conspicuous over the door, or on the 
•igu, and he usually looked after the comfort of his guests 
without putting himself to any great trouble. He had a 
penchant for public office and himself sang bass in the choir 
on Sunday. His rotund figure was conspicuous on election 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 139 

days, well dressed though always appearing in his shirt 
sleeves. He was the village oracle and able to discuss pol- 
itics, theology and science, to at least his own satisfaction. 

The landlady was usually the one who toiled early and 
late. The polished and well sanded floor, immaculate 
window panes, clean blue china, and savory dishes, at- 
tested her care. She and her daughter ofliciated in the 
dining room, and were famous for their wonderful dump- 
lings with potato crusts. Chickens were plenty, likewise 
fresh vegetables from the tavern garden. Then there was 
the appetizing baked beans, warm brown bread, succotash, 
rye cakes, and pandowdy. Ale, usually home brewed, 
cider and black tea were poured from pewter flagons. The 
water, clear and cold, was drawn from a well by a " sweep. ' ' 
At supper, among the prime favorites, were hot ginger 
bread, Johnny-cake, delicious w^affles and mush and 
milk. People in those primitive times were not particular 
and were willing to sleep under any arrangement, so long 
as they got shelter. It was usual to have two or three beds 
in a room, and it was a common occurrence for the land- 
lord to enter, candle in hand, the room of a guest, and es- 
cort a stranger to his side to calmly share the bed till 
morning, sometimes three sharing one bed, and a man was 
regarded as very unreasonable who objected to a stranger 
for a bedfellow. If the night was cold, a warming pan 
would be passed over the sheets and the guest was left to 
the consolation of a feather bed and patch work quilts, 
and considered himself fortunate if he was not compelled 
to share his quarters with one or more guests. If the tav- 
ern was crowded then one had to sleep before the open fire, 
rolled up in a bear skin robe, while the great logs in the 
black fireplace became white ashes. 

Many of the old taverns had an assembly hall on the 
upper floor, and here fair maidens and ruddy-faced youths 



MO ANNALS OF OXFORD 

enjoyed the contra dances to the music of a violin. Balls 
commenced at four o'clock and often lasted until next 
morning. 

The original portion of what is now the Hotchkiss House 
was built previous to 1796 and for many years known as 
Wells' Tavern. The house was of typical New England 
architecture, two stories in front, sloping toward the rear 
until a man could touch the eaves, and was painted red. 
Behind the tavern was a large shed with roof and open 
sides for the protection from rain of snow or loaded wagons. 

One November afternoon there gathered at the tavern 
several of the townspeople for the pot of extra-brew and 
the long clay pipes, called church-wardens. Among those 
present were : Anson Gary, in broadcloth and expansive 
shirt front; Eleazer Smith, tall and lank; John Fitch, 
wearing a tile hat and stijff black stock ; Josiah Hackett, in 
continental suit; John Holmes and Jared Hinckley in 
homespun ; all patriots of the Revolution. It was at these 
gatherings that fell many of the epigrams which were re- 
called years after. On this particular day the subject of 
conversation finally drifted to the Continental army and 
its officers. John Fitch spoke up and said : 

*' Wells, pint of ale, please, and a churchwarden." 
Then shifting his chair, continued: '' Speaking of Bene- 
dict Arnold, although rendered infamous by his attempt 
to betray his country — " 

" Rabbit ye, an* be darn'dl" broke in Josiah Hackett, 
'' hold your gab there, old Arnold was a traitor and brought 
up all standing." 

^' Yes, yes," replied Fitch, but I want to say some things 
about him that I know. I was at the second battle at 
Freeman's Farm, where the British were totally defeated 
by Arnold, who had charged with mad fury upon their 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 141 

line. During the battle a wounded Hessian soldier, lying 
on the ground, fired at Arnold and slew his horse, while 
the ball passed through the general's left leg that had al- 
ready been w^ounded, and fractured the bone above the 
knee. As Arnold fell, one of our men attempted to bay- 
onet the wounded soldier who had shot him, when the gen- 
eral cried out, '* For God's sake, don't hurt him; he's a 
fine fellow!" The Hessian was spared, and I have always 
said that was the time Benedict Arnold should have died." 

*'0h, the old sneezer !" again put in Hackett. ''IVe 
heard w^hen he w^as dressed up the bottom of his waist was 
pinched up to the size of a quart cup ; that he w^ore eleven 
capes to his coat, and over the place where his brains 
should have been a jockey cap of catskin, and carried a 
mock gold watch with two seals, each as big as a premium 
turnip." 

'' He w^asn't quite such a fop as that," said John Holmes, 
knocking the ashes from his pipe, "but I have heard that 
before his death in England he was shunned and depised 
by even the English." 

After a general filling and lighting of pipes and around 
of ale, Jared Hinckley got into a reminiscent mood and 
related one of his experiences : 

"If ever I struck hell upon earth it was at the battle of 
Oriskany, fought in a dark ravine filled with a mass of 
fifteen hundred human beings, made up with St. Leger and 
his Indians and loyalists, and General Herkimer with 
800 hundred pioneers ; all screaming and cursing, slip- 
ping in the mire, pushing and struggling, seizing each oth- 
er's throats, stabbing and shooting, and dashing out brains. 
It was a sight that will never leave my eyes. General 
Herkimer had unconsciously marched into an ambuscade, 
but his men soon recovered and fought with the courage 



142 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

and skill of veterans. The slaughter, however, was dread- 
ful. At the beginning of the battle a musket ball passed 
through and killed the horse of General Herkimer and 
shattered his own leg just below the knee. With perfect 
composure and cool courage, he ordered the saddle to be 
taken from his slaughtered horse and placed against the 
trunk of an immense tree, where he was carried and prop- 
ped up. After lighting his Dutch pipe he continued in a 
loud voice shouting orders to his men who were falling like 
autumn leaves. But the old hero had fought his last bat- 
tle, for his shattered leg was not skillfully treated and he 
died ten days later, propped up in bed, smoking his pipe 
and reading his Bible at the thirty-eighth Psalm." 

*^ It was after this battle that the first American flag 
with stars and stripes was raised,-' remarked Anson Gary. 

** Yes, indeed," replied Hinckley, ^* though a crude af- 
fair it was." 

''How so?" asked Eleazer Smith, who, though a good 
listener, seldom spoke. 

*' Well, I'll tell you. Not a great while before this 
battle Congress had adopted the stars and stripes as the 
National symbol of American liberty. Colonel Willett re- 
turned to Fort Stanwix and raised five captured British 
standards, while over them he raised a hastily made flag 
to represent the American banner. It was made out of an 
officer's white shirt, an old blue overcoat, and some 
strips of red cloth from the. petticoat of a soldier's wife. 
And that was the first American flag with stars and stripes 
hoisted." 

*' Well," exclaimed Josiah Hackett, ''the English rig- 
ermadoons scampered along through mud and mire to get 
out o' sight of it ; but it still waves over our land, and will 
till time is no more." 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 143 

** Well said, Josiah" spoke ux> John Holmes. "We'll 
take a final sip and go home, the hour is getting late.'' 

The old soldiers, who had enjoyed fighting their battles 
over, retired, Josiah bringing up the rear, and as he closed 
the door marched off singing: 

" Yankee doodle, ramrods, g^ns, 

Pikes and pistols handy — 
We're the true descendant sons 

Of Yankee doodle dandy," 



STEPHEN 0. RUNYAN was practicing law in Ox- 
ford previous to 1799, and continued till his death^ 
which occurred April 23, 1820, at the age of 48. He came 
from New York and his office stood on Washington Park, 
at the head of which he resided. It was destroyed by fire 
in July, 1823. He was distinguished for his charity and 
benevolence, and his whole life was characterized by a 
devotion to acts of public munificence. He w^as popular 
with the people, and his mind was richly stored with 
anecdotes, w^hich he was fond of relating. His wife died 
June 5, 1860, at Cortland, N. Y. 



A DISTILLERY was located for many years opposite 
the residence of Alpha Morse. One dollar in those 
days would fill a three-gallon keg straight from the worm. 
Immense quantities of corn were converted into whisky 
and numerous porkers were fatted on the malt^ being kept 
thereby in a blissful state of booziness from the day they 
reached the distillery yard until they were dumped into 
the scalding kettle. Many a boy w^as sent to the distillery 
for whisky to be used in refreshing the minister on his 
yearly calls. 



144 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

A merchant of great traffic through the world. — Shakespeari 

Captain Samuel Farnham. 



Captain Samuel Farnham, born in New London, Conn., 
December 16, 1775, came to Oxford in 1799 and opened a 
drug and general merchandise store in a story and a half 
frame building which stood on the site of William M. 
Miller's store. He is the first merchant of whom we have 
any record, though it is probable that General Benjamin 
Hovey opened a store soon after coming here. Captain 
Farnham continued the business until his death, which oc- 
curred April 20, 1822, at the age of 47. He w^as associat- 
ed for two years, from 1807, with Epaphras Miller. 

Captain Farnham received his military title from his 
connection with the first artillery company in town, or- 
ganized and commanded by him, receiving his commission 
from Governor Morgan Lewis, who was elected to the gov- 
ernship in 1804. 

In 1800 Captain Farnham was united in marriage to 
Sally, daughter of Henry Balcom, and sister of Francis 
and Samuel Balcom. Soon after their marriage they went 
to housekeeping on Clinton street, in a house long after- 
wards the home of Horace S. Read, which stood on the 
site of the residence of E. A. Pearsall, where they died. 

Mrs. Farnham reared to manhood a family of six sons, 
and died February 16, 1859, in the 79th year of her age. 
Two sons, within the same year preceded her to the grave. 
Four children, Epaphras M., Julia A., Charles E., and 
Sarah D., died in infancy. 



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ANNALS OF OXFORD 145 

George Farnham succeeded his father in the mercantile 
business, and after trading a few years sold his interest to 
his brother John. In 1841 he removed to New York and 
became interested in the Chenango Lake Boat Line which 
transported merchandise to and from New York. He died 
suddenly in that city on the 8d of February, 1859, in the 
59th year of his age. Married Susan, eldest child c^ Thomas 
Gibson. Child : Susan Elizabeth Gibson, born in 1826, 
married Ransom Balcom. 

Dr. Jokn P. Farnham after purchasing the mercantile 
business of his brother George, carried it on some five 
years when he disposed of it to Dr. Cleveland in 1829, and 
established a hardware store on the lot now occupied by 
the residence of Francis G. Clarke. In 1833 he moved to 
Carbondale, Penn., and for many years practiced his pro- 
fession, but afterwards embarked in the mercantile and 
lumber business. He died at Carbondale in February, 
1871, and had long been a prominent citizen of that place. 

Alexander Farnham died at Honesdale, Penn., April 19, 

1858, aged 50. 

Frederick W. Farnham made his residence at White 
Mills, Penn. 

Samuel H. Farnham was a life long resident of Oxford 
and for many years conducted a jeweler's business, which 
he carried on for a few years, and having purchased a por- 
tion of the Fort Hill block, he entered into the grocery and 
fancy goods line, at the same time carrying on his trade 
of silversmith. In February, 1855, Mr. Farnham was ap- 
pointed Canal collector in this town, and in September, 
1861, with other members of the Oxford Band left for the 
eeat of war to form part of the Regimental Band of the 
Anderson Zouaves, but remained but a few months on ac- 
count of ill health. He was the possessor of an extensive 



146 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

and interesting cabinet of curiosities, many of which were 
ancient and valuable, and was also fond of pets, usually 
having a variety on exhibition at his store. He died July 
21, 1887, in the 75th year of his age. 



His fame was great in all thaland.— Longfkllow. 

Joseph Walker, 



Joseph Walker was born in the year 1796 at Pittsfield^ 
Mass., and in 1817 married Mary Hamilton of Binghara- 
ton, coming to Oxford the same y«ar. He engaged in the 
tannery business with William Mygatt, later entering the 
boot and shoe business on Navy Island, which he con- 
ducted for years. He also owned and worked a farm about 
half a mile above the village, which he sold to his brother- 
in-law, Milo Porter. Mr. Walker devoted much time 
to the study of astronomy and sent to London, England, 
for two mammoth globes to persue his studies, and later 
presented them to Oxford Academy. He was a member of 
the American Association for the Advancement of Science, 
and was one of the founders of Oxford Lodge, No. 176^ 
Free & Accepted Masons. He was one of the few who saw 
Oxford grow from a small hamlet into a beautiful village* 
Mr. Walker died April 1, 1870. His wife, who was born 
in 1799, died in 1874 at Clayton, Mich. Their only child, 
Mary, married May 15, 1855, Jacob Rheinwald of Oxford, 
who with Mr. Walker at one time conducted a brewery in 
the rear of Mr. Walker's residence, which stood on the 
site of the Dr. Douglas' residence on Washington Park. 
In 1876, they moved to Bouckville, Madison county, where 
they have since resided. 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 



Who'erhas travell'd life's dull round, 
Where'er his stages may have been, 

May sigh to think he still has found 
The warmest welcome at an inn — Shenstonb. 



»47 



Erastus Perkins, 



Erastus Perkins, born January 18, 1778, was the eldest 
child of Captain Erastus and Anna (Glover) Perkins of 
Norwich, Conn., where he spent his early life. In 1799 he 
came to Oxford, then a two weeks' journey, in company 
with his wife, Abigail Stephens, whose father, Alvin Steph- 
ens, subsequently lived on the farm now owned and occu- 
pied by Nathan Pendleton. Mr. Perkins remained in Ox- 
ford one season and then went to Deposit, N. Y., where he 
built the first frame house in that town. His business there 
was lumbering and rafting, but the population was too 
rough to suit him and he returned to Oxford in 1801, where 
his life was chieHy spent in mercantile pursuits. Soon 
after his return he built the Park Hotel on the east side of 
the river, which he kept till 1822. It was afterwards kept 
by his brother. Captain James Perkins to 1837, and then 
by his son, Alvin S., as late as 1850. The hotel during the 
following years underwent several changes until about 
1900, when it was newly remodled and enlarged. On the 
night of October 28, 1903, it was so badly damaged by 
fire that it ceased to be a hotel. 

The earliest town meeting noted in the ''Book of the Town 
Clerk " for 1814, was held at the house of Erastus Perkins. 
In 1815, '16 and '18, he was one of the seven pound keep- 
ers and fence viewers, ''their yards to be the pounds." 
In 1821, '22 and '23 he was one of three commissioners of 
common schools. In 1822 he built a house and it was 



148 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

** voted that the next Town Meeting be held at the new- 
Dwelling House of Erastus Perkins." In 1831 he was 
again commissioner of schools. In 1814 he subscribed $10 
to Rev. William Lacey's salary as rector. In 1815 he sub- 
scribed S50 to the first building of St. Paul's church in the 
center of Fort Hill Square, and August 16, of that year, he 
with John Tracy were appointed building committee of 
said building. February 28, 1850, he was elected senior 
warden in place of Austin Hyde, deceased. He had charge 
of the YanWagenen burial ground almost to the time of 
his death. A man of fine character, interested in church 
and school, liberal in proportion to his means, and in poli- 
tics a Whig. Mr. Perkins died May 30, 1852. His first 
wife, Abigail Stephens, died January 31, 1815, aged 34. 
His second wife was the Widow Ursula Allen of Connec- 
ticut, who died January 2, 1821, aged 42. She had two 
children by her first husband, the Hon. John W. Allen, 
and the wife of Judge Andrews of Cleveland, Ohio. Mr. 
Perkins third wife was Agnes YanWagenen, daughter of 
Gerrit H. and Sarah (Brinckerhoff) YanWagenen of Ox- 
ford, who died February 13, 1868, aged 80. Children by 
first wife: Erastus S., died March 12, 1882, in Houston, 
Tex., aged 70; married Eunice Butler, who died June 7, 
1861, in Houston ; Alvin S., died October 7, 1872, in Hous- 
ton, aged 64 ; married Frances, daughter of Jabez Robin- 
son of South Oxford, and moved to Houston in 1857, where 
she died of yellow fever October 19, 1859; Leonard S., 
married Harriet Bennett, and died in Houston October 22, 
1859; GuRDON, died April 15, 1873 in Oxford, aged 61; 

married Frances A. Squires ; Ann Maria, married Col- 
onel Joseph Juliand of Greene; died June 1, 1860, in 
Greene, aged 56; Jane E., married Dr. Austin Rouse of 
Oxford. 

Children by third wife: Sarah A., born August 31, 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 149 

1824, in Oxford; married May 19, 1852, James W. Glover 
of Oxford; Frances B., born October 19, 1827, in Oxford; 
married November 30, 1849, Andrew J. Hull of Oxford; 
Gekrit Henry, born June 24, 1826, at Oxford; married 
June 26, 1856, Frances Willcox of Honesdale, Pa. 

Gerrit Henry Perkins, died March 26, 1900, in New- 
York city. On May 8, 1854, soon after his father's death, 
Mr. Perkins became a vestryman of St. Paul's church, Ox- 
ford, and at a subsequent meeting was elected clerk, which 
position he held till June, 1890. He received his educa- 
tion at Oxford Academy, after which he read law in the 
office of Henry R. Mygatt and was admitted to the bar, 
practicing but a few years. About 1852 he went into 
partnership with Henry L. Miller in a general mercantile 
business in the store now occupied by William M. Miller. 
After a period of nearly two years they removed to the 
Fort Hill building, then vacated by the firm of Chapman 
& Thorp. A number of years later they removed to the 
store first occupied by them on LaFayette square. The 
firm was changed to Miller, Perkins & Co. upon admis- 
sion of William M. Miller, and so continued till 1890. 
Upon the organization of the Chenango Mutual Life In- 
surance company in 1881, he was elected president and 
took out the first policy of the company, holding the oflSce 
till the time he left Oxford. Mr. Perkins was a member 
of Oxford Lodge, No. 175, F. & A. M., and for many 
years trustee of the same. Also one of the board of direc- 
tors of the First National Bank of Oxford ; trustee of Ox- 
ford Academy for a long term of years, and trustee of vil- 
lage and president of the board. He moved from Oxford 
in 1890 and entered into the brokerage and insurance busi- 
ness in New York city, where he remained till the time of 
his death. Children, all born in Oxford : 

Robert Walton, born September 29, 1861 ; died March 



150 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

25, 1891, in Denver, Col. ; married July 25, 1888, Lucy 
Justice in Oxford. Child : Mildred. Sarah Van Wag- 
enen; married September 9, 1890, in Oxford, Frank For- 
ester Bruce of Cleveland, Ohio. Children : Alice and . 

Alice M., married June 23, 1896, in New York city, 
Dr. Luzerne Coville of Ithaca. Child : Perkins. Agnes 
F., unmarried. 



HORACE S. READ, son of Silas Read of Smithville 
Flats, was born in 1817. Mr. Read succeeded his 

father in the mercantile business, which he carried on 
for a few years, in the meantime he was postmaster four 
years. In 1851 w^as elected County Clerk, at the expira- 
tion of the term came to Oxford in 1854 and entered into 
the drug business wath James H. Fox, which partnership 
was dissolved in 1863, Mr. Read retiring in 1868. He was 
a man of pleasing address and social disposition. Mr. 
Read married Flora Grant of Smithville Flats, now de- 
ceased. He died January 23, 1886, aged 69. 

Their children were: Yirgil C, married in Michigan; 
F. Louise, married Edward Bradley. 



PETER B. GARNSEY, now spelled Guernsey, was born 
*• in New Lebanon, N. Y. He studied law in the office 
of Chancellor Walworth and was admitted as an attorney 
in 1798, and as a counsellor in 1800. His wife was Mary 
Speirs, w^hom he married at New Lebanon, on Christmas 
Day, 1797, by whom he had four children. Soon after his 
marriage he came to Oxford where he engaged in the 
practice of his profession until about 1800, when he re- 
moved to Norwich. He, with Nathaniel King, represented 
Chenango County in the State Assembly in 1800. 



ANNALS OF OXFORD i^i 



Better the rudest work that tells a story or records 
a fact, than the richest without meaning. — Ruskin. 



Theodore Burr, 



Theodore Burr who came in 1793, built the first bridge 
in this place in 1800, the mill now owned by Fletcher & 
Corbin, the dam which still stands, and the building now 
occupied by the Memorial Library at an early date. He 
patented and built the first arch bridge across the Sueque- 
banna, and at that time was the most distinguished archi- 
tect of bridges in the country. At that early day hardly a 
bridge crossed the Susquehanna from Binghamton to Bal- 
timore that he did not build, and even now at Harrisburg 
one stands with his name cut in one of the stones dated 
1813. In April, 1818, he advertised in the Oxford Gazette, 
that he had "devoted eighteen years of hie life to the 
theory and practice of bridge building exclusively, during 
which time he had built forty-five bridges of various mag- 
nitude, with arches from 60 to 367 feet span." 

Mr. Burr lived in Oxford several years and then re- 
moved with his family to Northumberland, Pa., where he 
and his wife died. Their children were : Henry, George, 
Charles, Marilla, Phila, who married Silas Marsh, a 
merchant in Oxford from 1816 to 1826; Asenath, married 
Simon G. Throop; Amanda, married January 18, 1816, 
Charles Catlin of Wilkesbarre Pa. All except Asenath, 
removed with their parents to Pennsylvania. 



152 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 



Gloom is upon thy lonely hearth, 

Oh, silent house! once filled with mirth; 

Sorrow is in the breezy sound 

Of thy tall poplars whispering round. — Hemans. 



John Rathbone. 



John Rathbone, brother of Gen. Ransom Rathbone, 
came from Oswego soon after the war of 1812, opened a 
store which he conducted some ten years, and then re- 
moved to a farm in Cortland county, not being succesef ul 
in business here. He built on the site of the residence 
now occupied by S. H. Mead, a large and elegant mansion 
for those days which later became known as the "McKoon 
house, ^' a portion of which still stands in the lane in rear 
of Mr. Mead's house. The house fronted the east instead 
of the street, and was of such prominence that it was 
made the subject of a wood cut, the original of which is 
given below : 




ANNALS OF OXFORD 153 

The modern method of illustrating, fifty or sixty years 
later, gives, on another page, a finer view of the old "man- 
sion.'* It was after Mr. Rathbone*s time occux^ied by Peter 
Sken. Smith, who laid out a great deal of money on it, 
and later by Judge McKoon, who had a little stone law 
office on the lot in which later a select school was conduc- 
ted. After Judge McKoon disposed of the house it shel- 
tered tenants by the score. Could the old '^mansion" tell 
the tales and changes that have occurred since its erection 
the Annals of the town would indeed be deeply interes- 
ting. In 1872, Counsellor Horace Packer purchased the 
property, made two houses of the one and removed them 
to the rear of the lot. 



I 



N A HISTORY of the town of Sangerfield, the follow- 
ing of local interest appears: 

" On the 30th day of March, 1801, an act was passed by the state 
legislature to open and improve a certain road from the dwelling house 
of Benj. Wilson, in the town of Oxford, Chenango county, in the 
nearest and most direct route that " circumstances would admit of," 
through the towns of Norwich, Sherburne, Hamilton, Sangerfield and 
Paris, to intersect the Genesee turnpike, near the house of Jedediah 
Sanger, in Whitestown. Three thousand shares were subscribed for 
at $20 each, making a capital of $60,000. Amos Muzzy of the Huddle, 
was one of the two directors in the town, and David Norton at the 
Centre the other — both tavern keepers. It was at first expected that 
the road when it reached Sangerfield, would run through the Centre 
on the east side of the swamp, because it was really the nearest, moat 
direct and level route through it; but Mr. Montgomery, an active and 
energetic settler of much wealth and influence, lived and had a tavern 
on the road starting from tlie east part of the Huddle and running 
westerly two or three miles out of the way which was already made. 
This passed by the village stores, was handy to the taverns of Messrs. 
Muzzy and himself, and although leaving David Norton out in the cold, 
would be on the whole veiy fine for the stronger parties concerned 
in the new turnpike. Of course these circumstances and the superior 
influence and power behind, clearly admitting of no other route, the 
road was opened and gates erected on the longer, hillier and poorer 
one. It had been used only a year or two as a turnpike, when the 
entire line was thrown up and surrendered to the town as a failure. 
Nobody would travel on it and David Norton was pleased. It is still 
often referred to in conveyances describing land on its line, as the 
" Oxford and Chenango turnpike, formerly so called." 



154 ANNALS OF OXFORD 



How still the morning of the hallow'd day! 

Mute is the voice of rural labour, hush'd. — Grahame. 



Free Will Baptist Church 



The Free Will Baptist churcli of Oxford, in the south 
east part of the town, was organized April 15, 1848, by 
Elder Cyrus Steere of McDonough. The first baptisms 
were on April 16, 1848, when the following persons mere 
baptized into membership : Henry Mead, Henry Hackett, 
Julia Hackett, Squire Rathbon, Sally Rathbon, Ethan R. 
Clarke, Darwin A. Collier, Giles Manwarring and Samuel 
Sannick ; these together with Deacon Joseph Ogd en, Joshua 
B. Stone and wife, Asa W. Rhodes, who was the first church 
clerk, Samuel M. Kinney, Derrick Race and Harriet Race, 
Samuel Manwarring, James Lowe and Nancy Morehouse 
were the first members. 

On May 20th, of the same year the First Free Will Bap- 
tist church of Guilford, offered themselves as a body to 
unite with the Oxford church and were received into mem- 
bership. The first settled pastor was the Rev. Noah D. 
Wilkins, who commenced his pastorate in 1849. The 
church services were held in the school house of District 
No. 4, (the Miller district), until 1855, when they were 
held in the school house of District No. 18, (the Carhart 
District). 

On the fifth Sunday in June, 1855, the first church edi- 
fice was dedicated ; the Rev. Daniel McKoon preaching 
the dedication sermon. 

The first pastor after the church was erected was the 
Rev. Ethan R. Clarke. 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 155 

Many of the old New England customs were enforced in 
this church during its early history, such as a committee 
to visit those who wei^ absent from church more than a 
limited number of Sundays in succession, also to see that 
each member did not deviate from the rules of the church. 

Muoh of the inside wood work of the building was bass- 
wood, and from that fact the edifice was known as the 
*'Basswood church.'* The church was totally destroyed 
by fire February 5, 1874. A singing school was held in the 
evening, which closed at nine o'clock, and it was supposed 
the fire which was discovered at midnight, originated from 
the stove. The organ, clock, chandelier and other fix- 
tures were removed. There was an insurance of $1,000 on 
the property. Within a week steps were taken to rebuild 
and the present building was erected during the following 
summer and dedicated on December 12, 1874, the sermon 
being preached by the Rev. Dr. G. H. Ball of Buffalo, af- 
terwards founder and president of Keuka College. 

In December, 1879, Sarah Gibson, widow of Robert Gib- 
son, deeded to the trustees of the church the house, now 
used as a parsonage, and lot containing twelve and one- 
half acres of land, valued at $1,000. 

In 1889, the church received a legacy of three hundred 
dollars from Mrs. Mary A. Moore. This church still keeps 
up its organization. 

On October 19, 1904, the church was again threatened 
by fire. Dry bush and leaves had caught fire and spread- 
ing reached the church, but the timely discovery and help 
at hand subdued the flames after damages to the amount 
of $25, had been done to the edifice. 



156 ANNALS OF OXFORD 



A perfect Woman, nobly planned 
To warn, to comfort, and command. 

— Wordsworth. 



"Aunt Patty" Dailey 



" Aunt Patty " Dailey was born in the town of Brook- 
line, Vt., on the 17th of March, 1784, " St. Patrick's daj^i 
at six o'clock in the morning," as she used to say. In 
January, 1809, she married John Church, who came from 
Great Barrington, Mass., and settled on the Andrew Mc- 
Neil farm, now owned and occupied by Mrs. Alice McCall. 
His first wife, whom he married in Massachusetts, was a 
Hollenbeck, by whom he had seven children; his second 
wife, mentioned above, was Patty Thayer, by whom he 
had tvro children, Erastus and William. Mr. Church died 
October 23, 1825, aged 63. He had been a prosperous 
farmer, and after his death " Aunt Patty " deeded the 
farm to her son William, which was unfortunate, as he 
was not successful, and finally lost the place. On Christ- 
mas Day, 1827, '^Aunt Patty" married John Dailey. 

In 1795, when Mrs. Dailey was eleven years of age, 
her father came with his family from Vermont and set- 
tled upon the present site of the village of Bainbridge; 
which, as she described it, was a " huckleberry plain with 
but one house upon it." Deer were plenty, and bears were 
numerous. " Wolves," she said, " would howl enough to 
make the hair rise on a body's head." She taught school 
there in 1802, and was the first teacher in Sidney. When 
she came to Oxford the old building was still standing, 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 157 

which was erected upon the site of the old fort, where 
the Baptist church now stands. At that time there was 
no church here and hardly enough dwellings to call it a 
village. Said '^ Aunt Patty '' '' Oxford was a very thickly 
wooded country. As you came in sight of the village 
from the east, the first house on the right side of the road 
and next above the house of Patrick Hogan, for many 
years the tavern stand of William Bush, was a log house 
occupied by Walter Simmons. On the farm of James 
Burke, Priest Camp, a Presbyterian minister, once lived. 
Where stood the David Bixby house (now removed) was 
a frame house owned and occupied by Levi Sherwood. 
Next to that, but on the opposite side of the road and 
much further down, was the house of Uri Tracy, a framed 
dwelling. The nearest house to that, on the same side 
of the street, was a dwelling built by St. George Tolbud 
Perry; but the building burned down and the Van 
Wagenen house stands on the site of the one burned (now 
occupied by Mrs. L. Bolles). Across the road, where 
Charles W. Brown now resides, was the house so familiar 
to all as the home of Dr. Perez Packer, but built by, and 
then occupied by, Nathaniel Locke. Next, on the west 
side of the road, was the old one-story dwelling, which 
was torn down to make room for Wm. H. Van Wagenen's 
house (the late residence of Dr. Geo. Douglas). This 
same old building, the first frame house in the village, 
was erected in the year 1794 and used as an academy. 
Between this building and the Henry K. Mygatt house 
once stood two dwellings: one was occupied by Harry 
Ludlow, and the other stood on the very spot where the 
late Mrs. Sarah Van Wagenen lived (now residence of 
Mrs. Susan E. Curtis). A house once occupied by Stephen 
O. Runyan, was moved by Stephen Greene, to whom it 
was sold, to Greene Street. Upon the ground from which 



158 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

the building was taken, John Tracy erected the house 
known so well, now owned and occupied by John R. 
Van Wagenen.'^ 

During her life ^'Aunt Patty" witnessed wonderful 
changes wrought from the wilderness. From a score of 
poor tenements, with their inhabitants struggling against 
poverty, she had seen Oxford rise to a beautiful, thriving, 
wealthy village. The latter years of her life she passed 
in widowhood and lived with friends and relatives, where 
she was always welcome; residing winters with nieces in 
Pennsylvania, returning summers to her old home in 
Oxford. Wherever she went she was ever ready to lend 
a helping hand in spinning, knitting, or sewing. She 
never had a headache, to her freedom from which she 
attributed the rare preservation of her sight, hearing, and 
memory. She had a remarkable memory, and could tell 
the locality and general appearance of every house that 
was in Oxford when she came here in 1809. " Aunt Patty " 
was a frequent and ever welcome visitor at the bedside 
of the sick, and is kept in sweet remembrance by those 
who have been to the " dark brink " and returned, and 
has also a bright record with those who have " gone be- 
fore.'^ She died at Hooper's Valley, N. Y., Nov. 19, 1882, 
in the 99th year of her age. 



ENOS WRIGHT, a native of Connecticut, was among 
the first settlers of Oxford. He was energetic, per- 
severing, and industrious, enduring hardships incident to 
the pioneer of this country, he aided in no small degree 
in converting the rude forest into fertile fields of luxury 
and abundance. He led an honest and examplary life 
and his faith was strong in the Christian religion. He 
died April 14, 1847, aged 79. 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 159 



A heart to resolve, a head to contrive, and a hand to execute. 

GiBBOll. 



Abijah Lobdell, Jr 



Abijah Lobdell, Jr., was born in Johnstown, N. Y., of 
an old Revolutionary family. After clerking in Albany 
he came to Oxford in 1808 and opened a general store. 
In 1810 he married Sally Burghardt, who died January 28, 
1861, aged 69. The first Episcopal service in town was 
held in their house. Mr. Lobdell was one of the first 
vestrymen of St. Paul's church, and also a trustee of 
Oxford Academy. His brother John was his partner here, 
and in 1812 went on to Buffalo with goods, which were 
destroyed when that city was burned, barely escaping 
with his life. He and a companion were six weeks com- 
ing back through the almost unbroken forests, following 
a trail and marked trees. Later John Lobdell went to 
New York, read law, and finally located in Louisiana, 
while his brother removed with his family to Utica and 
conducted a flourishing drug business in the " Checkered 
Store " on Genesee Street, still an old landmark and now 
used for a tobacco warehouse. In 1835, his health failing 
him, the family returned to Oxford and purchased a farm 
a mile below the village, which is still owned by his young- 
est daughter and only grandchild. Children: 

Mary Ann, died unmarried. 

Jane Eliza, married John F. Hopkins. 

Sarah Maria, married George W. Godfrey. Child: 
Augusta C. 

James Henry, died unmarried. 

Helen M., only survivor of the family, still resides in 
Oxford. 



i6o ANNALS OF OXFORD 



What ! mothers from their children riven ! 

What! God's own image bought and sold! 
Americans to market driven, 

And bartered as the brute for gold! 

— Whittier. 



"Aunt Phillis" Williams. 



" Aunt Phillis " Williams, who was born a slave on 
July 4, 1772, at Poughkeepsie, N. Y., and died at Union, 
N. Y., February 16, 1883, in her 111th year, led an event- 
ful life which dated back to the days of the Revolution. 
She was owned by Gerrit Storms of Poughkeepsie until 
she reached the age of 41, and had a husband and five 
children. The husband bought his own and eldest son's 
freedom, but both were lost at sea while endeavoring to 
earn money to buy ^^ Aunt Phillis' " and the rest of the 
children's time. About this time she, with her infant 
daughter, Dinah, with other slaves, was taken from Pough- 
keepsie by her master, brought to Oxford, sold at auction, 
and bid in by Judge Uri Tracy. The infant Dinah went 
with the slave, served in bondage, and, when strong and 
robust, worked in the fields like a man, remaining with 
Judge Tracy until the State abolished slavery in 1827. 
She married a man named Cruzer at Union, and died 
November 4, 1901, aged 96. Phillis, in later years, lived 
with different families in town until she became blind, 
and then removed to Union to end her days with her 
daughter. She often related that General Washington 
stopped over night at the residence of her master, Gerritt 
Storms, in Poughkeepsie, and that the tories robbed her mas- 
ter's house of money and valuables, after which they took 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 161 

Storms out and huuii; him to a tree, leaving him to die. 
His mistress cut him down with a jackknife and saved 
his life. She also remembered of a man on horseback 
giving warning of the advance of the British soldiers, and 
of her going with her mistress to the bank of a creek and 
burying their silverware, with what little money they had. 



THE FOLLOWING shows that the subject of educa- 
tion w^as not wholly neglected in the early days of 
the town : 

To the Commissioners to Superintend the schools in the Town of 
Oxford in the County of Tioga. 

This certifies that in division of the moneys appro priated for the 
support of schools to tlie several Towns in the County payable to your 
Order as followeth (Viz.) the sum of thirty-five pounds one Shilling 
and Six pence as soon as the same may be receiv'd from the State 
Treasurer and the further sum of twenty Six pounds eight shillings 
and one penny by the first day of April next. 

Dated at Union, 4th June, 1796. 

Reuben Kirby, John Welch, Ephraim Fitch, Elijah Burk, Lodawick 
Light, Supervisors for Tioga County. 



A LADY, w^ho resided on Clinton Street for many years, 
-^*' employed a faithful colored maid addicted to use 
of words and expressions, the definition of which she did 
not understand. The first day of employment, after ar- 
ranging the dinner table, she called the mistress to inspect 
it, saying: "Mrs. G., please look over the table, I don't 
know^ whether it is non compos mentis or not." A few 
days later, wanting a small piece of linen cloth, she in- 
quired : " Mrs. G., please can I peruse your rag bag? " 



i62 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

He has been bred i' the wars. — Shakespeare. 

Reuben Doty 



The first of the name of Doty in xVmerica was Edward 
Dotv, also recorded as ^' Doten." Edward was a pas- 
senger on " The Mayflower," and married, in 1634, Faith 
fJlarke at Plymouth, Mass., where he died in 1655. '' He 
left a comfortable estate and nine children, six sons and 
three daughters." 

Warren Doty, a descendant of Edward, born April 23, 
1T()8; died February 13, 1838. Sarah, his wife, born May 
13, 1772; died July 30, 1862. Place of birth and death 
of either not known. 

Reuben Doty, the eldest of the five children of Warren 
and Sarah Doty, was born November 5, 1792, and died 
April 26, 1878, in Oxford. He married Almira Wil- 
loughby, of Oxford, born January 8, 1798 ; died March 13, 
1874, in Oxford. Mr. Doty was a cooper by trade, and, 
during the War of 1812, served his country, for which he 
was pensioned. Children : 

Charles W., born June 11, 1819; died May 12, 1868; 
married Eunice Cooper. 

William R., born September 28, 1822; died September 
4, 1871; married Alzada Bowers. 

Nancy M., born November 1, 1823 ; died August 6, 1901 ; 
married (1) John Hubbard; married (2) Henry S. 
Fraser. 

W^iLLARD H., born October 20, 1825 ; died May 19, 1893, 
in Cooperstown, where he married. 

Sarah Ann, born February 15, 1828; died in child- 
hood. 

Francis H., born June 2, 1831; died in childhood. 

Louisa M., born January 5, 1833 ; died in childhood. 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 163 



No story is the same to use after the lapse of 
time; or rather, we who read it are no longer 
the same interpreters. — Georgb Eliot. 



Man in Homespun. 



One day during the '20's a stranger drove to the tav- 
ern on the west side in this village. He had a load of 
hides, was dressed in coarse homespun and not very pre- 
possessing in appearance. As the landlord met him at 
the door he inquired : 

" Have you accommodation for my team and dinner 
for me? " 

" Well, it is past our dinner hour," replied the landlord, 
" and we have nothing warm. But put out your team and 
I'll step into the kitchen and see what we can do." 

The stranger drove to the barn and mine host w^ent 
in search of the cook, to whom he said : 

"A stranger, poorly dressed, has just drove in and 
wants dinner. Don't stop to warm anything up, but 
just clear off a place on the table and let him eat here." 

" It won't take no time to start the fire again," was the 
reply. '^ And, whether he is poor or rich, any man who 
has driven far to-day needs a w^arm meal. I'll get it in 
a very short time, and he can eat in the dining-room." 

^^ No," said the landlord, " he probably hasn't much 
money and a cold meal will serve him as well as any. 
Don't bother about the dining-room, let him eat here." 

The cook, though demurring, hastily arranged the meal 
as directed, and served to the stranger upon his return 
from the barn. It was wholesome and heartily partaken 



i64 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

of without any word of comment. Upon completing his 
dinner the man in homespun went to the barroom door 
and called the landlord outside. Taking a large roll of 
bills of high denomination from his pocket, he said: 

*^ I'll now pay my score. I always make it a practice 
when traveling to show my money as little as possible, 
especially in a barroom among strangers. Though you 
know me not, you probably have heard of me, I am Mr. 
Pratt of Sherburne, and, having business in Oxford, 
thought it was useless to send my man with the hides 
when I had to come the same way. I keep these clothes 
to wear when I leave home with a large sum of money, for 
I am not so apt to be noticed by unprincipled persons, 
your meal, though cold, has satisfied me." 

The landlord, through embarrassment, exclaimed : 
" Why, Mr. Pratt, if you had only mentioned your name 
before " 

Mr. Pratt interrupted by saying : ^' Now, no apology 
is necessary. Clothes don't always determine the man. 
I have better ones, but preferred to wear homespun for 
the reason I have already stated. I shall remain here 
over night, and take out your pay from this bill." 

The landlord replied : " Mr. Pratt, I am very glad to 
be your host, and hereafter I shall not enter hastily in 
judgment upon future strangers who enter my door. The 
best the house affords shall be yours during your sojourn 
with me, and upon any future visits you may choose to 
make our town. The lesson I have learned this day will 
never be forgotten." 

Mr. Pratt was hospitally cared for during the remainder 
of his stay, and returned home the following morning with 
a better opinion of the landlord than he had on his arrival. 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 165 



And though the warrior's sun has set, 
It's light shall linger round us yet, — 
Bright, radiant, blest. 

— Longfellow. 



Hezekiah Brockett. 



Hezekiah Brockett was born in 1757 in Connecticut. 
In 1776 he was enrolled in the Continental army, and was 
one of the few that followed the bold and adventurous 
" ^lad Anthony '' Wayne in 1779 up the heights of Stony 
Point on the Hudson. He was one of the honest, earnest, 
God-fearing, hard-working forefathers, with the axe in one 
hand and the rifle in the other, who made the long, lonely 
journeys toward the setting sun, with the comforts and 
many of the necessities of civilization left far behind. 
The old veteran died April 11, 1851, in Oxford, at the 
age of 94, and was buried with military honors. The 
stars and stripes, which in life he loved so well, shrouded 
his coffin; the booming cannon echoed from hill to hill 
as his bier passed along; military with glittering mus- 
kets and muffled drums formed a guard of honor to the 
cemetery. Volleys of musketry were fired over his grave, 
and the old veteran was left to sleep peacefully, waiting 
the last great roll call. 



VILLAGE ILLUMINATED.— On the 1st of March, 
1815, the village was illuminated in the evening on 
the return of peace with England. William M. Price de- 
livered an oration on the occasion in the Academy. 



i66 ANNALS OF OXFORD 



When we laughed round the corn-heap with hearts all In tune, 
Our chair a broad pumpkin — our lantern the moon. 

— Whittier. 



Husking and Paring Bees, 



One of the few pleasures of our forefathers was the 
husking bee, which occurred in the fall of the year, an 
event looked forward to and long remembered when past. 
The corn having been gathered into the barn and sheds 
in great piles, neighbors and friends, sometimes to the 
number of a hundred, gathered by invitation in the even- 
ing, husking frequently three or four hundred bushels of 
corn. When red ears of corn were discovered the finder, 
whether male or female, was entitled to a kiss, which 
often created much merriment. Tin lanterns hung here 
and there furnished the light for the occasion. The chief 
course of the supper served was pumpkin pie, big fat 
ones in all their golden glory. 

The principal method of preserving apples was by dry- 
ing. They were first pared, and quartered, then strung, 
and placed upon racks in the kitchen to remain until 
dry. This work made another evening of fun and frolic 
in the shape of a paring bee. When the company had 
assembled all sorts of devices were used in preparing the 
fruits and large quantities of apples would be placed 
npon the drying racks at one of these gatherings. Seeds 
of the apple were placed upon the hot bricks of the old 
fireplace, properly named, and eagerly watched until they 
snapped for either an ill or good omen. An unbroken 
paring was waved three times around the head then 
dropped to the floor, and the letter it formed was the 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 167 

first iu the name of the future wife or husband. At the 
close of the work a substantial supper, one of the old 
time kind would follow, and often games and dancing 
ended the event. At the close of one of these bees on 
the East hill, as the boys and girls were returning through 
a piece of woods to their homes, a mischievious neighbor 
secreted himself with his dog near their path. As they 
approached he caused the dog to howl and the girls, as 
well as the boys, hastily took to the trees. After a few 
moments some of the bolder ones descended, where they 
found one of the boys, more timid than the rest, sitting on 
the ground with his feet and arms around the trunk of a 
tree, supposing himself in the branches safe from danger. 
His comical appearance brought on such a hearty laugh 
that all thoughts of fear were driven from their minds. 



THE ENGINE WAS HOUSED.— One summer's day 
in 1823, during the building of the river bridge by 
Jonathan Baldwin and Thomas Brown, Daniel Shum- 
way, foreman of the fire company, had the hand 
engine taken to the river for trial and placed it 
near where the Fort Hill mill now stands. Mr. Shum- 
way, who held the pipe, threw water on Mr. Brown, 
who was on one of the bridge abutments, w^here he 
could not readily escape. This act aroused the ire 
of Mr. Baldwin, well known for his quaint expressions 
and terrible wrath when provoked, who shouldered a 
broadax and confronting the foreman, exclaimed : " By 

, Daniel Shumway, 3^ou let a drop of water fall on 

the hem of my garment and every man in town will have 
an engine ! " Mr. Shumway threw no more water that 
day and the engine was immediately housed. 



i68 ANNALS OF OXFORD 



See the Gospel Church secure, 

And founded on a Rock! 
All her promises are sure; 

Her bulwarks who can shock? 

—Charles Wesley. 



Methodist Episcopal Church. 



Methodism in Oxford sprung up as it did eyerywhere in 
tliose early days, probably tlirougli the efforts of the circuit 
rider. As near as can be learned its beginning in Oxford 
dates about the year 1815, and that two years later an 
organization was effected in what is now known as the 
VanWagenen barn, and the building still remains on the 
premises of Mrs. Lemuel Bolles on Albany street. In this 
building, and at the homes of the members of the society, 
they gathered for worship until the society was incorpor- 
porated, September 21, 1831. The church records contain 
the following reference to the organization at that time. 

" The male persons of full age belonging to the Methodist 
Episcopal Church in the yillage of Oxford met at the 
Academy in said yillage, where they steadily attended for 
divine worship, . . . for the purpose of electing nine dis- 
creet persons as trustees, to take charge of the estate and 
property of the said church and to transact all affairs rela- 
tive to the temporalities thereof.'' 

The preacher in charge. Key. James Atwell, presided at 
the meeting, and was assisted by William E. Chapman. 
Bliss Willoughby, Nathaniel Willcox, Caleb Sebury, Ever- 
ett Judson, Gardner B. Lewis, Elias Widger, William E. 
Chapman, George H. King, and Daniel Dudley were elected 
trustees. 




METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH 

VIEW OF CHURCH IN 1870 AT THE TOP 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 169 

Shortly after they purchased the old Academy building 
on the corner of Merchant's (street) Row and Greene 
street, long since destroyed by fire. They worshipped there 
until 1841, when the present edifice was erected under the 
pastorate of Rev. William H. Pearne, brother of Mr. B. M. 
Pearne of this village. Its cost was approximately |3500. 
The corner stone was laid with appropriate ceremonies on 
June 24th of that year, and the church was formally dedi- 
cated to the service of Almighty God January 27, 1842. 

The church building still stands, though many times re- 
modeled. The edifice was repaired and improved under the 
pastorate of Rev. Hiram Gee, in 1856 ; also during the pas- 
torate of Rev. S. F. Brown, in 1872, when over fllOO was 
expended ; in 1880, under the pastorate of Rev. L. W. Peck, 
D. D., when the basement and front was remodeled. The 
front elevated entrance was removed and an inside vesti- 
bule built, with steps at either side leading to the audi- 
torium. The cost at this time was about fllOO. In 1886-7 
the church was entirely remodeled. The exterior was mod- 
ernized b}^ the removal of the steeple and the erection of a 
spire and tower. The front entrance was made convenient 
and artistic. A side entrance was also made on the east 
side, through the east tower. The old galleries were re- 
moved from the interior, and the church otherwise re-ar- 
ranged as it is to-day. The whole effect was to make it 
more convenient and to greatly improve the architectural 
beauty. 

The beautiful cathedral glass windows are all memorials 
of those who have been identified with Oxford Methodism. 
They were made from designs specially made for this 
church. Entering the auditorium at the left the first win- 
dow^ bears the name of Phebe A. Roome and Margaret 
Roome, the gift of Mr. Henry C. Roome of New York, in 
memory of his mother and sister. The next window was 



170 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

provided by Mr. and Mrs. W. J. Mosier, and in addition to 
their own names it bears the names of two deceased sons. 
Since that time Mrs. Mosier has gone to her Heavenly 
home. The next bears the inscription, '^ In loving memory 
of Bliss Willoughby and his descendants," and was pro- 
vided by Mr. W. D. Willoughby of Oxford. The last on 
the east side was given by Mr. George P. York of Westfield, 
N. Y., in memory of his grandparents, '' Isaac J. Strat- 
ton and Rachel, his wife." Passing across the room and 
returning toward the door, the first window is the gift of 
Mr. Charles B. Dudley of Altoona, Pa., in honor of his 
parents, Daniel and Maranda Dudley. The next bears the 
names of John and Mary E. Lord, and was the gift of Mrs. 
Irene Lord of Oxford. The next is a husband's tribute to 
the memory of his departed wife, and was the gift of Mr. 
George Rector of Blue Earth City, Minn., and bears the 
name of Sarah Rector. The last is in memory of the 
sainted colored sister, known as Aunt Sally Sannick. It 
was provided for by the income of a bequest she made to 
the trustees of the society. 

What life was in the early days of the society is best 
described by Sister Eliza P. Eaton, the oldest member in 
both actual years of membership as well as age. Mrs. 
Eaton is now about eighty-eight years of age, but her mem- 
ory retains a strong grasp upon the events relating to the 
church in the period when she joined, about 1838. She 
said the ^lethodist revival meetings were usually dubbed 
'^ the craz}^ meetings." Owing to the strong antipathy her 
friends had to these meetings, she and her friends would 
steal into them. In this way she became converted and 
finally joined the church. In those days there were times 
of trouble with the ministers. One instance was that of 
Rev. John Bailey, who while preacher in charge of this 
church was confirmed in the Episcopal Church in Greene. 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 171 

Sectarian lines were very closely drawn in those days, and 
the discovery that the pastor was sureptitiously preparing 
for the Protestant Episcopal ministry caused a sensation. 
He was speedily discharged from his duties on the advice 
of Rev. Leonard Bowdish, pastor of the church at Norwich. 
Another pastor had certain eccentricities, which at times 
gave the female members of the congregation much concern. 
One of the ablest men who had presided over the church 
was Rev. William Wyatt, pastor in 1847. Rev. Mr. Wyatt, 
in his memoirs, discourses interestingly about his experi- 
ences in Oxford. The most important incident was the 
conversion of Judge McKoon. The incident is best related 
in Mr. Wyatt's own words : 

" Judge McKoon, one of the best and most prominent 
lawyers in the place, had formerly attended the Episcopal 
Church, of which his wife was a member. He now came 
to our church. One evening after preaching we gave an 
invitation to any who wanted religion to come to the altar 
for prayers. Five or six little boys came out and occupied 
the seat; no one else came. The Judge was in the congre- 
gation and deeply penitent. He had made up his mind to 
go forward that night and seek the Lord, but when he saw 
those little children take the place his resolution well nigh 
failed him. It was a matter of surprise and talk among all 
the people that he should leave the Episcopalians and join 
himself to the Methodists; it drew the attention of the 
whole community. He said to himself : ^ An ex- judge of 
the county, where I have presided for a long time, a prom- 
inent lawyer at the bar, a man full fifty years old, and go 
forward and seek God with those little children.' This 
caused a great struggle. He had tried many causes, given 
judgment in intricate and difficult cases, but a case so dif- 
ficult, yet so important in its findings and issues had never 
been brought before him. He stood on trial before the bar 



i-]! ANNALS OF OXFORD 

of his own conscience. It was to him not a matter of dol- 
lars and cents to be estimated by the usual standard of loss 
and gain, but a matter of life and death. . . . Judge Mc- 
Koon went forward that night, found the Lord, and became 
a power in the church.'' 

Mr. Wyatt, in his book, referred to Oxford as a village 
with one hundred and seventy dwellings, but they were 
eastern people brought up in the land of steady habits and 
all taught to go to church, which most of them did. The 
churches were all filled every Lord's day with a very in- 
telligent and well disposed people. He also preached at a 
place called '' South Woods" (now South Oxford, or the 
Basswood Meeting House), and at " Norwich Hill " (now 
called North Guilford). Several young men were sent out 
from this church to preach the gospel, among whom were 
Otis Knight and Orville Mead, the latter being a grandson 
of Everett Judson, one of the first trustees of the church. 

The following list includes all the pastors of the church 

since 1827 : Henry Peck, 1828 ; Mansfield, 1829 ; John 

Snyder, 1830 ; James Atwell, 1831 ; William Bowdish and 
Stowell, 1832 ; Henry Halstead, who was the firvSt sta- 
tioned pastor, 1833-4; John Bailey, 1835; Lyman Sperry, 
1836-7; George Harmon, an eccentric yet powerful man, 
1838-9; Jared C. Ransom, a great revivalist in his day, 
1839-40; William H. Pearne, D. D., 1841-2; Lyman Sperry, 
1843-4; William Bixby, 1844-5; L. L. Knox, 1846; William 
AVyatt, 1847-8; Bostwick HaAvley, D. D., 1849; Zechariah 
Paddock, D. D., 1850 ; Solon Stocking, 1851-2 ; A. S. Graves, 
1852-3 ; J. T. Wright, 1854 ; Hiram Gee, 1855-6 ; L. H. Stan- 
ley, 1857; A. T. Mattison, 1858-60; William R. Cobb, 
1860-1; Dwight Williams, 1862-3; William C. Bowen, 
1864-5; William G. Queal, 1866-7; T. P. Halstead, son of 
Henry Halstead, a former pastor, 1868-70; S. F. Brown, 
1871-2; F. L. Hiller, 1873; H. V. Talbot, 1874-6; J. K. Peck, 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 175 

A. R., 1876-8; S. C. Fultou, Ph. B., 1878-9; L. W. Peck, 
D. D., 1880-2 ; J. W. Mevis, 1883-5 ; A. W. Cooper, 1886-91 ; 
William G. Simpson, William C. Frisbie, A. H. Littell, 
Henry Kilpatrick, I. N. Shipman, and Frederick A. Leri- 
drum have been pastors since 1891, in the order named. 

The church benefited from time to time from several 
bequests, from those who had prized it as a church home, 
and desired to perpetuate its power and influence. 

Perhaps it would not be amiss to insert here a reference 
to the pure life and holy character of the colored sister, 
Aunt Sally Sannick. Although a former slave, she was 
one of the most devout and self-sacrificing members. She 
was one of the earliest members and died in 1882. 



JOHN HARRIS, formerly a sea captain, was an early 
resident of Norwich, and it was he who surveyed the 
road from Oxford to Sherburne. 



Kind reader! take your choice to ci*y or laugh. 

— Byeon. 



Memorial Verses, 



An old custom in which to perpetuate the memory of a 
deceased friend or relative was for some one who thought 
they had a poetical turn of mind to describe the manner of 
death in verse. These memorials were sometimes twenty 
or more stanzas in length, were printed on slips of paper 
and distributed among relatives. The following lines were 



174 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

written by Daniel Holdridge on the accidental death of 
Abner Starkey, which occurred in Oxford March 2, 1847: 

Look, friends and neighbors, one and all, 
How sudden death may on us fall ; 
We are not safe, nor yet secure, 
Nor shall be while our lives endure, 

A dreadful scene of late took place, 
And now I will relate the case : 
Himself and wife to Oxford went, 
'Twas there he met the accident. 

His horse was standing in the shed, 
He went to get him as 'tis said ; 
The horse took fright and out he came ; 
He tried to hold him, but in vain. 

Upon the horse's neck he hung ; 
Against the sign-post he was flung ; 
'Twas there he met the fatal blow 
Which caused him pain and death also. 

They took him up and then with care. 
To a physician did him bear ; — 
Upon examination found 
That he'd received a mortal wound. 

Then for his friends they quickly sent, 
Without delay with speed they went, 
But oh ! alas ! they could not save 
Their friend from an untimely grave. 

His parents and companion too 
Were striving something for to do 
For this dear man, and give some aid 
That would relieve his aching head. 

The funeral sermon then was preached 
By a good man — 'twas Elder Leach ; 
The rites performed, and all things done. 
They then consigned him to the tomb. 

His name to you I'll now make known, 
'Twas Abner Starkey, John's own sou : 
In Smithville town he did reside ; 
In Oxford town, 'twas there he died. 



JONAH MOORE, a settler of McDonough, was drowned 
in the Chenango river at Oxford about the year 1815, 
under circumstances which induced the belief that he 
met a violent death at the hands of parties unknown. 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 175 



Men, some to business, some to pleasure take ; 
. . . some to quiet, some to public strife, 

— Pope. 



Selah H. Fish 



Selah H. Fish was born May 8, 1812, in Springfield, 
Otsego county, N. Y., and came to Oxford in 1847. He was 
first married June 6, 1833, to Maria Brown, born October 
14, 1811; died July 19, 1834. Mr. Fish's second marriage 
was March 12, 1837, when Amy Brown of Fly Creek, 
Otsego county, N. Y., became his wife. She was born June 
27, 1817, and died December 10, 1893, in Neenah, Wis. Mr. 
Fish was a shoemaker and worked at that trade for many 
years in Oxford, and was also deputy sheriff, which office 
he effectually filled for several terms. He took much in- 
terest in the Oxford Band, of which he was a member, and 
was often referred to as the father of that organization. 
On September 20, 1861, Mr. Fish, with seven members, en- 
listed in the Regimental Band of the Anderson Zouaves, 
then encamped near Washington, but returned home early 
in the following spring, having been discharged on account 
of ill health. Mr. and Mrs. Fish left Oxford in 1885 to 
reside with their children at Neenah, Wis., where he met 
an accidental death April 7, 1887, on the Wisconsin Cen- 
tral railroad. Child by first wife : 

Edgar A., born July 12, 1834. In the U. S. Navy during 
Civil war. Died November 27, 1871, in South Oxford. 

Children by second wife: 

Maria L., married Luke M. Robinson of South Oxford. 

Henry C, died February 14, 1845, in Cooperstown, N. Y. 

John J., married Chloe M. Bradley of Mogadore, Ohio. 
Now County Clerk of Winnebago county, Wis. 



176 ANNALS OF OXFORD 



A brave man struggling in the storms of fate. 

— Pope. 



Edward A. Roome, 



Edward A. Roome was born October 26, 1802, in New 
York City, and for a number of years was a commission 
merchant. He was an ardent Henry Clay Whig and, while 
acting as marshal of a political procession, was knocked 
from his horse and sustained a fracture of the skull, from 
the effects of which he never fully recovered. During the 
spring of 1846 he and his partner undertook a journey to 
what was then considered the far west, in order to pro- 
cure each of them a farm. After visiting the extreme west- 
ern part of the state they returned east through the Che- 
nango valley. Being captivated by its beauties, they con- 
cluded to purchase farms adjoining each other in this 
town. Subsequently Mr. Roome bought the farm of An- 
drew McNeil, now owned by Mrs. Alice McCall, while his 
partner engaged to purchase the Brush farm adjoining, 
now owned by O. M. Westover. Returning to New York, 
he removed his family to Oxford in the fall of that year. 
As the Erie railroad was not at that time completed the 
family and goods were transported via Erie and Chenango 
canals, in a boat commanded by Captain George Balcom,. 
afterwards the famous Baptist evangelist. Henry C. 
Roome, the eldest son, in speaking of the trip, says : " How 
well I remember my first impression of Oxford as I entered 
the village, tramping along the towpath by the side of the 
horses towing the boat. How dark and gloomy the ^ hole 
in the wall ' appeared ; how tall and massive the steps lead- 
ing up to the office of The Oxford Times in the building 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 177 

which stood ou the site of the First National Bank edifice ; 
and v> ith what awe and wonder I gazed upon, to me at 
that time, the ponderous elbow- jointed printing press, and 
with what feeling of supremacy, born of my superior years, 
I looked upon the youngster engaged in play with a news- 
paper on the counter." Mr. Roome and family took board 
with Colonel Otis J. Tracy and the following spring re- 
moved to the Brush farm, having paid forfeit to Mr. Mc- 
Neil for not completing the purchase of his farm. After 
an experience of three years in farming he became tired of 
it and sold to William E. Chapman, moving into the vil- 
lage so that he could educate his children at the Academy. 
Mr. Roome occupied with his family the old Ingersoll 
house, which stood on the corner above Riverview ceme- 
tery, and which was demolished in 1903. After a year or 
two he purchased a house on Mechanic street. The effects 
of his injury becoming more and more severe, he was trans- 
ferred to the Bloomingdale Asylum, New York, where he 
died April 18, 1855. Mr. Roome married, in 1833, Phebe 
Hyer of New York City, born in 1811, and died March 28, 
1874, in Oxford. Children : 

Sarah, born May 1, 1836, in New York City; died May 
5, 1874, in Blue Earth City, Minn. ; married April 20, 1856, 
Oeorge C. Rector. 

Henry C, born in New York City, married March 1, 
1864, Mary J., daughter of Dr. Austin and Jane (Perkins) 
Rouse. Residence, Jersey City, N. J. Mr. Roome enlisted 
during the Civil war in the 89th N. Y. S. V., was promoted 
to be captain, and finally became major. While endeavor- 
ing to save his regimental colors in a charge made against 
the enemy's works on September 27, 1864, he was taken 
prisoner and placed in Libby prison. Afterwards he was 
transferred to Salisbury, N. C, from whence he was re- 
le?.sed in February, 1865. 



J78 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

Angelina, born March 7, 1840 ; died March 25, 1902, in 
Hastings, Neb. ; married July 22, 1875, George C. Rector. 

Benjamin F., resides in New York City. 

Margaret H., born in 1847, in Oxford ; died October 11^ 
1869, in Oxford. 



AT THE TOWN MEETING held in 1796 Ephraim 
Fitch was chosen supervisor, and it was 

Voted. That Nathan Carpenter and James Phelps be pound keepers 
and that their yards be pounds the year ensuing. 

Voted. To give four pounds for each wolf's pate killed in this 
Town. 

Voted. That hogs be free commoners yok'd and ring'd. 

In the same year we find the record of ^' Marks of 
Creatures " : 

Isaac Snell's mark is a square crop off the right ear and a slit in 
the end of the same 

David Shapley's mark is a half penny the underside of the right 
ear. 

Samuel Hunt's mark a half penny under side the right ear and 
under side the left ear a half crop. 

Joel Sprague's mark a square crop off the left ear and half penny 
underside the same. 

Anson Gary's mark is a swallow's tail on the right ear. 

Shubel Coy's mark is a smooth crop off the right Ear and a half 
penny under it. 

Jonathan Baldwin's mark for creatures is a hole in the right ear. 

Green Hall's mark is the end of the right ear cut off square apply'd 
for this 7th June, 179G. Sign'd Elihu Murray, Clerk. 



DAVID AND HANNAH SHAPLEY came to this town 
in 1800 and began the construction, in the then 
unbroken wilderness, of the home where they lived and 
died. Their son, John, born May 5, 1810, married Naomi 
Wheeler, and died July 18, 1882. 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 179 



Consider, man ; weigh well thy frame, 
The king, the beggar, is the same ; 
Dust formed us all. Each breathes his day- 
Then sinks in his native clay. 

—Gay. 



George Douglas, M. D. 



The Douglas family dates its origin as far back as the 
eleventh century. The first Douglas that settled in Amer- 
ica was one William Douglas, who landed in Boston, 
Mass., but later moved to New London, Conn., where he 
built the first frame house, which stood until 1865. Wil- 
liam Douglas, grandfather of the subject of this sketch, 
was a captain of a military company during the Revolu- 
tionary war. 

Dr. George Douglas, long a practicing physician in 
Oxford, died at his home on Washington park October 9, 
1906. The doctor had been in feeble health for several 
months. He stood high in his chosen profession, and was 
a member of the Congregational Church. 

Dr. Douglas was the son of Hon. Amos and Miriam 
(Wright) Douglas, and born at Franklin, N. Y., May 7, 
1823. He married February 17, 1858, Ada E. Frink of 
Fabius, N. Y., who died March 8, 1864. His second mar- 
riage occurred June 14, 1866, when he married Jane A., 
daughter of William Mygatt of Oxford, who died November 
24, 1894. 

Dr. Douglas was educated at the Delaware Literary In- 
stitute at Franklin, graduating in 1840. He read medicine 
with Dr. Francis Hine in his native town and later with 



i8o ANNALS OF OXFORD 

Dr. Clark at Smithville Flats, and in 1842 entered Geneva 
Medical College, and in 1844 the medical department of 
the University of the City of New York, graduating April 
14, 1845. He began the practice of his profession at Smith- 
ville Flats, and in 1846 came to Oxford and entered into 
copartnership with Dr. S. K. Clarke in the drug business, 
which was dissolved in June of the following year. In 
August, 1860, he, Avith William H. VanWagenen, pur- 
chased the stock of drugs and medicine of Dr. Clarke, his 
form.er partner, retiring from the firm after a few years. 
Dr. Douglas still continued the practice of medicine in 
Oxford until his removal to Brooklyn in 1877, v/here he 
remained two years, and then returned to this village, and 
in 1887 purchased of William H. VanWagenen the resi- 
dence on Washington Park. 

Dr. Douglas, in July, 1864, was appointed Surgeon of 
the Board of Enrollment of this Congressional district. 
During the year 1887, accompanied by his daughter, he 
spent several months in Europe. He was a member of the 
New York State Medical Association, and the Chenango 
County Medical Association. In 1871 he was elected an 
honorary member of the California State Medical Society, 
and was a member of the Centennial International Medical 
Congress held in 1876 at Philadelphia. He was ex-presi- 
dent of the Rocky Mountain Medical Association, a mem- 
ber of the World's Medical Congress held in 1887 at 
W^ashington, in 1890 was a delegate from the American 
Medical Association to the World's Medical Congress, 
which assembled in Berlin, Germany, and was also a mem- 
ber of the first Pan-American Medical Congress held in 
1893 at Washington. 

Dr. Douglas was survived by one daughter, Mrs. Ellen 
^McDonald, who had been his companion and attendant at 
liome and abroad for many years. 




JUDSON B. GALF^IN 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 



Allured to brighter worlds, and led the way. — Goldsmith. 

Judson B. Galpin. 



Jiidson Benjamin Galpin was a descendant of Benjamin 
and Rebecca Galpin, who settled at Woodbury, Conn., in 
1680. The family has been traced back to the Huguenot 
war in the early part of the sixteenth century, when the 
De Galpins Avere driven from Paris, some went to Switzer- 
land, others to Germany and England. Those who fled to 
the latter country dropped the " De," and the Galpins in 
America came from that line. Philip and Caleb Galpin, 
sons of John Galpin of Bristol, Somerset county, England, 
came to New Haven, Conn., in 1650, and were the first of 
that name in America. The Galpin coat of arms consists 
of a Bear " passant," on a field argent mounted upon a 
banner of ermine, which in turn is surmounted by three 
fleurs-de-lys. 

Mr. Galpin was the eldest son of Benjamin and Polly 
(Judson) Galpin. He was born May 15, 1816, at Washing- 
ton, Conn., died February 20, 1893, at Oxford; married 
May 16, 1841, Catherine Jane, second daughter of Alfred 
and Sarah (Hamlin) Hawley Brownson, born December 
2, 1818, at Warren, Conn. On the 16th of May, 1891, Mr. 
and Mrs. Galpin, with their children, quietly celebrated the 
golden anniversary of their wedding at tlie family resi- 
dence on Clinton street, Oxford. 

Mr. Galpin at the age of seventeen years entered the 
printing office of the New Haven (Conn.) Palladium, under 



i82 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

the now almost forjj^otten apprentice system, as an " inden- 
tured apprentice.-' He was an apt scholar, and in January, 
1838, when the five years of his apprenticeship were ended, 
he, with James F. Babcock, became publishers of the PaUa- 
dium. The partnership was dissolved in October, 1839, but 
he remained in the office until May 14, 1841. The follow- 
ing month at the earnest solicitation of Elisha N. Hawley, 
]Mrs. Galpin's half-brother, he with his young wife removed 
to the neighboring town of Greene. A journey in those 
days that was thouglit to be far west and a considerable 
undertaking. In that village Mr. Galpin and Mr. Hawley 
conducted a general merchandise business for nearly four 
years, when, in 1845, a yearning for his chosen profession 
induced him to come to Oxford and engage upon The 
Times. Later he became associate publisher with Waldo 
M. Potter, who in after years became a leading State officer 
in North Dakota. On March 4, 1848, Mr. Galpin became 
sole proprietor and had full charge of the paper for 
forty-five years, until impaired health compelled him 
to lay down the stick and rule and submit the man- 
agement of the office to his eldest son, Theodore B. Gal- 
pin. During the long years as publisher The Times 
never failed to be issued on the regular publication day, 
was seldom behind the usual hour, and he was absent but 
twice on that day during his service of nearly half a cen- 
tury. His journal stood prominent among the leading in- 
terior newspapers of his day. His published opinions, we 
are told, '' always commanded the respect, if not the ad- 
hesion of his readers.'' Mr. Galpin was faithful to his 
trusts, true to his friends, and conducted The Times for 
the best interests of the town and its welfare, and the files 
of the paper are a fitting memorial to his integrity. 

For nearly forty years Mr. Galpin conducted a book and 
stationery business in connection with the printing estab- 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 183 

lishment, and at bis death was the oldest business man in 
town. 

He was a regular attendant at the Methodist Episcopal 
church, of which he was a member and trustee, and was 
clerk of the board for many years. 

Public spirited, he gave generously to all that would 
benefit the village or town, and no subscription paper 
passed unsigned by him that would help a townsman in 
distress. Public office he never sought nor ever held. Of 
a quiet, retiring disposition, he was ever found at his place 
of business, yet enjoyed the companionship of friends and 
neighbors who entered his home or office. His children, 
all born in Oxford, are : 

Theodore Brownson Galpin, born " Ere pinks were 
carnations and roses all double," from a boy up has always 
been identified with The Oxford Times. Like most print- 
ers, who have achieved success, he has passed through the 
various elements of carrier, devil, compositor, pressman, 
foreman, and country newspaper editor. The only in- 
tervals that occur to break a continued connection with 
The TniES were his attendance at Oxford Academy and 
two terms at Cazenovia Seminary. Even in the days when 
he was attendin^: the Academv he was wont to divide his 
time out of school with work at the office, and many a 
night during the Civil war he put in long hours as roller- 
boy on the Washington hand press, which still has a retired 
nook in the office and at an age quite, if not past, the cen- 
tury mark. At the close of his school days at Cazenovia, 
Mr. Galpin began his active connection with the paper, 
which has never ceased to this day. Through the medium 
of The Times, he stands for his home town first, last, and 
all the time, which sentiment has generally been appre- 
ciated by his townsmen. He conducts his business in a 



i84 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

practical and progressive manner, his policy being to give 
the reader spicy local news, and advertisers the best possi- 
ble service. He realizes that advertising is done for the 
purpose of securing results. Accordingly his efforts have 
always been directed to making The Times service bring 
results, and in this he has been notably successful. 
When Mr. Galpin retires at night and hangs his hat on the 
wall his family are all in. 

Henry Judson, married Mrs. Eva B. Williams of Ful- 
ton, N. Y., youngest daughter of Horace Nelson and 
Matilda (VanValkenburg) Sabin. 

Florrie Gee, married John N. Walker, son of John and 
Mary (Sawtelle) Walker of McDonough, N. Y. Now re- 
sides at Warsaw, N. Y. Children: John Galpin, con- 
nected with the Electric Signal and Switch Company at 
Pittsburg, Pa.; Robert SaAvtelle, stenographer for War- 
saw Blue Stone Company, Warsaw, N. Y. ; Alfred Brown- 
son, died September 16, 1889, in infancy; Catherine, died 
September 28, 1891, in infancy ; Agnes Louise. 

Jennie Harriet, married Henry Starkweather, son of 
John H. and Anna Starkweather of New^ Haven, Conn. 
Now resides at Pittsburg, Pa. 



LABORER'S WAGES in 1826 were from forty to sixty 
cents a day. Fresh beef was four cents a pound and 
fresh pork three and a half cents. " Locofoco " matche« 
twenty-five cents per box, for what are now sold for a 
cent. Cord wood, one dollar per cord; flour, four to ten 
dollars per barrel; tobacco, forty cents per pound, and 
whisky thirty-five cents i)er gallon. 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 185 



He lives who dies to win a lasting name. 

— Drum MONO. 



Nelson C. Chapman. 



Nelson C. Chapman came in 1846 to Oxford from Nor- 
wich, and with his brother-in-law^, Joseph G. Thorp, suc- 
ceeded Ira Willcox in the general mercantile business con- 
ducted at the brick store on Fort Hill. For a period of ten 
years they Avere prominent and successful business men of 
Oxford. Having disposed of their goods to Miller & Per- 
kins, they engaged in banking for a short time in Clinton, 
Iowa, but finally became extensively engaged in the lum- 
bering business at Eau Claire, Wis., where, by indomitable 
energy and sagacity, they secured a fortune. Mr. Chap- 
man's large business interest directed him a few years 
later to St. Louis, where he became prominent in business 
circles and very influential in public affairs. He died in 
that city September 12, 1873. Elizabeth A., his wife, died 
May 6, 1876, aged 58. Children : 

Gilbert, deceased. 

Florence A., born July 3, 1847, in Oxford; died Decem- 
ber 2, 1900, in Paris, France; married October 21, 1869, at 
St. Louis, Henry Alcock, Esq., of Leamington, Warwick- 
shire, England, who died in 1893. Children: Mary, Gil- 
l>ert, died shortly after his father; Nelson, died in June, 
1900; Harry, lieutenant of the English Navy, and Vivian. 

Charles. 

Nelson C, residence St. Louis, Mo. 



i86 ANNALS OF OXFORD 



That chastity of honor which felt a stain like a wound. 

— BUBKE. 



Capt. Joseph Hawley Dwight 



Captain Joseph Hawley Dwight was born at Great Bar- 
rington, Mass., September 13, 1785. Soon after arriving 
at the age of 21 he went to Bridgewater, N. Y., and in 1812 
entered the United States army as ensign. During the war 
he was engaged for the most time in active service on the 
frontier, and toward the close as quartermaster to the 13th 
Reg't of Infantry, in which position he served faithfully. 
At the close of the war he resigned his office and resided at 
Unadilla Forks, N. Y., Schenectady, and Utica until 1810, 
when he came to Oxford. Here he entered into copartner- 
ship with the Clarkes, under the firm name of E. Clarke, 
Son & Co., which was dissolved May 1, 1843, by his with- 
drawal. Captain Dwight was knov>'n and esteemed for his 
strict integrity, and beloved by all for his benevolence of 
heart and hand. His death at the age of 60 followed a car- 
riage accident which occurred August 6, 1815. Catherine 
Clarke, his wife, sister of Ethan Clarke, born April 17, 
1793, in Stonington, R. I., died June 11, 1840, in Oxford. 
They had but one child, Henry William, who died in 
infancv. 



T^AVID DAVIS was one of the early settlers of the 
'■— ^ town, but very little is now known of him, except 
that he had two daughters, Cornelia, married Joseph 
Lobdell, and Lucinda, married Francello Stuart. 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 187 



Of manners gentle, of affections mild ; 
In wit a man, simplicity a child. 

' — Pope. 



Rev. Jared C. Ransom 



Rev. Jared Comstock Ransom was born at Warren, 
Herkimer county, May 24, 180S, and early in life became a 
member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. In 1834 he 
was given an exhorter^s license, and in 1836 a local preach- 
er's license ; the same year he joined Oneida Conference, and 
in 1869 became a member of Wyoming Conference. His 
pastoral record was Sharon, Brookfield, Otego, Chenango 
Circuit, Butternuts, and Oxford. In 1839, on account of 
feeble health, he was superanuated and came to Oxford, 
purchasing the house and land on State street, which he 
occupied till his death. He devoted much time to agricul- 
tural pursuits, and officiating for absent pastors. He was 
firm in his duties and convictions, highly respected and 
esteemed in this and adjoining communities. His services 
were frequently required at wedding and funeral cere- 
monies, and an incomplete record from November 3, 1839, 
to June 2, 1879, shows that he officiated at 327 weddings ; 
and from January 15, 1837, to June 12, 1877, he preached 
583 funeral sermons. In November, 1879, Elder Ransom 
was stricken with paralysis on his right side, and died July 
5, 1882, aged 79. His first wife was Ann Amanda Cook, 
who died December 25, 1828, leaving three sons. On 
August 2, 1840, he married Mary Preston of Oxford, who 
died December 28, 1858. 



Charles C. Ransom, eldest son of Rev. J. C. Ransom, 
was employed several years in the office of The Oxford 



i88 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

Times. He was cordial and pleasant in manner, and pos- 
sessing good-natured mirth attached many friends, espe- 
cially among those of his own age. On leaving The Times 
office he secured a position on the Erie railroad. On Feb- 
ruary 21, 1856, an accident occurred at Cascade bridge 
by which he lost his life. He had signaled a train across 
the bridge and with a lamp on each arm attempted to get 
upon a car ; his foot slipped and was caught under a wheel, 
which passed over him, severing an arm and leg from 
the body. He was taken to Susquehanna, where he sur- 
vived for four hours, suffering little pain and in the full 
possession of his senses until he calmly expired. 

Norman K. Ransom, brother of above, a prominent citi- 
zen of Richfield Springs, died at that place March 13, 1872. 



THE C0M:M0N schools of the town celebrated 
Wasiiington's birthday at the Congregational church 
in 1844. Music was furnished by the Tyrolean Band, and 
the exercises consisted of examinations of the scholars 
in arithmetic and grammar, followed by addresses from 
Revs. Perry, Burtis, and Sperry. Eighteen of the twenty^ 
one districts were represented by teachers, who were ac- 
companied by 460 scholars. Nearly 100 more children 
and 300 adults were present. 



JOHN HOLMES died in Oxford, May 12, 1849, in the 
90th year of his age. He entered the Revolutionary 
army at the age of 16, and served until the conclusion of 
the war. He came to this town when there was but one 
dwelling where the village now stands, and resided here 
until his death. Esther, his widow, died March 21, 1863, 
aged 86. 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 1S9 



Ay, sir ; to be honest, as this world goes, is to be one 
man picked out of two thousand, 

— Shakespeare. 



Addison Dudley Adams. 



Addison Dudley Adams, son of Piatt and Clarissa (Dud- 
ley) Adams, was born in Durham, Greene county. He 
received his elementary education in the public schools of 
his native town, and on finishing his school work moved to 
Oxford and engaged in mercantile business in the Fort Hill 
block. After remaining here a few years he removed in 
1839 to Greene, Avhere he conducted a general dry goods 
business. He married Mary, daughter of John and Mary 
(Welch) Perry of Oxford. Mr. Adams held the position of 
supervisor of the town of Greene for several terms. His 
death occurred in 1878. Mrs. Adams died January 27, 
1905. Children : 

Platt, married Claire Varlet of Paris, France, and re- 
sides in New York City. 

John P., married Calista Weaver of Syracuse; resides 
at New York City. 

William A., married Mary Kule of Belleville, N. J.; 
dead. 

Reuben A., died in infancy. 

Augustus Willard, resides in Chicago. He held for 
two years the athletic championship in the United States at 
putting the sixteen pound shot. 

Emily C, married Eomeo M. Wilbur of Sioux City, la.; 
now resides in Greene. 



90 ANNALS OF OXFORD 



A heap of dust alone remains of thee, 

'Tis all thou art, and all the proud shall be. 

— Pope. 



Horace Packer. 



Horace Packer, born in Norwich, January 2, 1812, came 
to Oxford in 1839. He was educated at the district schools 
of his native town, at Oxford Academy, and Madison Uni- 
versity at Hamilton. He read law with Judge McKoon in 
this village, was early admitted to the bar, and began the 
practice of law, in which by untiring and indomitable spirit 
he gained a prominent position among distinguished com- 
petitors. In November, 1846, he married Mary A. Tisdal 
of Little Falls, N. Y., who died seven months afterwards. 

Through life and to his last days, Mr. Packer was a dili- 
gent student, and much of a philsopher. In the study of 
sacred and polite literature, history and the classics, he 
was probably equalled by few or none in our midst. His 
ready and accurate familiarity with the ancient philoso- 
phers, the incidents of their early lives and the spirit of 
their teachings was a surprise to those verifying his state- 
ments by knowledge or research. To those who knew him 
by a mere superficial acquaintance there can be but a 
small idea of the originality, brilliant wit and conversa- 
tional powers that for many years made him a central 
figure in social life, and always a delight in family 
gatherings. 

Losing his wife so early, his long, solitary life unblessed 
by those graces which come from the love, sacrifice, and 
sympathy of the home circle to the husband and father, 
there was yet displayed in his life in a remarkable degree 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 191 

an almost knightly courtesy and kindness to all, high or 
low, with Avliom he was associated. For young men he was 
especially considerate and thoughtful; helping them for- 
ward into notice and self-confidence. 

Always active, though for some years in delicate health, 
his final sickness lasted but about ten days, and his death, 
which occurred from lung disease, was unexpectedly sud- 
den. He died at his residence in this village November 
10, 1881. 



OLIVER C. RHODES, born June 16, 1769, inWesterly 
R.I., came to Oxford in 1814, where he resided until 
his death, which occurred April 23, 1846. His wife, Eunice 
Pendleton, born December 15, 1776, in Westerly, died Octo- 
ber 10, 1854, in Oxford. They bought the farm now owned 
and occupied by their great grandson, Oliver John Rhodes, 
north of the Woman's Relief Corps Home. Among their 
children was Oliver, 2d, born December 26, 1803, in West- 
erly, R. I., and died February 11, 1893, in Oxford, on the 
farm on Avhich he had resided seventy-eight years. He mar- 
ried February 5, 1841, Marie Louisa Perry, daughter of 
Deacon John Perry, born February 3, 1812, in Smithville, 
N. Y., and died March 4, 1903, in Oxford. Children, none 
of whom survive: 

Ellen Marie, married Thomas Peck, who met an acci- 
dental death on the railroad. 

John P., married Rufina Pierce. Children : Carrie 
Ellen, married AVilliam Fox ; Oliver John, married Emma 
C. Whited of Binghamton, now living on the old home- 
stead ; Belle Bond, died at the age of 12. 

Oliver, 3d, died in infancy. 



193 ANNALS OF OXFORD 



Whose remembrance yet lives in men's eyes, 

— Shakespeare. 



Frederick A. Sands. 



Frederick A. Sands, son of Judge Obadiah and Elizabeth 
(Teed) Sands, was born in Bainbridge, February 19, 1813. 
He Avas a student in Oxford Academy in 1828. As early 
as 1835 he was a clerk in a store at Unadilla, and later 
engaged in business under the firm name of Fellows & 
Sands, which was soon changed to Watson & Sands. In 
1840 he returned to Oxford and entered into business with 
his brother-in-law, James W. Clarke. In 1856 he returned 
to Unadilla, and a few years later, on the death of his 
father, Mr. Sands, who was executor and trustee of the 
estate, abandoned his mercantile pursuits and devoted him- 
self to the affairs of the estate. 

On the formation of the First National Bank of Oxford, 
Mr. Sands became interested with James W. Clarke, and 
an old personal friend, Henry L. ^liller, and others, and 
was one of the original directors and the first cashier of 
that institution. Mr. Miller and he were lifelong friends, 
and they were buried at the same hour and on the same day 
in ^larch, 1886. At the death of Mr. Sands it was said of 
him, ^^ Few men have done so much business with so little 
litigation.'' His papers were " models of neatness and 
brevity, and always as correct as care and labor could 
make them." With this scrupulous exactness went also a 
fine integrity. 

Mr. Sands married (1) Maria, daughter of Sherman 
Page, who died two years after the marriage; married (2) 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 193 

in January, 1841, Clarissa A., sister of Henry R. Mygatt 
of Oxford, wlio survived him only a few months. 

Children: 

Frances Maria, died September 20, 1841. 

Clara Mygatt, married Senator Frank B. Arnold; died 
June 3, 1881. 

Henry, married (1), 1872, Eveline Ingersoll; married 
(2), 1885, Ada Wilson. 

Belle, married Samuel S. North. 

J. Frederick, married Clara Louise Pelletreau. 



JEREMIAH TILLOTSON, born in 1776 in Rutland, 
Vt., came to Oxford after obtaining his majority. He 
married in this town and shortly afterwards moved to 
Greene, where he died in 1852. He was a soldier in the 
War of 1812, and rendered gallant service until the close 
of the same. Children: 

Jeremiah, married Lovicy Loomis of Greene, who died 
November 7, 1877, in Oxford, aged 71. He inherited a 
fortune while yet a young man, but through high living 
and a generous disposition he was left penniless in his 
old age, and died September 11, 1898, aged 94, at the 
County House in Preston. 

Sabrina, married William Race of South Oxford. 

Silas, married Eunice Smith of Rutland, Mass. 



PLATT BRUSH settled in Greene as early as 1802. He 
removed to Oxford in the spring of 1810, where he 
practiced law. He finally returned to New York from 
whence he originally came. 



f94 ANNALS OF OXFORD 



Everyone cleaves to the doctrine he has happened upon as to 
a rock against which he has been thrown by tempest 

— ClCEBO. 



Rev. Jabez S. Swan 



Kev. Jabez S. Swan, better known as Elder Swan, was a 
native of Stonington, Ct., and when the British fleet bom- 
barded that place in 1814 served as powder monkey to the 
t^annoneers that defended the towm. At the age of 22 he 
was a licensed preacher ; but thinking himself insufficiently 
educated, determined to take a theological course at Madi- 
son University, Hamilton, N. Y. To reach the college he 
rode 250 miles on horseback. Having |100 saved from 
hard work, and a young wife earnest and active as himself, 
he leased a cabin for nine dollars a year and began house- 
keeping. Every Sunday while at college he rode twenty 
miles to preach before a congregation that paid him fifty 
cents a sermon. On other days he earned three shillings at 
felling trees and cutting timber. In 1827 he was grad- 
uated. In such a school of heroic self-denial, Elder Swan 
was fitted for the work to which, during the next fifty years, 
he applied himself. Fifteen thousand persons were con- 
verted under his preaching, and in one of his earliest pas- 
torates, covering a period of three years, he baptized 1800 
persons. He became insane at the time the lamented Gar- 
field was assassinated, and until his death, which occurred 
at New London, Ct., November 19, 1884, at the age of 85, 
his mind was under a cloud. He was pastor of the Oxford 
Baptist Church from 1839 to 1842. During one of the 
revival meetings he was holding here, Asa Beardsley, a 
noted character, and of veiy dark c( mplexion, went for- 
ward. Elder Swan, on seeing him among the penitents, 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 195 

exclaimed : " The devil has turned over another black 
ace ! '^ The following is an extract from one of his 
sermons : 

" I was preaching once over on the borders of heathen- 
dom, between Guilford and Oxford, and in my audience 
saw a hard shell Baptist, who had said that * if Christ 
had gone through his cornfield on Sunday and picked ears 
of corn, he would have had a supreme writ on him before 
he slept/ I knew he was there and I told the story. A 
half crazy fellow sat upon the pulpit stairs, and, as I 
finished, he looked up and said : * Well, Elder, he would 
have to go to the devil to get the writ, wouldn't he? * Yes, 
said I, and it would have been an eternal journey." 



JONATHAN BUSH lived on Merchants street at a very 
early day and owned considerable land in the village. 
Washington Park was once a cornfield owned by his son. 
It can be said of him : 



This man came to this country at an early day, 
Where nothing dwelt, but beasts of prey, 
And men as fierce, and wild as they." 



AMOS HAVENS was an early settler in the eastern part 
of the town. After his death the family moved to 
Bainbridge. Among his children were : William, Champ- 
lain, Ursula, married Job Ireland; Mary Ann, married 
and went west ; Calista, was a deaf mute ; and Frederick, 
was blind, having destroyed the sight of one eye by doctor- 
ing the other, which was accidently destroyed by a knife. 



196 ANNALS OF OXFORD 



Neither fish nor flesh, nor good red herring. — Sir H. Sheers. 



Fourth of July Bill 



The following is a copy of a bill incurred by the com- 
mittee of nineteen who superintended the celebration of 
Indepedence Day in 1838. It will be noticed that they 
did not recklessly use the funds on beer and cigars : 

4th .July Committee. 

To T. Orcutt, Dr. 

June 7th To 2 Bottles wine ^2.00 

8 " " do do 2.0O 

Soda 2.5 

15 " one Bottle wine 1.00 

July 3 " Expenses paid bringing boughs 2.5 

'* " 2 pitchers Lemonade 1.00 

4 "4 Bottles Rum at 4/— 2.00 

" 6 do Brandy " 3.00 

" 9 do Wine 8/— 9.00 

" 6 Bowls 8 Sugar 4/— 3.00 

" 6 Bowls & Sugar 4/— 3.00 

" Crackers & Cheese 50 

" Segars 50 

" Beer 25 

'* 6 drinks 37 

" 16 pitchers Lemonade 8.00 

" punches 50 

" 1 Tumbler Broke 25 



$33.87 
1 Bottle Wine 1.00 

22 Diners for Revolutionary Soldiers 

3 " Clergy 

19 " Committee 

18 " Musicians 62.00 

$96.87 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 197 



We have strict statutes and most fitting laws. 

— Shakespeabe, 



Court of Common Pleas. 



The first Court of Common Pleas held- in Chenango 
County was convened at the schoolhouse in Hamilton in 
June, 1798. The first business transacted was the admis- 
sion of Thomas R. Gold, Joseph Kirkland, Nathan Wil- 
liams, Stephen O. Runyan, Nathaniel King, Arthur 
Breese, Peter B. Garnsey and Medad Curtis, to practice 

as attorneys and counselors in this Court. The second 
term was held in Oxford, in October, 1798; and after 
this the Courts were held alternately at Oxford and Ham- 
ilton until the formation of Madison county. The Court 
met three times a year to transact county business. The 
Judges were authorized to open the Court on Tuesday, 
but not to hold beyond Saturday of the same week. 

The first Circuit Court was held July 10, 1798, at 

which Justice Kent, afterwards Chancellor, presided. No 

business was transacted at this sitting of the Court, as 

will appear from the subjoined copy of the clerk^s minutes : 
At a Circuit Court held at the Academy in the town of Oxford in 
and for the County of Chenango, on the 10th July, 1798, before the 
Honorable James Kent, Esquire, one of the Justices of the Suprem* 
Court of judicature of the State of New York. 

Present 

Hon. James Kent, Esq. 

The Court opened by proclamation. 

The Court adjourned for one hour. 

The Court met pursuant to adjournment. 

Present, 

Hon. James Kent, Esq. 

The Court adjourned sine die. 



!98 ANNALS OF OXFORD 



'The days corae and go liks muffled and veiled figures; 
but they say nothing, and if we do not use the gifts 
that bring they carry them as silently away." 



Extracts from a Journal, 



Extracts from a Journal, written by Miss Susan Hop- 
kins, daughter of Capt. Frederick Hopkins. It is dated 
Oxford Female Seminary, February 22d, 1836 : 

This week begins the last half of this term and I commence Journal 
Writing. My studies this term are Philosophy, Tytler's History, Emer- 
son's Arithmetick, Grammar, and Woodbridge's Geography. We go 
up stairs nearly every week to see Philosophical experiments, they 
are generally very interesting. We repeat verses from the Bible every 
other morning. My verse this morning was Mr. Bailey's text yester- 
day forenoon. It was in John 3 chapter 16 verse ... I attend 
singing school every Saturday, we have a very pleasant school. There 
are upwards of sixty scholars. Mr. Buel, the teacher, is very strict. 
Wednesday evenings we have a Sigourney society. We speak pieces 
and have a Mirror read that is very interesting, and repeat facts, and 
Miss R. selects an interesting story to read. Now I must put up my 
writing to read and spell. 

Tuesday 23, 1836. 
I am again seated at Miss Hyde's table to write my Journal. It 
it not quite as pleasant to-day as it was yesterday, as the sun does 
not shine, but it is as warm I think. . . . This afternoon I have 
got to cipher, I am ciphering in interest. I find the sums very difficult 
and cannot do them without a great deal of assistance. ... I will 
put up my Journal and attend to my lessons. 

Thursday, February 25, 1836. 
To-day the wind blows quite hard and the snow flies. Tuesday even- 
ing we did not go up stairs as we thought we should, but I went 
to a party at Mr. Miller's. We had a very pleasant party. Yesterday 
Miss Cheever came to school for the last time. She is going home 
next week. I wrote to M. G. Throop yesterday. I am going to send 
it by Miss Cheever. Last evening we went up stairs. The experi- 
ments were not as interesting as we expected they would be. We 
saw the Magick Lantern. That was very pretty, but I have seen that 
before. . . . This morning the Trustees came in school, but did 
not happen to hear me recite, which I was very glad of. This week 
is the week to write compositions, which I must be a thinking about 
I dread to hear the name of composition, but it is for my improve- 
ment so I must do the best I can. 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 199 

Friday, February 26, 1836. 
To-day it snows very fast, the flakes of snow are so large they look 
almost like feathers. Sarah Jane was taken with the croup day 
before yesterday and is no better yet, she has it very hard. . . . 

Monday, February 29, 1836. 
Another cold stormy day. I did not write a Journal Saturday, as 
there was no school. ... In the evening I went to singing school, 
the afternoon I spent at Dr. Clark's with Miss Cheever and M. Perry. 
Yesterday was Sunday. In the morning I attended the Methodist 
meeting. In the afternoon there being no meeting at the Methodist, 
I went to the Baptist. To-day the weather is very cold and it snows. 
I came to school very early. We repeated verses, mine was in Phi- 
lippians, 2 chapter, and 14 verse. Miss Hyde came to school, but was 
sick and went home. Miss U. Glover heard us recite. . . . 

Tuesday, March 1st, 1836. 
To-night there is a cotillion party at Mr. Clark's, which I calculate 
to attend. Miss Hyde was not well enough to come to school to-day 
and Miss M. Maine heard us recite. 

Thursday, March 3, 1836. 
. . . Miss Cheever started for home yesterday morning, I spent 
the evening with her before she left at a cotillion party at Mr. Clark's. 
I received a letter from L. Wheeler day before yesterday. She expects 
to come to Oxford to school next term. 

Monday, March 7, 1836. 
I have not written a Journal since Thui*sday as I have not had 
time. . . . Yesterday was very pleasant in the forenoon. Mr. Bush 
preached. ... I received a note Saturday from Miss A C. Rodman. 

Tuesday, March 8, 1836. 
. . . Yesterday C, Hyde came to school in the afternoon. It 
was her birthday, fifteen years old, I think I shall go home this 
afternoon as I have not been since New Year's day, which is longer 
than I ever staid away before. Last evening sister received a letter 
from Cousin Jane. She says the snow is four feet deep at Kingston, 
Pa., and they have had severe cold weather. 

Thursday, March 10, 1836. 
According to my expectations, Tuesday afternoon I went home. In 
the morning my brother John went up the river five miles for a 
doctor for Mrs. Hull, who is very sick, and I went with him. I had 
a very pleasant ride as it was a beautiful day. I did not get back 
until after school had begun, but was in time to learn my Philosophy 
and History lessons. In the evening we went up stairs to see some 
experiments, Mr, McKoon showed us the electrical machine, and also 
the umbra and penumbra caused by the shadow of the earth and moon. 
These he illustrated by taking a pail and putting it on the floor and 
setting three candles on one side of it, the shadow of which caused the 
umbra and penumbra. These were very interesting. . . . We read 
in the Bible this morning the 1st Chapter of Mark. I recited in 
Philosophy and History this morning and did many difficult sums. 
This afternoon I have read, but not spelt. The reason we have not 
I do not know, I must now study my Grammar, 



200 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

Monday, March 14, 1836. 
Friday evening I went to the Presbyterian singing school, Saturday 
was a very pleasant day. In the evening I went to singing school 
again. Yesterday Mr. Bush was at the Episcopal meeting all day. 
Next Saturday is to be our last school, we are to meet in the Episcopal 
church in the afternoon and in the evening at the Baptist. . . . This 
morning the bell tolled for Mr. McCalpin, he died last evening. . . . 
This evening there is to be a dancing school and to-morrow evening 
is to be the last cotillion party. 

Tuesday, March 15, 1836. 
Last evening I very unexpectedly went to dancing school. There 
were but few there, but we spent the evening very pleasantly. . . . 
Sister went home this morning. ... Of late I have had nothing 
to write in my Journal, the cause I know not. 

Monday, March 21, 1836. 
Saturday afternoon the singers met at the Episcopal church and in 
the evening at the Baptist, which was our last school. We are going 
to meet to practice at Miss E. Butler's Saturday evenings. ... I 
am going to review Conversation in Common Things. . . . 

Friday, March 25th, 1836. 

Last evening I went to the publick dancing school. There were a 
great many there and we stayed very late and enjoyed ourselves very 
much. . . . This noon when I went home I found mother and 
Julia there. . . . This evening the Presbyterians have their last 
singing school in the Presbyterian meeting house. . . . 

Monday, March 28, 1836. 

Friday evening I went to the Presbyterian singing school. I did 
not think they sung any better than we did, although most or many 
of our school were there. Saturday afternoon I spent at Mr. Perkins'. 

Tuesday, March 29, 1836. 
As soon as the usual exercises were over I did some sums in Per- 
centage and Interest by Decimals, which I found very difficult. I 
then learnt my Philosophy lesson. As soon as we had recited the 
French teacher came in and took his class in the recitation room, so 
I did not hear him talk. 

Thursday, March 31, 1836. 

Yesterday after school I went home with father, who was down, 
and found mother' and all well. Harriet Hall was there, she staid 
all night. This morning I came down alone on the crust and had 
a very pleasant walk. When I came to school I found it had been 
begun sometime, but I was very industrious and worked quite hard 
all at one sum and could not do it after all. Miss Robinson tried 
once or twice, but did not succeed in getting it right. I thought I 
should get through the Book to-day, but I shall not, as I cannot do nor 
understand them at all, but I have one consolation there are but 
three or four sums more. This morning I learnt eight and a half 
paf?es in philosophy and six selections in Tytlers History. As my stock 
of news is exhausted I will put up my Journal and work at that 
sum that I could not do this morning. 

Friday, April 1st, 1836. 

. . . There was a meeting at Church to-day, it being Good Friday, 
but I did not go as I had to come to school. The girls have trimmed 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 201 

the room with j^reeiis, some that make it look like summer almost. 
I finished reading the Scottish Chiefs last evening and commenced 
the Hungarian Brothers. 

Tuesday, April 5th, 1836. 
There has heen no school since Friday, as Miss Robinson has been 
away, therefore I have not written any Journal, and now I have 
the more nonsense to write. Saturday the Doctor came to see Sister, 
as she w^as lame. Saturday evening I went to Mr. Tracy's to singing 
school. We had a very pleasant school. There were but few there. 
Sunday I went to church all day. Sister was lame so she did not 
ga, and John staid home to take care of her. Our folks came down in 
the sleigh, but went home at noon, so I did not see them. Yesterday 
I made some bread for the first time. Sarah Jane spent the day 
at our house yesterday. This morning I came to school quite early 
and learnt my lessons as usual. I thought when I commenced writing 
my Journal I should have a great deal of nonsense to write, but I 
find I have not as much as I expected. 

Wednesday, April 6th, 1836. 
It is very unpleasant to-day, the wind blows and it snows in flurries. 
Brother John watched at Mr. Lobdell's last night. I have no news. 

Saturday, April 9th, 1836. 
I did not write a Journal yesterday as I was not at school. Sister 
Is sick and lame. It is very pleasant. This evening the singing school 
is at Mr. Glover's. 

Monday, April 11, 1836. 
I wrote in my Journal Saturday it was pleasant, and so it was 
then, but in the afternoon it commenced raining and continued doing 
so through the night. Sunday the water commenced rising and con- 
tinued to rise through the day. The water came up across the road 
on both sides of the square. In the forenoon I went to the Methodist 
meeting, they did not have any preaching, there was a prayer meeting. 
In the atternoon I went to church, the water had then just begun to 
run across the walk by the postofl5ce. Mr. Van Ingen preached. I 
rode home in a wagon, some w^ent home in a boat. The people think 
there is great danger of the bridge going off, but last night the water 
fell a great deal so it does not run over both walks to-day. Mr. 
Lobdell and Mr. Guernsey died yesterday. 

Wednesday, April 13, 1836. 
I did not come to school yesterday afternoon as I went to Mr. 
Guernsey's funeral. Mr. Bush preached. His text was in Job, 14th 
chapter and first verse : " Man that is born of a woman is of few 
days, and full of trouble." It was very pleasant yesterday, but to-day 
it is exactly the reverse. It is very cold and snows very fast. It la 
five or six inches deep I should think. This morning I came to school 
quite early and said verses, the one I learnt was in Proverbs, 18th 
chapter and 22d verse : " Whoso findeth a wife, findeth a good thing, 
and obtaineth favor of the Lord." . . . 

Thursday, April 14th, 1836. 
. . . To-morrow is the last day of school. We have no examina- 
tions. 



202 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

Monday, May 15, 1836. 
I am again seated in my old seat at school. Miss Whitney is the 
teacher this term. There are a great many scholars from abroad at 
school this term already and more are expected this week. 

Monday, May 30, 183C. 
I have not written a Journal for some time because I have not had 
time. My Philosophy and Geography and Arithmetic occupy all the 
morning, and my Grammar the afternoon, as it is very difficult to 
learn. We have to learn all the fine print as well as the coarse, which 
I never did before, therefore it requires a great deal of attention and 
study. We write a composition once a fortnight, half the school 
one week and half the next. Wednesday afternoon is spent in reading 
and hearing compositions read. Miss Whitney takes a great deal of 
pains in our reading. There are 44 scholars in school. Miss Whitney 
has no assistant yet, but is going to have one as soon as the trustees 
can get one. Friday evening I went to Mr. Tracy's to singing school. 
The next one is on Friday next at Mr. Glover's. There was one at 
church as usual last Sunday at 5 o'clock at the Episcopal church. Next 
Sunday the Bishop is expected. We are learning several pieces of 
music for the occasion. . . . Last week Thursday evening Mr. 
H. and G. Van Wagenen came from New York and took tea at our 
house on Saturday. 

Tuesday, June 7th, 1836. 
Last Saturday Sister went up to Norwich to hear the Bishop. Sun- 
day he was here. There were two baptised and eleven confirmed. 
The Bishop called at our house in the evening but I did not see 
him. Monday Sister went to Greene with the Bishop and returned 
in the evening. The singers had selected and learnt several pieces 
to sing, but the Bishop would let them sing none of them. Wednesday 
was the celebration of the capture of Santa Anna. The boys fired 
the cannon in the afternoon and evening. It happened to be a singing 
school, at Mr. Clarke's, and the Oxford band played upon the stoop, 
and fireworks on the green, which were splendid. We did not sing 
much that evening. There are 49 scholars in school now. Emily 
Maples has come back and E. Cannon is coming this week. 

Thursday, June 16th, 1836. 
The 10th of June went over to Fayetteville at meeting. The Bishop 
was there. I went over with Colonel Van Wagenen and sister and 
M. Van Wagenen and S, Perkins. We had a very pleasant ride. Sister 
E. and H. Cary went over on horseback and when we came back I 
rode Sister's horse and she came in the carriage. We had a delightful 
ride. Monday A. Miller and I went down to Mr. Stevenses. We 
had a very pleasant visit of course. Yesterday we went up stairs 
to hear the young gentlemen speak. There were between 30 and 
40 spoke and 4 or 5 compositions read. I was very glad there was no 
more as they were so long. I got very tired. The Miss Cobbs have 
come from N. York. They are very pretty girls. I called on them last 
evening. There are 52 scholars in school now. 

Monday, June 20, 1836. 
Yesterday the son of Mr. Rufus Baldwin was drowned, Lyman 
Baldwin aged 18. He was in the river bathing when he was drowned. 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 20^ 

Tuesday, July 5th, 1836. 
The assistant teacher. Miss Page, has come from Owego. She came 
last week and Mrs. Throop and Mary came the first of last week, they 
are now at Mr. Miller's. Saturday there was one of the greatest hail 
storms here ever known. It lasted one hour and a quarter. The 
hail stones were so large as to break windows. Yesterday was a 
very still day here for the fourth of July. The band went to Nor- 
wich, and the older ladies, I mean not the smallest girls such as myself, 
went to ride to Greene with the young gentlemen and a very sad acci- 
dent happened to Angeline Wheeler. As the party was returning home 
they got this side of Mr. Morgan's and the horses run and the car- 
riage broke and all were upset. A. W. was hurt most, her leg was 
broken and what else I do not know as yet. The party left her at the 
tavern and the rest or part of them came home. Here ended the 
4th of July, 1836. and my Journal also. 



How sleep the brave who sink to rest, 
By all their country's wishes bless'd! 

— Collins. 

When the Revolutionary War broke out Thomas V^an- 
Gaasbeck and Elisha Jewell were among those who took 
up arms in defense of their country, whose soil had been 
invaded by a hostile force, and rendered as volunteers what 
service they could. Both were young, ardent and brave. 
After the close of the war they came to Oxford to reside. 
Mr. Van-Gaasbeck died on the 28th of April, 1841, aged 
82 ; and Mr. Jewell on the 15th of March, 1842, aged 85. 
The bodies of the old veterans rest in peace in Riverview 
cemeterv. 



JUDGE HENRY STEVENS, born in 1792, at Enfield, 
Ct., came in 1802 with his parents to Chenango County. 
In 1807 he was a student in Oxford Academy. After fin- 
ishing his studies at this institution he read law with 
Stephen O. Runyan, and in 1814 he commenced the prac- 
tice of law in Cortland, where he died in 1869. 



204 ANNALS OF OXFORD 



Sunday is the golden clasp that binds together 
the volume of the week. — Longfellow. 



Congregational Church 



A period of about eight years had elapsed after the first 
institution of learning was erected before there was any re- 
ligious organization in Oxford. However the church his- 
tory had a beginning September 19, 1799, when the first 
religious society was incorporated and designated as the 
*' Associated Presbyterian Society in Oxford." Its earl- 
iest foundations however, were labors of Uri Tracy, of 
whom mention is made elsewhere, for prior to the forma- 
tion of any church in Oxford he seems to have been recog- 
nized as virtually the pastor of the community. The min- 
ister who was instrumental in organizing this church was 
the Rev. John Camp, a graduate of Yale college. He was 
one of the trustees of Oxford Academy, and apart from his 
ministerial labors he seems to have been a helpful, uplift- 
ing factor both in the promotion of education and religion. 
His home was on the farm northeast of the village, now 
owned and occupied by James Burke. The first trustees 
of the church were : Uri Tracy, Jonathan Bush, Edward 
Robbins, Joshua Mersereau, John Nash, Nathan Carpen- 
ter, Solomon Curtis, Lyman Ives, and Ephraim Fitch. 
Solomon Curtis received the appointment of deacon. 

The Congregational church at Sherburne was the only 
earlier organization of the kind in Chenango county. 

The Associated Presbyterian Society was formed in the 
first Academy building on Washington Square. Its pas- 
tor, the Rev. Mr. Camp, withdrew after a ministry of three 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 205 

years, after whicli for six years there was no regular 
preaching. In October, 1807, The President, a village 
journal, announced, " The Trustees of the Associated 
Presbyterian Society, Uri Tracy, Stephen O. Runyan, and 
Amos A. Franklin, notwithstanding the rumors of war, 
and the excommunication of the emperor, will receive sub- 
scriptions to the new church, without further delay." 
Early in 1808 the society which had been partially dis- 
solved, again united and in June of that year installed 
the Rev. Eli Hyde as pastor by means of a ministerial 
council assembled for that purpose. He preached for four 
years until the people were no longer able to give him an 
adequate support and was then dismissed in the year 1812. 

Up to this time twenty-two persons had united with the 
church, and their names constitute the earliest roll of 
members now extant. The list is as follow^s: James 
Mitchel, Agnes Mitchel, Eber Scofield, Solomon Curtis, 
Sarah Curtis, Moses Bennett, Mary Bennett, Lucy Smith, 
Hannah Cary, Keziali Balcom, Massy Brooks, Sarah 
Holmes, Hannah Noble, Moses Keyes, Margaret Keyes, 
Abigail Stephens, David Tracy, Mary Tracy, Eleazur 
Smith, Isaac Foote, Anna Foote, Rachel Morris. The fol- 
lowing minutes are on the church books, November 29, 
1810: " The church after having looked to God for spec- 
ial direction in the choice of a deacon proceded and made 
choice of Amos A. Franklin to the office." At a meeting 
after lecture January 13, 1811, ''Brother Franklin pub- 
licly consecrated to the office by prayer." For twelve 
years or more from the time of its organization the con- 
gregation assembled at the Academy, and then worshiped 
at the home of Deacon Franklin, which stood probably on 
the site now occupied by the residence of Dr. J. W. Thorp. 

Although without a minister the new church held its 
stated meetings each week, at which services were con- 



2o6 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

ducted by Deacons Gile and Franklin. As the congrega- 
tion became too large for his house he prepared the up- 
per story of his cabinet shop as a phice of worship, and insti- 
tuted a flourishing Sunday school, of which he was for 
many years superintendent. The building has since been 
converted into a dwelling and is now the house of 
George A. Mallory. Ministers were secured whenever one 
could be found and of w^hatever denomination to supply 
the church on each Sunday. The Society was reorganized 
in January, 1818. This act became necessary owing to 
some irregularity in the matter of electing trustees which 
had the effect of dissolving the Society, according to law. 
Three trustees w^ere now elected, namely: Solomon Bundy, 
William Gile and Amos A. Franklin. There was a de- 
cided renewal of religious interest among the members in 
1821, through the earnest efforts of Rev. Marcus Harrison, 
who ministered to them for several Sabbaths and insti- 
tuted a revival. Its results were so encouraging, many 
being converted, that a general desire was expressed for 
the erection of a new sanctuary. This idea received the 
approval of their fellow citizens, the work was begun the 
following year with many misgivings and involving great 
sacrifices. Through the generosity of Mr. Ira Willcox, a 
most energetic business man, ground for a fine site was 
furnished; enough money was collected to erect the frame 
and cover it on both sides. At this point, as the funds 
subscribed had been expended and the minister who was 
such a help in the undertaking having gone, nothing 
further could be done. 

During the fall of the same year, 1822, Rev. Joseph D. 
Wickham came by chance to Oxford and was invited by 
Deacon Franklin to preach on Sunday. He preached three 
sermons in the deacon's cabinet shop, which was well filled 
with listeners who were much pleased and asked him to 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 207 

settle here. The invitation was accepted and he entered 
upon the pastorate in January, 1823. His presence ex- 
cited a fresh interest in the new church, and another sub- 
scription was circulated with success. Mr. Willcox lent 
valuable aid in directing the workmen, and on the last 
day of July the edifice was dedicated to divine worship, 
Rev. Edward Andrews preaching the sermon from the 
text: '^ And I saw no temple therein; for the Lord God 
Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it." 

The Oxford Gazette of August 6, 1823, contains the fol- 
lowing account of the dedication : 

The new Presbyterian Church in this village, was dedicated to the ser- 
vice of Almighty God on Thursday last. An eloquent & appropriate dis- 
course, from Revelation xxi, 22, was delivered on the occasion, by the Rev. 
Edward Andrews, of Norwich. 

After the dedication, the Rev. Joseph D. Wickham was ordained to the 
work of the Ministry. The prayer introductory to the solemnities of or- 
dination, was offered by Rev. Charles Avery, of Columbus; and the conse- 
crating prayer by the Rev. Lyman S. Rexford, of Sherburne. The Rev. 
Asa Donaldson, of Guilford, delivered the charge : and the Rev. John B. 
Hoyt, of Greene, gave the right hand of fellowship, and oflfered the con- 
cluding prayer. 

The occasion drew together a large concourse of people from this and the 
neighboring towns, who appeared much gratified at the services of the day. 
The choir of singers, under the direction of Mr. William J. Edson, by the 
style of their performance, reflected much credit upon the talents and abil- 
ities of their instructor. 

We cannot refrain from noticing, at this time, the merits of Mr. M' George, 
the Architect. This Church, the second with which he has beautified our 
village, and the fourteenth built under his direction, we feel assured, for 
taste in design and neatness in execution, is not surpassed by any in the 
western part of New York. 

The expense of construction had been about $4,000. 
Many changes were made in its interior in the year 1857; 
modern slips took the place of the old-fashioned box shap- 
ed pews, and new carpets were provided. Again in 1873 
$10,000 were subscribed for making thorough modern im- 
provements, that year being the semi-centennial of the 



2o8 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

existence of the building. The body of the church was 
wholly transformed ; its bare w^alls were decorated with 
rich frescoes and delicate carved work, and the floors cov- 
ered with bright new carpets, a large and imposing organ 
was procured and six memorial windows, presented by 
friends, recall the revered memories and noble examples 
of those whose good works will still remain after them. 
One in memory of Mr. and Mrs. Ira Willcox, was the gift of 
their daughter, Mrs. A. A. Willcox, bearing as emblems 
a cross and calla lily entwined, and a cross with anchor 
and chain. The next adjoining is for Mrs. Sarah Chapman, 
and one for her sou Mr. N. C. Chapman, was presented by 
the heirs of the latter in St. Louis. The first has figures of a 
crown and a bread fruit tree with sheaves of wheat above ; 
the other of a chalice, cross and crown. Another bears 
the names of Mr. and Mrs. Epaphras Miller and their son, 
B. S. Miller, from the heirs of the former, with represen- 
tations of sheaves of wheat and the Christian armor, hel- 
met, sword and shield. There is also a window in memory 
of Mrs. Julia Vanderburgh, from her husband. Judge C. 
E. Vanderburgh of Minnesota, with designs of a harp and 
cross wreathed in flowers, the whole surmounted by the 
figure of a white dove with outspread wings. Another is 
the gift of Mrs. Caroline Baldwin of Minnesota, for her 
parents, Mr. and Mrs. William Mygatt and their daughter 
Emily, having for emblems a chalice and sheaf of wheat 
surmounted by a crown. The rededication occurred May 
6, 1874, when the sermon was preached by Rev. Dr. J. P. 
Gulliver, then of Bingham ton, followed by an historical 
sketch by Rev. H. P. Collin, the pastor, with addresses 
by Revs. Samuel Scoville and J. C. Ward. 

A parsonage was purchased in 1866 at a cost of $3,100. 
In 1887 a Memorial chapel was erected at a cost, with the 
lot, of upwards of $3,100, and dedicated February 1, 1888. 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 2oq 

It was erected by Mrs. Henry L. Miller to the memory of 
her husband and presented to the church and society. The 
chapel is built in the Queen Anne style, the area of the 
building, 30x50 feet, standing on a high basement of beau- 
tiful rock-faced blue stone. A handsome cupola corres- 
ponding to the general style of the building adorns the 
roof, which is finished with ornamental work, the gables 
and sides being shingled to the line of the cornice. The 
interior of the rooms and vestibule is wainscoted in the 
old English style, and stained to imitate old cherry, neatly 
finished in hard oil. It is lighted by Cathedral windows 
upon either side, each one of a different colored design. 
A beautiful memorial tablet in marble and brass adorns 
the wall near the main entrance. 

At the time of rededication in 1874, when fifty years had 
passed, three persons were members of the church who 
had been on the list for half a century : Mrs. Melinda Jud- 
8on, Mrs. Mary Walker and Mrs. Lucia Symonds. The 
Hon. Solomon Bundy was the first child baptized in the 
first church. 

On October 4 and 5, 1899, the Society celebrated its 
100th anniversary, the opening remarks were made by 
Rev. Ward T. Sutherland, pastor, followed by prayer 
by Rev. Dr. B. F. Bradford of Upper Mont Clair, N. J. 
Addresses were made by Rev. J. W. Keeler of Greene, 
Rev. Henry P. Collin of Cold water, Mich. ; Hon. Wm. A. 
Sutherland of Rochester ; Rev. Inman Willcox of Wor- 
cester, Mass. ; Rev. Chas. N. Thorp of Oswego ; Rev. James 
Chambers, D. D. of New York; Rev. Charles Janes and 
Rev. Ethan Curtis of Syracuse. A history of the Sunday 
school was given by Mrs. W. T. Sutherland; John E. 
Miller gave the history of the church, and Mrs. R. Yale of 
Norwich, a great granddaughter of the founder, Rev. John 



210 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

Camp, supplied some interesting information in regard to 
him. 

At a special term of the Supreme Court of the State of 
New York, held in Binghamton, May 3, 1904, Hon. Gerrit 
A. Forbes, Justice, granted a decree whereby " The Asso- 
ciated Presbyterian Society in Oxford" was changed to 
'^The First Congregational Church and Society of Ox- 
ford." 

In November, 1906, there was placed on the east and 
west walls of the interior of the church two bronze tablets, 
one in memory of Ebenezer Huntington Coville and his 
wife, Thankful Cook Hotchkiss, and another in memory of 
Joseph Addison Coville and his wife, Lydia S. More. The 
memorials were placed there by Dr. Luzerne Coville of 
Ithaca, and Frederick Y. Coville of Washington, grand- 
children and children respectively. The tablets are artis- 
tic and oblong in shape. The inscriptions on the tablets 
read as follows : 

Ebenezer Huntington Coville 

17S4 183S 

Thankful Cook Hotchkiss 

1786 1884 

Natives of Burlington, Conn., and Settlers 
of Preston, N. Y., 1809. Tithemen and 
Covenanters of this Church at its Establish- 
ment. She was a Member of this Church 
and Presbytery 



Joseph Addison Coville 

1820 1895 

Lydia S. More 

1828 1904 

He was a native of Preston, N. Y. Later 
a Resident of Oxford and Trustee of this 
Church. She was a Native of Roxbury, N. 
Y., and a Member of this Church and 
Congregation. 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 211 

The succession of the ministers is as follows: Revs. John 
Camp, 1799; Eli Hyde, 1808; Edward Andrews, 1818 
Marcus Harrison, 1822; J. D. Wickham, D. D., 1823, died 
May 12, 1891, in his 95th year; Elijah D. Wells, 1826 
Charles Gilbert, 1829; James Abell, 1830; George W 
Bassett, 1837; Arthur Burtis, D. D., 1839; William H 
Richards, 1846; Charles Jerome, 1847; Henry Callahan 
1850; Elliott H. Payson, 1862; Charles F. Janes, 1870 
Henry P. Collin, 1873; Henry N. Payne, 1879; B. F 
Bradford, D. D., 1881; Howard Billman, 1889; W. T 
Sutherland, 1893; Theodore W. Harris, 1903, present 
pastor. 

REUBEN' BANCROFT was a good physician, a man of 
genius and very eccentric in his ways. He was a 
cousin of George Bancroft, the historian, a native of Con- 
necticut, and educated at Litchfield, where he received his 
diploma from the Connecticut Medical Society in February, 
1816. He soon after came to Oxford and commenced prac- 
ticing with no advantage of friends and fortune, but with a 
heart bent upon success. His ruling ambition was to excel 
in the profession of his choice ; to this the entire energies of 
his life Avere devoted, and in it he succeeded to an eminent 
degree. His residence was on the site of the house now^ 
owned by Frank T. Corbin on Clinton street. He always 
kept a fine horse, but was seldom seen occupying the sad- 
dle, and when in the greatest hurry went on foot leading 
the animal. He died in Oxford January 21, 1847, aged 52. 



MLTNSON SMITH, a prominent farmer in the eastern 
part of tlie town, was born March 4, 1819, and died 
August 3, 1893. He married April 7, 1841, Lauraette 
Dodge, born June 30, 1819 ; died July 15, 1901. Children : 
Harriett, married Joseph Spohn; Theodore, married 
Kittle Doty; Ada, married Charles M. Stone. 



212 ANNALS OF OXFORD 



Lay hold of life with both hands, whenever 
thou mayest seize it, it is interesting, — Goethe. 



Charles Eccleston 



Charles Eccleston, born September 13, 1795, in Preston, 
N. Y. ; died December 26, 1873, in Oxford ; married De- 
cember 24, 1824, Mary Lewis, born November 18, 1804, in 
Preston ; died January 27, 1883, at the residence of her 
daughter, Harriet, in Bainbridge, N. Y. 

Mr. Eccleston and family came to Oxford in 1850. On 
the night of September 18, 1851, the Oxford House, which 
he had but recently purchased and moved into, together 
with the barns and out buildings, and the barn of Major 
J. V. N. Locke, were entirely consumed by fire. The 
house occupied the site of Dr. C. H. Eccleston's residence, 
and was for many years kej)t by David Brigham, a prom- 
inent hotel man of that day. The fire originated in the 
barn, which was entirely enveloped in flames when dis- 
covered. A large portion of the furniture was saved from 
the hotel. It was only by the extraordinary exertions of 
firemen and citizens, and the providential fact that the 
night was perfectly tranquil, that the adjoining houses of 
Messrs. T. G. Newkirk and J. V. N. Locke were saved. 
Had either been burned a large portion of one of our most 
beautiful streets must inevitably have been swept away. 
The hotel jjroperty was insured for $1,000. 

Children of Charles and Mary (Lewis) Eccleston, all 
born in Preston : 

Charles H., born May 28, 1826; married January 22, 




2C 

O 

CO 






<- 

X 




aaKia^iaai^M^fijiitiwpiiil!^^ 



.^- 




5- 



< 
(/I 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 



213 



1851, Amanda N. Foote of Franklin, N. Y. Children : 
Charles, G., married Minnie Cook of Oxford; Edson F., 
married Clara B. Homer of Elmira ; Maria, married Dr. 
Geo. D. Johnson of Oxford; Mary McC, and Walter L. 

Harkiet C, born June 4, 1828; married June 2, 1847, 
Leroy L. Eccleston, born at Preston, N. Y., September 
22, 1824 ; died January 4, 1902, in Bainbridge. For many 
years they were residents of Oxford. Children; Erwin D., 
Freeman W., and William A. 



David L., born December 27, 
1849, in Preston. 



1829; died March 20, 



No YES B., born September 8, 1833; married September 
8, 1858, Mary E. Willson of Chenango Forks, N. Y. He 
was educated at Oxford Academy, and for a number of 
years was engaged in the Jewelry business, though a 
greater portion of his life has been devoted to the drug 
business. For a short time he represented a wholesale 
house on the road. Mr. Eccleston is now doing a flour- 
ishing business at the Central Drug Store, Oxford. 



Dr. C. H. Eccleston lived on 
a farm in Preston with his pa- 
rents until 1845, when he en- 

J'^^'llfhWFrH^^fw tered Oxford Academy and the 

following year iNorwich Acad- 
emy. In 1847 he began the 
study of dentistry in the office of Dr. E. H. Parmlee 
in Norwich, having previously clerked in a jewelry store, 
and become quite adept at engraving on wood and copper 
plate. The wood cut above is a specimen of his early 
handiwork, and represents the old Root block (now Cor- 




214 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

ner store) in which was located his first dental office, and 
a portion of the old wooden bridge that spanned the canal 
close by. In May, 1848, Dr. Eccleston began practice in 
Corning, N. Y., but shortly thereafter removed to Utica, 
where he practiced a short time and then came to Oxford 
in 1849. Here he practiced his profession and in spare 
hours made moulds for and manufactured teeth. Later 
he took a course of instruction under Dr. N. W. Kingsley 
in carving and making block or sectional teeth, and in 
1860 organized the Union Tooth company for the manu- 
facture of artificial teeth, which was a successful venture, 
the teeth being sold to dentists throughout the United 
States and in many foreign lands. Of an inventive mind 
he perfected and patented many articles in use in his busi- 
ness. In 1901 Dr. and Mrs. Eccleston happily celebrated 
their golden wedding, at which numerotts relatives and 
friends were present. 



nPHE FOLLOWING is copied from the town records 
^ and explains itself: 

strays -1797. Received Persoual Information of James Phelps, that 
he has now in his possession a red brindle Ox. he supposes straid from 
the owner, about four or five Years of age last spring, no artificial 
mark ; his right horn appears to have been broken, and now grown 
out a new about four inches long a much larger Size than the other. 

Sign'd Elihu Murray, Clk. 

October 25th, 1797. 



LAMBERT INGERSOLL, whose father, Oliver Inger- 
soll, came from Great Barrington, Mass., about 1802, 
and settled in Guilford, located on the east line of Oxford, 
and afterwards removed into the village, where he died 
September 16, 1849, aged 67. Polly, his wife, died March 
16, 1867, aged 76. 




ST. PAULS EPISCOPAL CHURCH 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 215 



Where, through the long-drawn aisle and fretted vault, 
The pealing aothem swells the note of praise. — Gray. 



St. Paul's Church. 



The occasional erection of structures to religion and 
science, mark eras in our village history frought with pe- 
culiar local interest ; such events scattered along the track 
of years give pleasing assurance of internal improvement 
in those matters which most nearly concern our hearts 
and homes. They furnish occasion too, for grateful recol- 
lection of those early pioneers who, as soon as they had 
surrounded themselves with the necessities of life, set 
about the work of laying deep and firm the foundation of 
religion, virtue and intelligence. 

The first meeting of the friends of Episcopacy was held 
at the house of Abijah Lobdell, Jr., May 23, 1814, for the 
purpose of forming a church under the statue, to be called 
St. Paul's church, Oxford. Captain Frederick Hopkins 
and Captain John Backus were the first elected wardens; 
Ebenezer Hull, William M. Price, John Spoor, John 
Church, Peter Burghardt, General Ransom Rathbone, 
Chauncey Morgan and Abijah Lobdell, Jr., were elected 
vestrymen of the new parish. Rev. William B. Lacy then 
officiated during one half the year in the Academy, ae 
would appear from a resolution of thanks Januarys, 1815, 
to General Rathbone "for his spirited exertions in pre- 
paring and ornamenting the Academy for Christmas day.'' 

It is said that on that occasion it was profusely decorat- 
ed with evergreens, and a tallow dip was in front of every 



2i6 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

seven by nine pane of glass. A choir was formed led by 
Captain Farnham, Austin Hyde and General Rathbone, as 
first, second and third choiristers, respectively. 

" Oh, I need not a wing ;— bid no genii come 
With a wonderful web from Arabian loom, 
To bear me again up the river of Time, 

* ******* 

♦ 

For a sprig of green caraway carries me there. 

To the old village church and the old village choir. 

Where clear of the floor my feet slowly swning 

And timed the sweet pulse of the praise that they sung. 

Till the glory aslant from the afternoon sun 

Seemed the rafters of gold in God's temple begun !" 

Efforts were early made to procure a suitable place of 
worship. Henry YanDerLyn interested himself in the cir- 
culation of a subscription for this purpose, and on Febru- 
ary 23, 1815, the amount subscribed having reached $1,995, 
a contract waa executed with Smith & McGeorge to build 
an edifice, forty by fifty feet, for $2,250. The first induce- 
ment at that early day to build so large a church came 
from a source that many would object to in these times. 
A gentleman residing in New York city drew $10,000 in a 
lottery, and shortly after moved to Oxford and gave $1,000 
toward the building fund. The church was consecrated 
Septembers, 1816, by Bishop Hobart, and stood for nearly 
half a century. The first site selected was what is now 
the park on Fort Hill square, upon lands conveyed by the 
village trustees. The location seemed more controlled by 
necessity and a regard to economy than by any sense of 
beauty or taste. By this location the vestry came into 
collision wuth Piatt Brush of New York city, who owned 
a lot in the rear of the church, and who claimed that al- 
though their intentions were otherwise very pious, they 
had no right to shut him out from the common. The mai- 
mer was, however, amicably adjusted. This position ex- 
posed the building and those who worshipped there to va- 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 217 

rious annoyances, and it was removed in 1842 to a lot ad- 
jacent to the Academy. The building was taken in 1864 
to Chenango Forks and is still used for a church edifice. 
This apparently was the first church edifice erected in the 
village. A bell was purchased in 1818, which was then the 
only one in the county. The first rector, Rev. Wm. B. 
Lacey, was a good sized man though not tall. His coat- 
tails nearly reached the ground, and a white handkerchief 
hung by one corner from the pocket, pinned in no doubt, 
presenting a comical appearance. 

In 1855 and '56 the building of the present chnroli edi- 
fice engaged the attention of the parish, and $10,000 was 
subscribed towards that object. Its construction was com- 
menced in 1856 and was finished in 1857, at a cost of $13,- 
387, and consecrated October 14, 1857, by Bishop Coxe. 

The chapel was begun in 1869, and completed and paid 
for in 1860. In 1861 the iron fence around the church was 
built at a cost of $1,505. In 1873, $4,000 was subscribed 
for the purpose of adding a stone porch and bell tower to 
the church. In 1870 a new organ was purchased at a cost 
of $3,200. In 1877 the interior of the church was richly 
decorated, newly carpeted, and a new bell hung, at a cost 
of about $2,000. 

The first communion was held December 18, 1815, at 
which time there were seven communicants : Samuel Boss 
and wife, Margaret Ross, Catherine Rathbone, Ebenezer 
Hull, Lucinda Backus, Ursula Perkins, Susan Tracy. 

Of the partarkers of the first communion ever held in 
St. Paul's church, the following were those who were at 
the seventh on Decembers, 1816 : Uri Tracy, Ruth Tracy, 
Frederick Hopkins, Asenath Spoor, Patty (Church) Daily, 
Flora Jackson. 

The following have been the successive rectors of this 



2i8 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

parish: Revs. William B. Lacey, D. D., 1814-18 ; Leverett 
Bush, D. D., 1818-42; Thomas Towell, 1822-44; T. R. 
Chipman, 1842-44; Benj. W. Stone, D. D., .1845-50; S. 
son Coxe, 1850-53; Mannsell YanRensselaer, 1853-54; S. 
Hanson Coxe, 1854-57; D. H. Macurdy, 1857-65; Walter 
Ayraiilt, D. D., 1865-75 ; Robert M. Duff, D. D., 1875-79; 
J. M. C. Fulton, 1879 ; Edwin M. Colloque, 1881 ; Charles 
DuBois Broughton, 1901, the present rector. 

The glass chandeliers in the church possess a historic 
interest. These, with one other destroyed by fire in the 
burning of the Episcopal church at Scarsdale, N. Y., in 
April, 1882, were sent from England before the Revolu- 
tionary war to the corporation of Trinity church in New 
York city, and were long in use in St. George's chapel, 
Beekman street, having been once in the meanwhile safely 
removed from the burning building, which was afterwards 
rebuilt. In 1868, when the demands of business finally 
rendered its removal necessary, the daughters of Gerrit H. 
VanWagenen, for many years a warden of the parish, 
made application for the chandeliers, which was granted, 
and St. Paul's church received them in the same year. 
About 1879, the missing pieces, and those broken in trans- 
portation, were replaced at a cost of over $200, from whieh 
can be judged the considerable value of the property de- 
stroyed. On September 32, 1882, while the largest of 
the five chandeliers was being cleaned, the rod support- 
ing it became loosened from the ceiling and it fell with a 
crash, being totally wrecked. 

A story is told of the first visit to Oxford of Bishop 
Walker, after he became Bishop of Western New York. 
He prefaced his sermon by saying, that he felt at home as 
soon as he entered the church, for what did he behold but 
the same crystal chandeliers he had watched for years in 
old St. George's, during his boyhood, with the exciting 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 219 

anticipation,- and, he muit confess, wish, that some of 
those pendants might fall on the heads of the grave and 
reverend worshippers. He paid more attention to the 
chandeliers than to the sermon in those days. 

In the spring of 1891, $2,400 was laid out in repairs and 
repointing the stone work and rebuilding the top of the 
•quare bell tower. Beautiful memorials of friends de- 
parted have been placed in the church. New windows in the 
body of the edifice with redecorated sidewalk and brais 
prayer desks, for members of the family of Mr. F. G. 
Clarke. A brass angel-lectern to the memory of Mrs. 
Julia Clapp Newberry, accompanied by a solid silver com- 
munion service, gold lined. An altar-rail with brass 
standards to the memory of William and Ursula (Glover) 
VanWagenen. A costly and artistic brass pulpit " To the 
memory of Wilhelmina Maria, Sarah Brinckerhoff, and 
Catherine, daughters of Gerrit H. VanWagenen." An 
electrolier in memory of Mrs. Catherine 0. Packard, and 
a brass Litany desk to the memory of Mrs. Sarah Eliza 
(Mygatt) Sands. 

In 1893 James Clapp, who died while traveling in Egypt, 
bequeathed $2,000 for the use of the church and $1,000 for 
the stained glass window which was placed in the chancel 
in April, 1895. The design represents St. Paul on Mars 
Hill, and is wrought in fabrile glass in colors soft and 
rich. The central figure is St. Paul, but the others are 
imaginary characters. The portion of a building represented 
is a part of the Acropolis, Athens. At the base of the 
window is a brass plate with the following inscription : 

To the Glory of God 

and in Memory of the 

Butler-Clapp-Newbury Family 

1895 



220 ANNALS OF OXFORD 



This was a way to thrive, and he was blest. — Shakespeare. 

Bernard Farrell. 



Bernard Farrell, who lived for thirty-four years in the 
town of Oxford, died at his home in South Oxford, Feb- 
ruary 11, 1890, at the advanced age of 97 years. 

Mr. Farrell was born in County Longford, Ireland, in 
the year 1793, and came to America in 1842, on a sailing 
vessel, which was thirteen weeks making the passage. A 
few months later he came to Chenango county and located 
in the town of Smith ville, nearTyner, then called "Sod.'* 

Of an agricultural turn of mind, which pursuit he fol- 
lowed through life, he had no difficulty in finding plenty 
of work, and being thrifty was enabled about the year 
1845 to send to Ireland for his wife and four children to 
join him in this country. They lived in Smithville and 
Preston until 1866, and then came into this town to spend 
the remainder of their days. Mary McCormick, wife of 
Mr. Farrell, was born in County Leitrim, Ireland, in 1806, 
and died at her home in South Oxford, November 13, 1886, 
aged 80 years. To them were born eight children, two 
died in childhood in Ireland. Their eldest son, Edmund, 
was killed on the railroad at South Oxford, April 11, 1873, 
aged 43 years. Richard, died in New York city, May 
6, 1891, aged 55. For a number of years in the commis- 
sion business. His wife, Mary Kennedy of New Bruns- 
wick, N. J., died in New York city, April 5, 1904, aged 
63. (Children : Edmund, William, Frank, John, died in 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 221 

1902, Mary, Annie, Loretta.) Bridget, died in Oxford, 
November 23, 1904, aged 68. Married Tliomas H. Don- 
nelly of Choconut, Penn. (Children : The first child died 
in infancy; Augustus, resides in Chicago, unmarried; 
Frank E., married Jean Lee of Wilkesbarre, Penn., where 
he resides ; Mary Agnes, married John J. Lillis of Oxford ; 
Isabel, married Lewis A. Foote of Scranton, where she re- 
sides; Richard J., married Catherine P. Crowley of New 
Haven, Conn., and is a resident of that city.) Bernard, 
John and Peter A., all unmarried, reside on the home- 
stead at South Oxford. The latter went to New York in 
April, 1873, and after working a few years for his brother 
Richard, entered into partnership with him in the com- 
mission business, which lasted for several years. Later he 
conducted the business alone and after a while disposed of 
it and returned to Oxford. 



FROM THE OXFORD GAZETTE, May 22, 1822 : A 
footman, a few days since traveling from this village, 
and a few miles from it, came in contact with several young 
cattle in the public road, and not having a very consci- 
entious idea of meum et tuum, took them into his posses- 
sion, drove them directly past the house of their owner and 
sold them at a short distance farther on, put the money 
in his pocket and escaped. 



SEVERE HAIL STORM.— May 18, 1822, a severe hail 
storm visited this village. Considerable damage was 
done, though the duration of the storm did not exceed two 
minutes. More than 2000 panes of glass were destroyed. 
Some of the hail stones measured three inches in cir- 
cumference. 



222 ANNALS OF OXFORD 



I know the dancin's nonsense ; but if you stick at every- 
thing because it's nonsense, you wonna go far i' this life. 

— Gkorgi Eliot. 

Chenango Canal Ball. 



On the 7th of March, 1833, a ball was held in Oxford to 
celebrate the passage of the canal bill. The assembly 
room was on the third floor of the hotel now known as the 
Hotchkiss House, the only public hall the village then 
had. The hour appointed for the festivities to begin was 
at five in the afternoon, whether this was on account of 
the smallness of the room and that all might have a chance 

''To brisk notes in cadence beating, 
Glance their many twinkling feet," 

in honor of the great undertaking, or that the beaux and 
belles retired in good season the writer knoweth not. The 
invitation reads as follows : 

CK€ir\aii\go Ganal Ball 



THE MANAGERS respectfully solicit the company of Mr. 

J^e^ty .^<^/co^ <^.^a€/y. 

at the Assembly Room of E. Clarke, in Oxford, on Thurs- 
day, the 7th inst, at 5 o'clock, P. M. 



RANSOM RATHBONE, 






fLUKEBALCOM, 


HENRY MYGATT, 




1 JOHN DONELLY, 


ETHAN CLARKE, 






1 J. VAN WAGENEN, 


EP. MILLER. 




Oxford. 


i W. G. SANDS, 


J. P. FARNHAM. 






1 H W. RATHBONE. 


T. G. NEWKIRK, 






1 J. G. THORP, 


E. SHERWOOD. 


J 




1 N. H. OkMSBEE. 


ROBERT MONELL. 


1 


Greene. 


1 FRED'K JULIAND, 


JOHN CLAPP. 


1 


Norwich. 


i W. M. CONKEY, 


LEVI BIGELOW, 


1 


Bainhridge. 


1 J. B. CLARKE, 



ROBERT PAGE, Uiuidilla. 
Dated Oxford, March 1st, 1833. 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 225 



Like leaves on trees the race of man is found, — 
Now green in youth now withered on the ground; 
Another race the following spring supplies; 
They fall successive; and successive rise. — Homer. 



Thomas Gibson 



Thomas Gibson was born at " Westmoreland/' St. 
James Parish, Barbados, W. I., in 1784; died December 
4, 1868, in Oxford. Married Sarah E. Swan, born in 1788; 
died October 31, 1840, in Oxford. 

Thomas Gibson and a friend, Richard Farmer, came to 
Oxford in 1821, and purchased adjoining farms in South 
Oxford, the latter remained here but a few years, selling 
his farm and returning to the West Indies, from where he 
came. Mr. Gibson sold his farm to Benjamin Welch and 
in 1834 moved into the village to the house on Washing- 
ton Square now occupied by Dr. Charles E. Thompson. 
Children : 

Susan, married George Farnham, died in 1826. 

Rowland Thomas, died in 1832, unmarried. 

Samuel Swan, married Maria Marsh, died in 1851. 

John William, died in 1857, unmarried. 

Joseph, died in 1837, unmarried. 

Francis Miller, died in 1844, unmarried. 

Mary Elizabeth, married Warren Delano Smith, who 
died in 1859. Had three children one only surviving. 
Frances M., who resides with her mother at Chappaqua, 
New York. 



224 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 



Pictures must not be too picturesque. — Emerson. 

River Bridge and Fort Hill in 1840. 



In the year 1840 two gentlemen, John W. Barber and 
Henry Howe, authors of various historical works, gathered 
the materials and compiled a volume pertaining to the 
early history of the State ot New York. This book em- 
braced the more prominent and interesting events con- 
nected with the county histories, and illustrated with 
some 230 engravings. 




Among these we find a view, w^hich we reproduce, rep- 
resenting the central part of the village of Oxford. This 
picture was obtained from a position on the west bank of 
the Chenango canal not far above Dr. R. E. Miller's resi- 
dence, in the fall of 1840, and presents an excellent out- 
line of the principal public buildings of our village at that 
early date. At the left stands the Congregational church 
with its old fashioned steeple, a jjattern which still holds 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 225 

a sacred place in the hearts of old timers. Next is the 
mammoth barn of the Fort Hill House. The Academy 
with cupola, appearing between the large barn and the 
Fort Hill buildings, was built in 1830-31 on a site next to 
the Baptist parsonage. Beyond the brick block, on the 
site of the old Fort, may be seen the Baptist church with 
its tall spire ; the lower spire at the left belonged to the 
old Episcopal church, which stood east of the Academy 
building. The river bridge, then of much greater length 
than the iron bridge, was built in 1823, the fourth in the 
order of their erection. The Fort Hill House with the block 
of stores extending down to the bridge, having just been 
burned enables us to see across Fort Hill to the old Acad- 
emy. The grounds about the site of the Indian fort, with 
its traditions and relics of arrow heads, hatchets, bones 
and pottery, have always been objects of the greatest in- 
terest to our inhabitants. The Chenango canal had been 
running but a few years, and a clever picture of the packet, 
driver and team add much to the finish of our cut. 



DANIEL SHUMWAY, a native of Oxford, Mass., came 
to this village in 1806, where he resided twenty- 
seven years. He was the first hatter in Oxford, and sold 
'* Castor, Rorum and Water proof Hats of Superior qual- 
ity." His factory was opposite the YanDerLyn house. 
In 1833 he went to Steuben county with many others from 
Chenango county to engage in lumbering, and died at 
Beecher's Island, Penn., May 10, 1848, aged 68. He was 
universally esteemed for his integrity, kindness of heart 
and public spirit. A son, Daniel H. Shumway, M. D., 
died January 2, 1861, in Berlin, Wis., aged 43 years. 



22(i ANNALS OF OXFORD 



With mug in hand to wet his whistle 

— Cotton. 



Levi Breed. 



Levi Breed, an eccentric colored character, was well 
known up and down the valley, and often made his home in 
this village. His parents were slaves in Connecticut and re- 
moved to Norwich with Deacon Elias Breed about the year 
1 80S. Levi received a good common school education, and at 
" spelling bees '^ it was not uncommon for him to ^' spell 
down ^^ the boys and girls. In later life he was dubbed 
^^ Counsellor,' ' having picked up a smattering of law from 
text books loaned him. At a colored celebration in Bing- 
hamton, July 0, 1857, he delivered an address, which was 
published and favorably noticed by the press. The last 
years of his life he traveled, often a foot, between Oxford 
and Norwich, gathering rags, and carrying messages from 
one town to the other. He died at Norwich in the fall 
of 1873, aged 65. As early as 1835 he lived at the foot 
of " Button '' lane in this village. Among his children 
were a daughter, Sarah Maria Keynolds, Avho became a 
missionary teacher and died August 18, 1855, in Liberia, 
Africa, while yet in young womanhood; and a son, Robert, 
who in his early youth attended the district school on 
State street, and was known as Bobby Breed. A Mr. 
Trip was the teacher, who had three modes of punishment 
for unruly scholars : the ferule, a turkey quill with which 
to snap the ears of his pupils, and a piece of leather sus- 
pended from the ceiling. The latter was called " chewing 
the cud.-' Pupils could have their choice of punishment, 
and Bobby Breed was the only one who chewed the " cud,'' 
standing on tip toe to reach the leather with his mouth, 
and chewing until the master released him from his un- 
comfortable position. 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 227 



His heart as far from fraud as heaven from earth, 

— Shakespeabe. 



Charles B. Haynes. 



Charles B. Haynes was born July 18, 1793, in Prince- 
ton, Mass., and came to Oxford in 1834, where he died 
August 6, 1879. He married November 18, 1821, Sarah 
Mead, who was born October 23, 1797, in Rutland, Mass., 
and died March 28, 1867, in Oxford. 

Mr. Haynes, on his arrival in Oxford with his family, 
purchased a farm at Haynes, which, after occupying for 
a number of years, he sold to his son Edwin, and moved 
into the village. Here he remained but a short time, not 
being satisfied with village life, and then bought a farm 
on the east side of the river at South Oxford, near the 
Greene town line. Five of his children were born in Mas- 
sachusetts, and two in this town. 

Charles Chauncey, married Harriet M. Grant of Cam- 
bridge, Mass. ; died June 8, 1896, in Binghamton. 

William, married Ursula Turner of Preston, and moved 
to Steamboat Eock, Iowa. Died in November, 1906. 

Edwin M., married Ehoby U. Keach of Preston; died 
suddenly May 24, 1888, while on a business trip to Phila- 
delphia, Pa. 

Sarah E., married March 26, 1856, Stephen A. Sheldon 
of Oxford ; died March 14, 1901, in Oxford. 

Esther A., married Lemuel Bolles, and moved to Bing- 
hamton, now resides in Oxford. 

Almira, married Robert T. Davidson of Oxford. 

Mary E., married George E. Stevens; died October 
22, 1874, at Fort Wayne, Ind. 



228 ANNALS OF OXFORD 



Character is a diamond that scratches every other stone. 

' — Babtol. 



Mead Family. 



Gideon Mead came from Port Chester, Conn., in 1804, 
bringing with him his wife and three children: Sarah 
Maria, six years of age, and twin boys, Andrew and Syl- 
vanus, four years younger. They stopped with Andrew 
Miller, who kept a tavern at South Oxford, and staj^ed 
until he could clear a place large enough to build a house. 
He then moved upon the land he had purchased, reared a 
family of eight children, one daughter and seven sons, and 
died October 28, 1851, aged 80 years. Mr. Mead w^as buried 
on the homestead. Children: 

Sarah Maria, married William Banks of Bainbridge. 
Children: James, Samuel, Mary, John, Charles. 

Andrew, married Lydia Ann Dickinson, died November 
14, 1851, aged 49. Children : Whitman, died in infancy ; 
Mary; Sarah, married Joseph J. Hull of Oxford. 

Sylvanus, married Lucretia Bartoo, died while on a 
visit to his son Philo at McPherson, Kan., August 12, 1882, 
aged 80. His accuracy in repeating scripture was truly 
wonderful. It is told that, being wakeful one night, he 
repeated the whole book of James, the 119th Psalm, and 
the 15th chapter of First Corinthians. Mr. Mead had 
two sons, Philo S., married Alverda Minor, resides at 
McPherson, Kan. ; William, married Adella Padgett, and 
died in 1906 at Guilford. 

James, married Nancy Cooley, and lived at Laurens, 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 229 

Otsego county. Children : William, Mary, Morris, 
Damon, Albert, Frances, Augusta. 

Whitman, moved to Ohio and married Jane Hanson. 
Children : Charles, George, James, Helen, Stella. 

Henry, married Sarah Maria Waterman, who died 
April 13, 1870 ; lived on a part of the old homestead. Died 
October 10, 1872. Children : Adelaide, died Feb. 5, 1901 ; 
Polly Ann, unmarried; Henry W., married Mary E. Cone; 
George P., unmarried, a prominent business man of 
Oxford. 

Underhill, married (1) Eliza Ann Tyler, died January 
18, 1853, aged 33; married (2) Catherine Waterman. 
Children by second wife : Eliza, Smith, Sackett H., Lacka- 
wanna station agent at Oxford, married Marion. Davis; 
James, Merritt, Lottie. 

Sackett, married Anna Collins; lived and died in Cov- 
ington, Ky. Children: William W., Omer. 



LARGE FLOCKS OF PIGEONS— During the spring of 
1822 innumerable flocks of pigeons filled the air in 
every direction. In the woods they occupied a space for 
nesting nearly ten miles in length and from two to five in 
width. Every tree and bush was literally covered with 
them and their nests. Hunters who spent but two or three 
hours in the woods returned with from one to two hun- 
dred pigeons. So thick were they that twenty or thirty 
were killed in a single shot. Five thousand were killed in 
one day. 



230 ANNALS OF OXFORD 



Now spurs the lated traveler apace 

To gain the timely inn.— Shakespeare. 



Andrew Miller. 



Andrew Miller, born February 15, 1743, in Connecticut, 
died April 11, 1812, in South Oxford. He married Sarah 
Lyon, daughter of Gilbert and Jane (Kniffen) Lyon, born 
January 28, 1748, and died March 22, 1813, in South 
Oxford. 

Mr. Miller came to South Oxford about the year 1803, 
from Rye, N. Y., and settled on the north side of the 
brook at Coventry station, the farm on Avhich he and his 
wife died and were buried. He kept a tavern for a number 
of years, at which settlers often remained until they could 
locate and erect a cabin for their families. The stone 
sign post in front of the tavern remained standing until 
the summer of 1905, when a runaway team collided with 
it and thus an old landmark was removed. 

In early times, Avhen it took three days to hold an 
election, the second day session was held at Miller's tavern 
in the afternoon. The polls were opened in the forenoon 
at Parks' tavern on the west side of the river, and at noon 
transferred to Miller's on the east side, the majority of 
the voters following the ballot box from one district to the 
other. Quoit pitching, wrestling, and kindred outdoor 
amusements were heartily entered into by men who came 
early in the day and remained until long after the polls 
were closed. The landlord did a thriving business and 
very few quarrels arose, owing to the purity of the liquor 
sold. 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 251 

Mr. Miller, who was something of a surgeon, was often 
called upon to perforin operations for his neighbors, which 
usually terminated successfully. His children were : 

Thomas, born November 3, 1768. 

Sarah, born May 25, 1771. 

Mary, born June 14, 1774; died October 12, 1832; 
married Gideon Mead. 

Abigail, born September 11, 1778; married Daniel 
Wilson. 

Andrew, born January 8, 1782; died April 30, 1865; 
married Zeruah Mowry, born October 14, 1782, died March 
25, 1860. They lived, died, and were buried on the farm 
his father had cleared. Children : Inman L., born June 
14, 1808, married Permelia Symonds; John G., born Oc- 
tober 12, 1809, married Hannah Race; Albert S., born 
April 7, 1811, married Laura Race; Sarah, born July 31, 
1813, married Harvey Jacobs; Uri T., born May 23, 1815, 
died unmarried; Andrew, born April 7, 1817, died un- 
married ; Thomas, born November 11, 1819, married Susan 
Maine; Mary, born March 5, 1821, married William Race; 
Daniel W., born February 9, 1823, died unmarried ; James 
U., born July 11, 1825, married Angeline Symonds. 

Underhill, born July 14, 1788 ; died May 8, 1861 ; mar- 
ried Mary Symonds. 

JOSIAH. 

Children of Inman L. and Permelia (Symonds) Miller: 
Henry, born August 10, 1834; died September 26, 1905; 
married Emmogene Lamb. Lived and died on same farm 
occupied by his father and grandfather. Children : Jose- 
phine, married Alvin Webb ; Robert, adopted son, married 
Sarah L. Taylor, of IMadison, N. Y. 

Lavinna, born January 12, 1837; married Charles Wil- 
cox. 



232 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

Lucia, born September 17, 1839; married George L. 
McNeil. 

George, born February 28, 1843 ; died January 27, 1898 ; 
married Amanda Miller. Child : Ella May, married 
Joseph Rounds. 

John, born May 2, 1816 ; died March 28, 1819. 



AMOS A. HITCHCOCK, known as '^Gusta,"came to this 
tillage in the year 1849, and with M. Augustus Perry 
purchased of Thomas Morris the Stage House, now Hotch- 
kiss House. The partnership was dissolved in April, 1850, 
by Mr. Perry retiring. Mr. and Mrs. Hitchcock earned 
golden opinions as host and hostess of the Stage House, 
winning the respect of all by honesty and integrity of pur- 
pose and action. He died April 7, 1866, aged 57. Lucy 
L., his wdfe, born February 3, 1812, in Sherburne, N. Y., 
died January 15, 1889, in Wilkesbarre, Pa. She was a 
grandniece of President Monroe. They had one daughter, 
Mary M., who became the wife of Horace S. Chamberlain 
February 13, 1866. He died January 20, 1900, in Wilkes- 
barre, Pa. 



ROBERT BROOKSBANK was born at Market Weigh- 
ton, Yorkshire, England, January 3, 1779. He came 
to Troy in 1804, and in 1816 moved to Oxford, and was one 
of the old residents of the east part of the town. He died 
January 11, 1856, aged 77. Barbara, his wife, was born in 
Troy, and died in Oxford, November 19, 1881, aged 100 
years and five months. Descendants of theirs are still liv- 
ing in town. 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 23} 



Buried, were all war-like weapons, 
And the war-cry was forgotten ; 
Then was peace among the nations. 

— Longfellow. 



Independence Day, 1865. 



There was no public celebration of the national birth- 
day in Oxford in 1865, but there was everywhere preva- 
lent a spirit of quiet joy, which extended itself throughout 
all classes and ages. All business ceased and the day 
wore a holiday attire. The dark horizon of the previous 
four years had been illuminated w4th joyful light, and the 
very air seemed pervaded with a sense of peace. The day 
was delightful and everybody seemed to take to picnics. 
Indeed one might have supposed that the entire commu- 
nity regarded that the declaration of rights to life, liberty, 
and the pursuit of happiness, enunciated by the patriots 
of '76, was a little else than an assertion of the right 
and duty of universal picnicking. About nine o'clock in the 
morning two canal boats laden with the devotees of free- 
dom in the open air, and such things as make such freedom 
enjoyable, moved off for Lake Warn, accompanied by the 
Oxford Band. After a fill of those things^ which make 
patriotic stomachs, the company proceeded to a platform 
under the trees, where Dr. J. W. Thorp, then of the 
Academy faculty, clearly and forcibly read the Declara- 
tion of Independence, and Mr. L. R. Brewer, now Bishop 
Brewer, in an eloquent address, did justice to the day and 
its glorious memories. 

There were other picnics at the Halfway House, Lud- 
low pond, feeder dam; one on the East hill by the chil- 



234 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

dren, and one on the lawn at the residence of Thomas G. 
Newkirk, Clinton street. 

The Clinton street gathering was an extemporized neigh- 
borhood affair. A rope was strung from tree to tree in 
front of the house on which branches were suspended, 
hiding the company from the gaze of the street. National 
flags in profusion waved to the breeze, and a large banner 
floated over the entrance way. The table, reaching from 
end to end of the yard, was literally loaded with the finest 
viands that the Clinton street ladies could, and did, pro- 
vide. The company, numbering fifty neighbors and in- 
vited guests, were seated for an liour, and heartily 
enjoyed the repast and sparkling wit. At the close Prof. 
D. G. Barber, in a voice of deep eloquence, read the Dec- 
laration of Independence, and sentiments appropriate to 
the day and to the patriotic ladies of Clinton street were 
offered by Henry VanDerLyn, Esq., and others. The com- 
pany wath three cheers for " our country," separated and 
long held in memory the picnic of Independence Day, 1865. 



a \ UNT " SALLY ANN SANNICKS, of African de- 
-^^ scent and born a slave, came to this town about 
the year 1819 from Dutchess county and was in service in 
the family of Gerardus VanDerLyn. She united with the 
Methodist church in 1820 and could recall the time when 
it included but two families. She was seldom absent from 
her place of worship and testified the reality of her pro- 
fession by a bequest in her will, from her scanty estate, of 
$150 to the Methodist church of this village. By the in- 
come from the bequest a memorial window has been placed 
in the church to her memory. She died November 20, 
1882, aged 88. 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 235 



Nature to each allots his proper sphere. 

— CONGREVE. 



Horatio H. Cooke, 



Horatio Haskell Cooke was a son of Deacon Philip 
Cooke, an early and respected resident of this town, whose 
farm was situated on Painter (Panther) Hill. He was a 
lineal descendant of Nicholas Cooke, the last Royal Gov- 
ernor of Rhode Island, and the first Governor of the 
State after the Revolution. He was also a direct descend- 
ant of Anna Greene, a member of the well known Rhode 
Island family, of which Nathaniel Greene was the most dis- 
tinguished member. Mr. Cooke was born at Columbus, N. 
Y., but nearly his whole life was spent in Oxford. When a 
young man he was connected with a newspaper published 
here, and later was engaged in the hardware business, 
his brother-in-law, David Brown, being his partner. About 
1854 he moved to Western New York, and was employed 
in the construction of the Great Western R. R. between 
Suspension Bridge and St. Catharines. After a few years 
he returned to Oxford, and was canal collector at this 
port for years, and also Justice of the Peace at different 
times for several terms. He was station agent for the 
D., L. & W. R. R. Co. from the time the road opened 
for fourteen years, until a few years before the time of liis 
death, and resigned the position on account of ill health. 
He died suddenly January 21st, 1887. Mr. Cooke was 
closely connected witli the history of Oxford for half a 
century, and was an honorable, upright, and much re- 
spected citizen. October 6, 1841, he was married to Eliza- 
beth W. Cornish, daughter of Whiting Cornish of Coven- 



2?6 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

trj. There were three children: Mary, Philip H., and 
Catharine. Mary died at the age of three years. Philip 
H. Cooke was one of the many Oxford boys who chose 
telegraphy as a profession, and for years has held official 
positions, first with the Western Union, and afterwards 
with the Postal Telegraph Co. He was married July 
11th, 1871, to Emma J. Coffin, at Montgomery, Ala. 
Catharine was married on September 9, 1880, to Delos 
M. Ayles worth of this place, who died June 26, 1883. 
She still resides in Oxford. 



CALEB P.THURBEK, born Octol>er 3, 1795, in Coop- 
erstown,^ame to Oxford from Delhi in 1824. At the 
latter place he was a member of the first fire company 
organized in that village in 1821, and outlived all the 
original members. He was a shoemaker by trade and fol- 
lowed that occupation for a long period of years in Oxford. 
Mr. Thurber was a remarkable man physically and retained 
his faculties until the last. His death occurred May 28, 
1884. He married first Mary Desmond of Delhi, who died 
in December, 1838, in Oxford. His second wife died No- 
vember 6, 1893. Children by first wife: Anne, married 
Aaron B. Abbott; John, married Jane Smith; Mary T., 
married. May 7, 1855, James Stowell; Abner, married 
Dorcas Christman; Adelia, married William T. Mande- 
ville. 



yj/r ILLIAM McCALPIN, an early resident of Oxford, 
^^ was Associate Judge of the old Court of Common 
Pleas. He was also a member of the first jury ever sum- 
moned in Chenango county. The court was held in Oxford 
in July, 1798. 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 237 



In the capacious urn of death, every name is shaken. 

— Horace. 



Davidson Family. 



George A. and Jane (Tier) Davidson came from New 
York City at an early day and located in Smithville. After 
remaining there a few years Mr. Davidson purchased a 
farm in this town on the east side of the river at South 
Oxford, which is still known as the Davidson farm. They 
were the parents of twelve children, eight of whom died 
in infancy. Those who grew to maturity were : 

George, who married Susan Jacobs; Ann, married Dr. 
R. P. Crandall of Greene; Jacob, married (1) Amelia 
Mcintosh, married (2) Nora McKinney; and Robert T. 

Mrs. Davidson died September 4, 1857. Mr. Davidson 
married a second wife in Greenwich, Conn., and some 
years later his death occurred at Vineland, N. J. 

Robert Tier Davidson, born May 4, 1834, in Oxford; 
died April 27, 1874, in Greene; married December 28, 
1857, Almira Haynes, daught^^r of Charles B. and Sarah 
(Mead) Haynes of Oxford. 

Mr. Davidson, at the age of 19 years, bought out the 
bookstore of William E. Chapman. After conducting the 
business for a few years he found the returns for the 
money invested smaller than he had anticipated, and dis- 
posed of the stock, and returned to the homstead, buying 
the property at South Oxford some years later. Here he 
remained seven years, and then returned to the village. 
He was appointed canal collector in 1857, and from time 
to time held many important village offices, the duties 
of which were faithfully discharged. At the completion 



2^S ANNALS OF OXFORD 

of the New York, Oswego & Midland railroad, now the 
Ontario & Western, to Oxford, he was appointed station 
agent, which position he held a number of years, giving 
entire satisfaction to the officers of the road and the trav- 
eling public in general. He then received the appoint- 
ment of freight solicitor for the same company, holding 
the position up to the time of his death. A man of public 
spirit, he was prominent in promoting any object that 
would prove a benefit to the town or village. He was 
held in high esteem throughout the town and county, his 
ease and courtesy of manner winning for him the honor 
and esteem of all. 

Mr. Davidson's death was particularly sad and deeply 
felt alike by relatives and friends. He, with his wife, had 
gone to Greene to transact some business with his sister, 
the wife of Dr. R. P. Crandall, and was ta.ken ill soon 
after reaching there. The disease, erysipelas of the head, 
rapidly developed and death resulted nine days after the 
attack. Children : 

Jane M., married Dr. Benjamin P. Andrews, and resides 
in Dansville, N. Y. 

Charles H., married Annie Trevvett and resides at 
Utica, N. Y. 



WCLLIAM HOLLENBECK, a German, came from the 
Hudson river country at an early day. He was 
called " Uncle Bill " by the neighbors, and was an indus- 
trious farmer. His children were: Stina, Jane, John, 
Mary Ann, Fitche, Louisa, Derrick, Malinda, Rachel, Silas, 
tind Susan. 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 239 



Hard thinking opens naturally into strong doing. 

— F. G. Peabody. 



James A. Glover 



James Aaron Glover, born April 24, 1793, in Plainfield, 
Conn., came to Oxford in 1802. He was one of six chil- 
dren of Nathan Glover, who settled in Plymouth the same 
year. Mr. Glover was first employed by Daniel Denison, 
but later learned the trade of tool maker and blacksmith, 
in which he became exceptionally skillful. He conducted 
for many years the stone blacksmith shop which stood on 
the site of the present residence of Melvin Walker, and 
it was there that David Maydole, who made a world wide 
reputation with his hammers, and George R. Lyon, founder 
of the Greene Iron Works, served their apprenticeship. 
Mr. Glover was for a long term of years a trustee of Ox- 
ford Academy, and prominently identified with the growth 
of the village. He married June 29, 1817, Ann Bradley 
of Oxford, a native of Connecticut, and in June, 1867, 
they celebrated their golden wedding. Mr. Glover died 
May 23, 1875. Mrs. Glover born July 8, 1792, died De- 
cember 21, 1871. Children : 

UR8ITLA A., born June 16, 1818; died May 24, 1887; 
married January 8, 1840, William Van Wagenen of 
Oxford. 

Ann Vernette, born January 31, 1820; died March 3, 
1892; married Nov. 22, 1853, William D. Knap of New 
Berlin. 

James W. 



240 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

Mary E., born June 5, 1824; died June, 1887; un- 
married. 

Elizabeth AY., born September 11, 1827; died Novem- 
ber 30, 1902, in Binghamton; married August 15, 1850, 
John Ray Clarke of Oxford. 

James W. Glover, born August 28, 1822, in Oxford, was 
educated at Oxford Academy and read law with Henry 
R, ^fygatt. He was admitted to the bar in 1843, and 
practiced for over fifty years in his native place, with 
the exception of a few years spent in Auburn. He 
represented Oxford as Supervisor, and held the office of 
postmaster for several years. Mr. Glover married May 
19, 1852, Sarah A. Perkins, who died November 14, 1892, 
aged 68. Mr. Glover, who had been in failing health for a 
number of years, died November 22, 1896. Children : 

Erastus p., born February 22, 1854; died in infancy. 

John R., married May 19, 1881, Lillian Henstock of 
Montrose, Pa. 



NATHANIEL KELLOGG, a soldier and pensioner of 
the war of the Revolution, lived on a farm which was 
partly in the towns of Greene and Oxford. It was said his 
house of two rooms stood on the town line, one room in 
each town, and that he lived in the Oxford part. His farm 
was on the west side of the Chenango river, and in 1836 
he sold it to Abram TenBroeck, and it eventually became a 
part of the estate of the late Wheaton Loomis, above Bris- 
bin. Mr. Kellogg was born at Hadley, Mass., in 1758 ; en- 
listed July 1780 in Captain Alvord's company in Colonel 
Murry's regiment. He died October 26, 1846, in Jasper, 
Steuben count v. 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 241 



The rising ... of waters dark and deep. 

— Milton. 



Flood of 1865, 



The accumulated snow and ice of the winter of 1864-65, 
found vent in a most extensive and damaging flood. The 
warm weather of Tuesday, March 14, culminating on 
Thursday in a warm south wind, had raised the river 
to an alarming pitch before night. A little past midnight 
a slaughter house adjoining the Fort Hill mills, broke 
loose with a crash and floated off. The flood reached its 
height about daybreak Friday, and the morning light dis- 
closed a scene of unequaled magnificence to one who could 
view it indifferently, and to the sufferers by flood one of 
anxiety and painful interest. From the present residence 
of Peter J. Jacobs across to the office of the late 
Wm. H. Hyde, Esq., and thence in a widening current 
through the grounds of St. Paul's church, rising within 
a few inches of the floor, across Merchants, Mechanic, and 
Greene streets, the water flowed onward to the main 
channel of the river. Within that circuit first floors were 
in numerous instances abandoned, the inmates betook 
themselves to chambers or the homes of their more for- 
tunate neighbors, and cattle, horses, and pigs were re- 
moved to more safe quarters, while feathered bipeds held 
to their roost in sullen silence. Fences, firewood, hay, and 
the thousand and one necessary and carefully stored luxu- 
ries of careful housewives floated about in miscellaneous 
and strange admixture. Across the street leading direct 
from Fort Hill to St. Paul's church, the current was very 



242 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

rapid, rendering boating impracticable, lifting heavy- 
flagging stones from their beds, and forcing dirt, rubbish 
and smaller stones in scattered heaps upon the opposite 
premises. The road was washed clear of dirt leaving it« 
bed of stone uncovered, walks undermined, and houses in 
some instances left bare to their foundation stones. On 
Merchants street, from the corner below the Methodist 
church, to its termination near the Methodist parsonage, 
a ferry Avas in active use in cliarge of Charles Fraser, who 
vigorously and skillfully plied the oars, bringing and car- 
rying the inhabitants of the flooded district, and boats 
were also constantly passing from each of said corners 
through the streets leading to them. On the west side of 
the river the damage was not as great, cellars in the 
business parts were early found to be unsafe, and valu- 
able property generally removed. The river and canal 
above and below the residence of the late R. E. Spence 
joined currents, and also below^ Navy Island, and for once 
the derisive epithet " raging " applied to the State ditch, 
became a visible reality. On Albany street at the prem- 
ises of the late David Bartle, the stream forced its way 
across the road, went circling in rear of Washington Park 
to the main channel, filling cellars, making barns unten- 
antable, and compelling the removal of their occupants. 
The freshet madeasorry looking wreck of the canal, filling 
in and tearing out, throwing down docks and causing 
numerous breaks on this level. The feeder dam at South 
Oxford was carried away. 

Early Friday evening, March 17, Jacob Rheinwald, 
James McEneny, John S. White, Patrick Keyes and 
Charles Brabazon, started from the Tuttle block in a small 
boat for a pleasure trip over the flood to the east side 
of the river. Tliey had reached the main channel a few 
rods above the river bridge, when the boat became un- 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 243 

manageable, resisting all efforts at control, and shot sud- 
denly down the rushing waters under the bridge, when 
White managed to grab the bridge and save himself ; Keyes 
held fast under the bridge and was drawn out through an 
opening made by the lifting of a plank. McEneny and 
Rheinwald, by lying flat, floated under, but Brabazon was 
precipitated into the rapids, passed over the dam in the 
seething, raging current, quickly followed by his comrades 
in the boat. By the vigorous efforts of those two and 
his own dexterous and cool management, he was rescued 
and drawn into the boat some distance down stream, al- 
though much exhausted and soaked by the icy water. It 
was a marvelous escape from a fearful adventure. 



WILLIAM BEARDSLEY was born in Shaftsbury, 
Vt., ]\lay 13, 1793. He went as a soldier from Ver- 
mont in the war of 1812, first by draft, afterwards by en- 
listment, and remained until the close of the war. He was 
in the naval engagement on Lake Champlain, between 
Commodore McDonough and Commodore Downie, and 
after the surrender went on board the vessel on which 
Commodore Downie was killed, saw the rigging all cut in 
pieces, and all the ghastly and harrowing sights consequent 
upon such combats. At the age of 23 he married Anna 
Maria Catlin, a native of Canada. They came immediately 
to Oxford, where they resided for many years. They were 
the parents of twelve children. Mr. Beardsley died Jan- 
uary 20, 1878, in Preston, aged 84. 



ONE OF THE PHYSICIANS of the early days of Ox- 
ford was Dr. Mead, of whom the youngsters used to 

sing his professional services in the following lines : 
" Dr. Mead, he goes full speed, 
And rides on a gallop ; 
He visits all, both great and small. 
And fills them up with jalap." 



244 ANNALS OF OXFORD 



Men drop so fast 'ere life's mid-stage we tread, 
Few know so many friends alive, as dead. 

— YOUNQ. 



VVestover Family. 



Elisha Westover came about 1835 from Massachusetts 
and settled on a fifty acre farm east of the Leonard Rich- 
mond farm and near the Alvin Ingraham four corners, 
but soon transferred or sold the same to his son Calvin 
Westover. He then moved into Smithville where he re- 
sided for a time, thence into the town of Dryden, N. Y., 
upon a farm and lumber tract, where he died Januaiy 
25, 1852, aged 75. 

Calvin Westover, son of Elisha, born in 1806 at New 
Milford, Conn., came to Oxford between the years 1830 
and 1835; died September 7, 1882, in Oxford; married 

(1) Hadsell; married (2) Urania Rowland, bom 

in 1810 ; died August 6, 1879. Children : 

Emeline, married Orlando Beardsley. 

Orlin J., married Mary Britton. 

Phoebe, unmarried, lives in California. 

Elmer, died April 11, 1851, aged 16. 

Burton, married October 28, 1862, Amelia Weeks of 
Oxford, resides in California. 

Clarissa E., died April 27, 1859, aged 15 years. 

DiMiCE, died December 20, 1860, aged 14. 

Calvin Westover, after a few years, bought the Hiram 
Snow farm, now occupied by Francis Hill, on the four 
corners mentioned above, where he resided until about 
1849, when he purchased the Nicholas Rogers farm, now 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 245 

occupied by Henry H. Hill, where he resided until his 
death. He was for several years associated with his 
brother Ranslow in the oyster business. Afterwards he 
dealt in live stock, shipping to Binghamton by the Che- 
nango canal. 

Orlin J. Westover, son of Calvin, born March 7, 1832, 
in Oxford; died September 11, 1865, in Andersonville 
prison, having been taken prisoner at Guntown, Tenn., 
June 11, 1865, while in the U. S. service during the Civil 
War. Mr. Westover went to Minnesota in 1853, and mar- 
ried in 1856 Mary M. Britton of Mankato, Minn., born 
March 17, 1835, died April 24, 1863, in Mankato. He 
enlisted xVugust 15, 1862, under Capt. Dane in Co. E, 
9th Minnesota Volunteers, and was stationed at Fort 
Ridgeley, on the Minnesota river, where he was engaged 
in fighting Indians at the outbreak of the Sioux tribe led 
by Chief Little Crow. He witnessed much hardship and 
suffering by the settlers, one instance in particular he 
related. Wliile with a company, they came upon an 
emigrant party of two men, two women, and two small 
children. The men were dead, scalped, their hearts cut 
out and hung on the wagon stakes ; one woman Avas dead, 
and the other, an old lady, was shot in the back by an 
arrow, which nearly passed through her body. The chil- 
dren were unharmed. The old lady had been left for 
dead, but she regained consciousness and succeeded in ex- 
tracting the shaft of the arrow, but the flint point remained 
in her body. She had taken the children and managed 
to crawl to the shade of a tree some distance from the 
wagon, where she was found by the cavalrymen uncon- 
scious, but death ended her suffering soon after. Mr. 
Westover's father-in-law, Mr. Britton, took two of his 
children and his grandsons, Maurice and Calvin Westover, 
to Fort Ridgeley, where they remained two months for 



346 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

protection from the Indians. He left his two eldest sons 
to take the women to the fort, where they arrived safely 
in a day or two. Soon after there was a severe Indian 
fight in that vicinity and thirty-eight of the tribe were 
captured, taken to Mankato, and executed in public on 
December 26, 1862. The refugees at the fort witnessed 
the execution, which ended the Indian outbreak. 

Children of Orlin J. and Mary (Britton) Westover: 

Maurice N., married Clarissa Bradley, resides in Mesa 
Grande, Cal. 

Calvin E., married Lina Bpnjamiu of Preston, and 
resides at Herkimer, N. Y. 

A daughter died in infancy. 

Ozias Westover, son of Elislia, born in Sheffield, Mass. ; 
died September 27, 1860, in Barker, N. Y. ; came to Oxford 
in 1829; married June 18, 1829, Eliza Hadsell of New 
Marlboro, Mass., born May 11, 1810, died October 9, 1886, 
in Barker, N. Y. Mr. Westover settled on the farm in the 
west part of the town, known as the Beardsley farm. After 
a few years he moved to Barker, Broome county. 

Children : 

Polly A., married Abel W. Beach ; died April 6, 1885. 

Jane P., married Myron S. Root; died August 31, 1887. 

DoRUS, married Fannie Gaylord, and resides in Barker. 

Ranslow Westover, son of Elisha, born April 8, 1809, 
in Sheffield, Mass.; died December 15, 1858, in Oxford; 
married December 31, 1835, Clarissa A. Tift of New Ber- 
lin, born April 10, 1816, in New Berlin, N. Y., died April 
5, 1888, in Lanesboro, Pa. 

Soon after their marriage Mr. W^estover purchased a 
pair of strong horses and a heavy lumber wagon, upon 
which he placed a canvas top. In this vehicle he and his 
bride took their wedding trip, driving to Plainfleld, 111. 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 247 

They carried with tlieiii cooking utensils and bedding, and 
cooked their meals whenever opportunity offered, lodging 
in their wagon wherever night overtook them. At Plain- 
field he built the first frame house erected in that town. 
Aft^r remainirig there five years, during which time Mr. 
Westover suffered more or less from fever and ague, they 
returned to Oxford, coming from Utica on the Chenango 
canal, in the fall of the year that waterway was opened. 
He purchased the farm in " Dodge Hollow,'^ now owned 
by William Wells, and later came into the village and 
purchased tlie Burghardt farm, at the lower end of Clinton 
street, now owned by F. P. Newkirk. He built the house 
now owned by Frederick Dibble, then belonging to the 
farm, and the two large red barns. Here he remained until 
his death. In 1840 Mv. Westover in partnership with his 
brother Calvin entered into the oyster trade. They were 
the first to bring oysters into this section of the State, 
which were brought to Oxford from Catskill by teamsters, 
and then distributed throughout the country by their 
regular routes, north, east, south, and west. Strange as 
it may seem, Binghamton, Elmira, and Corning were 
among the places which received their first oysters from 
the Westovers. Their trade covered a large section and 
proved very remunerative. Oysters were then put up in 
pint and quart kegs, later in square tin cans. 

The children of Ranslow were: 

OsMER M., born October 2, 1838, in Plainfield, 111.; 
married January 21, 1863, Sarah Eliza Chapman, daugh- 
ter of William E. Cliapinan of Oxford, born March 6, 1842, 
died May 6, 1902. Cliildreu : Anna B., married Jay W. 
Hopkins; Herbert G., married Alice Benjamin; Howard 
C, and Dr. Robert II. 

Sylvama xVrline, born October 5, 1840, in Oxford; 



248 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

married Thomas E. Chapman; died January 13, 1885, in 
Marathon, N Y. 

Mary Annette, born June 14, 1844, in Oxford; mar- 
ried Theodore F. McNeil. Resides in Binghamton. 

Alice U., born February 8, 1849, in Oxford ; died July 
5, 1895, in Elmira; married J. W. Hamilton of Oxford. 

Earle H., born February 22, 1853 ; died April 24, 1858. 

William G., born October 5, 1855, in Oxford; married 
May 20, 1880, Lottie E. Waite of Muncie, Ind. ; resides in 
Philadelphia. 

Ranslow, born August 9, 1858 ; died April 12, 18G6. 

Orlin Westover, son of Elisha, born November 27, 1810, 
in Sheffield, Mass.; died May 27, 1852, in Oxford; mar- 
ried April 30, 1835, Betsey Howland, born July 5, 1812, 
in New Milford, Conn., died February 11, 1897, in Dryden, 
N. Y. Mr. Westover came to Oxford about 1834 and 
bought of Jeremiah York the farm now owned and occu- 
pied by his son. Miles L. His death occurred from pneu- 
monia after a. short illness and while in the full prime of 
manhood. He possessed those Christian attributes which 
stamped character on the worth of true citizenship and 
marked the career of a man passing through life with 
the full assurance of receiving the reward of " Well done, 
good and faithful servant." He was a just man, living 
in peace and with enmity for none. 

Children : 

Adah M., died Oct. 2, 1854, aged 18 years. 

Miles R., born in 1839; married Mary P. Root of 
Tioga, Pa. Children: Florence M., died December 6, 
1886, in early womanhood, leaving a memory green in 
the friendship and love of a host of sincere friends. Orlin 
E., married Nettie M. Burdick of Norwich; Albert W., 
married Annie B. Cook of East Norwich; Addie E., mar- 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 240 

ried Ira D. McNitt, and resides in Kansas; Minnie B., 
married Thomas M. Dunning of Oxford. 

RoxciE M., died December 31, 1905 ; married Dr. Robert 
E. Miller of Oxford. 

Philander Chase, died January 7, 1906, in his 62d year, 
survived by a son. 



OLD LETTERS are always interesting. Here are two, 
the first one was written by a student at Oxford 
Academy the first year of its existence. The writer was a 
son of Gen. Jacob Morris of an old Colonial family that 
settled at Morris, N. Y. The second letter was written by 
the founder of the town of Oxford : 

Oxford. 14 Sept., 1794. 
Dear Pappa: 

I received yours of the 14 this morning. Richard and myself are in 
ffood Health at present and will be over on Saturday with Mr. and Mrs. 
Tracy if we are all well at that time. I got our Clothes and I find a coat of 
Richard's missing which I am in hopes to get on the road. 

I remain your affectionate son, LEWIS LEE MORRIS. 



Oxford, May 28th, 1799. 
Dear Sir: 

The Adgt. Gen'l will be at Oxford on Saturday, 8th of Jnne, at which 
time I hope to be honoured with your Company. On Friday morning the 
Reverend Mr. Camp will address himself to the Militia, in the afternoon you 
and the Gen'l can go to the Butternuts, and on Monday morning be at 
Otego. Pleas to give Majr Edwards an invitation and be so kind as to in- 
form me by Next Post. I am with esteem your Humble servt, 

BENJ HOVEY. 

Gen'l Morris. 



a$o ANNALS OF OXFORD 



In an age 
Wben men were men, and not ashamed of heaven, 

— Young. 



Cyrus A. Bacon 



Cyrus A. Bacon came to Oxford early in boyhood and 
began his mercantile career as clerk for Ira Willcox in 
the brick store on Fort Hill. He married Mary A. Mc- 
Calpin, daughter of Thomas McCalpin of Oxford, who 
died December 25, 1857, aged 65 years. He took his young 
wife to his mother's home in Preston, a few miles from 
the village of Oxford, where she remained several weeks, 
w^hen he rented the Stephen O. Runyan house on the east 
side of the river. James Clapp also occupied a portion of 
the building for a law office. In 1825, in connection with 
Uri Tracy, son of the early settler by that name, Mr. 
Bacon commenced a mercantile business which w^as con- 
tinued till the death of Mr. Tracy in 1856. His active 
business career lasted for a period of fifty-four years, or 
up to the time of his death, which occurred January 12, 
1879, at the age of 89 years. Mr. Bacon was for over 
forty years a trustee of Oxford Academy. He also held 
the town offices of supervisor and clerk, the latter for a 
long term of years. He was the fifth in succession of 
postmasters, holding the office from 1841 to 1849, and from 
1853 to 1861. 

During the night of November 3, 1847, the residence of 
Mr. Bacon, now the Baptist parsonage, was entered, and 
a cash box taken from his sleeping room, containing nearly 
f600 in cash and a larger amount in note. He was aroused 
by a noise made by the burglar and discovering his loss 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 2<yi 

rushed to the door, but only in time to hear the retreating^ 
footsteps of the midnight visitors, one of whom left his 
boots behind. In the morning the cash box was found 
half a mile from the village rifled of the money and the 
best part of the papers. One person was arrested on 
suspicion, examined and discharged. In May, 1851, sev- 
eral more of Mr. Bacon's papers were discovered under a 
barn five miles north of the village. They were in a leather 
case, which, with its contents were much decayed, though 
many were legible. 

Mr. Bacon married October 2, 1864, for his second wife, 
Mrs. Catherine (Cook) Kinyon of Oxford, who died No- 
vember 14, 1892, aged 87 years. Children by first wife : 

Margaret R., died January 7, 1843, aged 22 years. 

Jane M., died August 12, 1895, in Syracuse, aged 72 
years; married Geo. W. Gray. 

James H., died February 25, 1847, aged 22 years. 
Elizabeth, H., died August 19, 1862, aged 34 years. 



13 AND ALL MAIN, for many years a well knov/n citizen 
-■-^ of Oxford previous to 1846, in which year he moved to 
New York City, died suddenly in North Stonington, Ct., 
Mar<!h 12, 1852, aged 59 years. He was prominently iden- 
tified with the Baptist Church in this village. His wife 
was P^anny York, sister of Dr. Edward York, Jeremiah 
York, and Ruth York. She died August 17, 1878, in North 
Stonington, Ct., aged 82 years. Among their children were 
Dwight and Randall W. 



2^2 ANNALS OF OXFORD 



On thy calm joys with what delight I dream, 
Thou dear green valley of my native stream ! 
B^ancy o'er thee still waves th' enchanting wand. 

— Bloom FIELD. 



Joseph Gifford, 



Joseph Gifford came to Oxford on horseback about the 
year 1802, and purchased of Ezekiel Olds the farm, on 
which he lived and died, now owned by his grandson, 
John H. Gifford, on the east side of the river two miles 
below the village. Mr. Gifford was born in Connecticut, 
October 24, 1775; married in February, 1804, Priscilla 
Root, w^ho died April 4, 1807, leaving two daughters, 
Jerusha and Priscilla, who died in infancy. His second 
wife was the widow Betsey Turner, whom he married 
October 24, 1807. Her death occurred May 22, 1860. Mr. 
Gifford died February 15, 1865. Children: 

Julian, born August 25, 1808; died April 13, 1849; 
married Ira R. Noble. 

Maryan, twin to Julian, died December 9, 1898; mar- 
ried John Hicks of Norwich. 

Priscilla, born March 4, 1810; died February 7, 1844; 
married John Y. Washburn. 

Joseph, born November 15, 1812; died in 1885; mar- 
ried Eliza Adams. 

Jesse H., born August 16, 1816 ; died October 31, 1886 ; 
married Elizabeth C. Hopkins, died January 1, 1882. 

HiEL T., born May 29, 1819 ; died October 25, 1850. 

James M., born February 20, 1823; married Marcia 
C. Rhodes, both now living in town. 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 253 



An old farm-house with meadows wide, 
And sweet with clover on each side; 
A bright-eyed boy, who looks from out 
The door with woodbine wreathed about. 

— Anonymous, 



John Webb, 



John Webb, born December 2, 1756, in Egremont, Mass. ; 
died March 27, 1832, in Oxford. His wife was born De- 
cember 22, 1777, and died in middle age. 

At a very early day, Mr. Webb, accompanied by his 
wife, came to the State of New York and located on 
Panther Hill in the town of Oxford. The journey was 
long and tedious as they came overland by means of an 
oxteam and encountered many hardships. The country 
was wild and unbroken, and the hand of civilization had 
as yet made but few changes. They often went to bed 
hungry, subsisting mainly on wild game and fish, in which 
the forests and streams abounded. One by one these old 
pioneers have passed away, and they live only in the 
memory of their descendants ; but the work of their hands 
will continue as a monument to their deeds, and as a 
reminder of the trials and struggles through which they 
passed in developing the town. 

Children : 

William. 

Daniel, died in 1812 in Canada, unmarried. 

Lyman, found dead in road near schoolhouse; un- 
married. 

Sally, married — Wall ; died in Minnesota. 

John. 

Lorry, married Erastus Ingraham ; died in McDonough. 

Joel, married Abigail Loomis. 

Margaret, married T^onard Ingraham; died in Oxford* 



J254 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

Joel Webb, son of John Webb, born April 11, 1804, 
in Oxford; died January 5, 1888; married February 6, 
1828, Abigail Loomis of Smithville, born September 9, 
1811, died May 8, 1888. 

Mr. Webb was born, lived and died on the farm settled 
by his father on Panther Hill, and reared a family of 
nine children. Mrs. Webb was a daughter of Edward 
Loomis of Smithville, one of the first settlers in all that 
region, which was then an unbroken wilderness, inhab- 
ited by deer, bears, wolves, and other wild beasts. The 
Webb homestead had 

" — a roof with a slope down behind, 
Like a sunbonnet blown partly off by the wind.'' 

Mr. Webb was honest and faithful in the discharge of 
his duties, respected by all and beloved by his kindred. 

Children : 

Benaiah, married Christina M. Smith; resides in 
Oreene. 

Harriet, resides in Utica, and for over fifty years was 
a successful teacher in public schools. 

Charlotte, married Charles A. McFarland of Oxford; 
died October 2, 1901. 

Betsey M., married Rev. Daniel Ballon; resides in 
Utica. 

George M., married Harriet Ketchum; resides in Ox- 
ford. 

Whitman J., married Augusta Lansing. 

Joel Julian, died August 31, 1844. 

^L\RiON L., married Clark L. McNeil ; resides in Oxford. 

Alvin G., married Josephine Miller; resides in Oxford. 

Edward L., married Ida C. Towslee; resides in Hig- 
ganum, Conn. 

Fred E., died October 4, 1851. 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 2$s 



Tbe wanner of saying or doing a thing goes a 
great way in tbe value of the thing Itself. 

— Seneca. 



Epaphras Miller. 



Epaphras Miller, born June 2, 1778, in Glastonbury, 
Conn., died July 5, 1860, in Oxford; married July 14, 
1810, at Wilkesbarre, Pa., Elizabeth, daughter of Dr. 
Samuel Baldwin, born March 26, 1787, in West Stock- 
bridge, Mass., died July 14, 1853, in Oxford. 

Mr. Miller was among Oxford's earliest settlers, coming 
in 1800 and engaging in mercantile business, which he 
followed for a period of about fifty years. He w^as identi- 
fied with many plans for the grow^th and prosperity of 
the youthful village, and, among the active men of that 
day, none were more zealous to advance the standard of 
education, to open public thoroughfares, and add to the 
beauty of the village. 

From 1807 Mr. Miller was associated with Samuel Farn- 
ham, Sr., for two years; in 1818 he was a partner of John 
F. Hill for two years in this village, and then for the two 
succeeding years the same firm conducted a store in Mc- 
Donough. In the year 1831 he formed a partnership with 
Thomas G. Newkirk, which terminated in 1836. In 1834 
he received his son, Henry L, Miller, as his partner, who 
retired in 1841 to join William Mygatt in his store on 
Washington Park, in part the present residence of Mrs. 
D. M. Lee. Epaphras Miller retired from business in 
1843, and died in 1860 in the same house in which he and 
his wife began housekeeping in 1810. He was one ever 
ready to assist those around him struggling with pecuniary 



256 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

difficulties, an obliging and sympathizing neighbor, a kind 
and ever affectionate parent, but unyielding in purpose 
and opinions he deemed right. Children: 

Robert, born September 23, 1812 ; died June 21, 1814. 

Benjamin, bom November 15, 1813 ; died November 16, 
1813. 

Henry L., born May 15, 1815. 

Elizabeth, born Dec. 13, 1818; died January 7, 1894, 
in Bulxalo; married July 24, 1838, John Lathrop of West 
Springfield, Mass., died May 16, 1870, in Buffalo. Chil- 
dren: Henry M., born July — , 1839, died December 7, 
1868, in New York from a street car accident; Mary E., 
born October 8, 1845. 

Anna M., born January 21, 1821 ; married June 5, 1844, 
Benjamin Cannon of Cannonsville, N. Y. 

Benjamin S., born July 14, 1827; died August ,2 1859, 
unmarried. Graduated at Yale in 1847, and devoted sev- 
eral years to teaching in this State and in the South. 
Later was employed in the survey of a canal in North 
Carolina. 

The Oxford Gazette of June 28, 1814, in mentioning 
the death of Mr. Miller's first born, says: " In this village 
on Tuesday, the 21st, a son of Epaphras Miller, let. 1 year 
and 9 months. — The Physician by mistake dealt out Ar- 
senac instead of Calomel : the child took it and in 50 
hours expired." 

Henry L. Miller, son of Epaphras and Elizabeth ( Bald- 
win) Miller, born May 15, 1815, in Oxford; died March 
10, 1886, in Oxford; married October 15, 1839, Elizabeth, 
eldest daughter of William and Caroline (Northrup) My- 
gatt, born November 7, 1817, in New Milford, died Febru- 
ary 5, 1890, in Oxford. 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 2^7 

Mr. Miller received his education at Oxford Academy 
and there gave evidence of the intellectual and moral 
traits of character which made his after life so successful. 
After completing his academic course in 1834, at the age 
of 19, he assisted in his father's store, the same now occu- 
pied by William M. Miller on LaFayette Square. In 1835 
he entered the dry goods house of P. Freeman & Co., Pearl 
street, New York, to acquire a thorough acquaintance with 
the business, returning to Oxford in 1838, and entering 
into copartnership with his father. In 1841 he entered 
into partnership in the leather business with William 
Mygatt, putting into the store a large stock of general 
merchandise, and, upon the retirement of the latter in 
1851, continued the business alone for two years. In 
April, 1853, Mr. Miller received Gerrit H. Perkins as a 
partner, and later George C. Rector, now of Hastings, 
Neb., also became a partner. In 1868, upon the retirement 
of the latter, the name of William M. Miller was added, 
making the firm name Miller, Perkins & Co. The mercantile 
career of the senior member of the firm extended over a 
period of more than half a century. During the latter 
part of this time his extensive private interests, and the 
management of large estates of others intrusted to his care 
occupied his mind and time to the serious impairment 
of his health. A condition of nervous dyspepsia and of 
enfeebled memory followed, which forced him to abandon 
all business cares, and from that time he spent the re- 
mainder of his days in the enjoyment of his beautiful, 
quiet home, gratefully receiving the ministrations of his 
devoted wife, and the society of family and friends. 

Few men engaged in business so engrossing and exten- 
sive as was Mr. Miller's have given so largely of their 
time and means for the public good. In the midst of his 
most active mercantile life he ever manifested a deep in- 



2S8 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

terest in the prosperity of the village, and was a zealous 
supporter of the cause of education and religion. From 
lSi\'2 to ISGG he was president of the village, and untir- 
ingly exerted himself to promote its welfare. For many 
years he held a trusteeship of the Oxford Academy, and 
was one of its most earnest and faithful supporters, spar- 
ing neither time nor money to elevate its standard of 
usefulness and influence. He held the position of cashier 
in the -First National Bank of Oxford from 1865 for two 
years, and was vice president of that institution for twelve 
years, from 1867 to 1879, when he declined a re-election. 
Amid all these cares he found time for reading, keeping 
himself informed in all the current events of the day* 
He entered the membership of the Congregational church 
in the year 1849, and from that time until the end of 
his life he was one of its ablest and heartiest supporters. 

Mrs. Miller received her education at Oxford Academy, 
and, on the 3d of March, 1839, she united with the Con- 
gregational church, continuing until her death one of its 
most devout and loyal members. Her life was one long 
epistle of benevolence, hospitality. Christian charity, and 
love. The beautiful chapel contiguous to the Congrega- 
tional church, was built by her as a memorial of her hus- 
band, and given to the society, a free-will offering. 

(children : 

William M. 

John E. 

Henry N., born May 17, 1845; died suddenly February 
10, 1864. 

Benjamin S., born June 1, 1851 ; married November 23, 
1881, Josephine A., daughter of John B. Bowen of Bing- 
hamton. 

William IM. Miller, son of Henry L. and Elizabeth (My- 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 2^() 

gatt) Miller, born September 28, 1840, in Oxford; mar- 
ried July 17, 1879, Emma E., daughter of B.^ M. Pearne 
of Oxford. 

For nearly forty-five years Mr. Miller has been in the 
general merchandise trade in Oxford, reckoning the period 
of his clerkship. His father and his grandfather carried 
on the same business years before him ; the original store of 
Epaphras Miller, who founded the business in 1800, stood 
where the grandson now does business. In the spring of 
1868 Mr. Miller became a partner with his father, Henry 
K Miller, and Gerrit H. Perkins, and the firm was known 
as Miller, Perkins & Co. At one time the patrons of this 
firm w^ere scattered over an extent of country within the 
radius of a day's drive. Frequently large bills of goods 
were carted from this store over into Delaware county. 

The death of the senior partner, in 1886, led to no im- 
mediate change, the business being conducted under the 
same firm name until the retirement of Mr. Perkins in 
1890, since which time Mr. Miller has conducted the busi- 
ness alone. Mr. Miller is a director in the First National 
Bank of Oxford, the owner of the Citizens Opera House, 
and a large property in village and farm real estate. Mr. 
Miller has been one of the active members of the fire 
department, first connected with the old Lady Washington 
Company, and afterwards with the Sappho Hose Company. 

Children : 

Henry P., born September 27, 1880 ; graduated at Rut- 
gers; died May 17, 1904, in Minneapolis, Minn. 

Elizabeth M. 
Benjamin M. 

John E. Miller, son of Henry L. and Elizabeth (Mygatt) 
Miller, born August 26, 1842; graduated with the vale- 



26o ANNALS OF OXFORD 

dictory at Oxford Academy, and with honors at Yale, 
where he obtained the degree of A. B., and later A. M. 
Upon leaving school he spent two years as clerk in his 
father's store and three years in banking, being the first 
teller of the First National Bank of Oxford, where he 
was employed for about two years, and subsequently oc- 
cupying the same position for more than a year in the 
State National Bank of Minneapolis. While there he 
declined a flattering proposal to accept the cashiership 
and a place in the directory of a bank which was being 
organized in Des Moines, Iowa. His desire was to pursue 
an active out-door business, this being the special reason 
why, after registering at Albany as student in law, he 
decided not to follow the profession. In June, 1872, Mr. 
Miller entered into copartnership with William C. Beards- 
ley in quarrying and shipping blue stone at South Oxford, 
which partnership continued only a year and a half, Mr. 
Beards! ey retiring from the firm. Mr. Miller conducted 
the business alone up to the fall of 1880. In January, 1881, 
New York parties took a half interest in the business, 
and the firm conprised W. H. Hurst, James J. Treanor, 
Frank P. Treanor, superintendent, and John E. Miller, 
under the name of John E. Miller & Co. This firm made 
large contracts and furnished quantities of stone in New 
York City and vicinity. Following the expiration of this 
contract Mr. Miller disposed of the stone interest, re- 
serving a valuable quarry in Greene, also one in McDon- 
ough. Since then he has been greatly interested in fine 
horses and in the pursuits of an agricultural nature. He 
lias l)een a village father for a term of five years. 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 261 



The beginnings of all things are small 

— CiCEBO. 



George C. Rector, 



George C. Kector came to Oxford about the year 1845 
from Esperance, N. Y., where he was born March 26, 
1831. After a few years engaged in clerking, he became 
the junior member of the firm of Miller, Perkins & Rector, 
which did a large mercantile business on Fort Hill during 
the days when the Chenango canal was in its prosperity. 
Later Mr. Rector engaged in the hardware business which 
he conducted for a number of years previous to his re- 
moval to the West. He is now a resident of Hastings, 
Neb. He married (1) April 20, 1856, Sarah Roome, born 
May 1, 1836, in New York City, died May 5, 1874, at Blue 
Earth City, Minn.; married (2) July 20, 1875, Angelina 
Roome, born March 7, 1840, in New York City, died March 
25, 1902, in Hasting, Neb. Children by first wife : 

Henry C, born in Oxford ; died June 14, 1899, in Mos- 
cow, Russia, aged 44 years. In 1877 he went to Europe 
in the employment of the International Bell Telephone 
Co., and worked in Germany, Switzerland, France, and 
Russia. 

Hattie, born February 26, 1859; died March — , 1862. 

Lizzie, born November 11, 1862, in Oxford. 

George Herbert, born March 10, 1864, in Oxford. 

Jennie, born April 10, 1866, in Oxford. 

Orlando A., born November 10, 1872, in Minnesota. 



262 ANNALS OF OXFORD 



The flood may pour from morn till nig-ht 
Nor wash the pretty Indian white. — Hafiz. 



Indian Stories. 



After their land was sold the dusky natives, mostly 
Oneidas, still held possession of their hunting grounds 
and sought game and fish in forest and stream. They lived 
peacefully among the whites. The early history of the 
Chenango Valley furnished a variety of Indian stories, 
some of a romantic and others of a tragic character. One 
is as follows: 

One summer-s evening General Hovey, with a party of 
surveyors, among whom was Captain Derrick Race, had 
finished their day's work of laying out village lots, and 
were approaching their cabin, when an unknown Indian 
warrior of powerful build appeared and inquired if a 
strange Indian had passed that way. Colonel Race 
replied : 

" Yes, about an hour ago, and you will find him a mile 
north, where he has camped for the night." 

The warrior resumed his journey, quickly and silently 
passing from sight in the direction designated. Reaching 
the one whom he sought, and who, seeing escape was im- 
possible, rose from a sitting posture, placed his hands 
at hia side and exclaimed : 'Tgh! me dead lugun !" The 
other without a word raised his tomahawk and buried 
it three times in his skull, wiped it on his sleeve and re- 
turned to the cabin of the surveyors. In the morning he 
disappeared as silently as he came, having fulfilled his 
mission to avenge the murder of his sister, which had 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 263 

occurred in a southern State. He had been on the track 
of his victim for several weeks to accomplish this purpose. 
Upon another occasion five hundred Indians, dressed 
and painted in holiday attire, passed down the river in 
bark canoes. They were on their way to attend a grand 
council of the several nations at Tioga Point, now Owego, 
Their unexpected advent caused great alarm before the 
object of their visit was made known. 

A few Indians still lingered for many years about the 
town, who were accustomed to camp along the streams, 
hunt, fish, make baskets, and brooms. They were gener- 
ally quiet and peaceable, but the Avhites would sometimes 
abuse them. Occasionally an Indian would tell over his 
cups of the traditional glory of his ancestors, when the 
old fort was theirs. They were principally Oneidas, 
among them was An tone, better known as " Old Abe," 
who, notwithstanding his subsequent perfidy, often sided 
with the whites in cases of disagreement. 

Daniel P. Fitch, of whom mention is made elsewhere, 
related the following to the writer in regard to Antone. 

In the years 1809-10 I lived with my uncle, Daniel 
Perry, or Price as the Dutch would have it, in South Ox- 
ford, on the east side of the river. He had a good farm, 
well improved for that day, good buildings, with an 
orchard of apple trees in full bearing, far in advance of 
the early settlers in that section. Abe Antone was in 
the habit of going there from Madison county, to spend 
the hunting season, which began about the first of October 
and held until New Year-s Day. I well remember when 
they came in 1809. The squaws and children were in a 
two-horse wagon, while the chief and his braves walked, 
carrying their muskets and wearing belts in which were 
their hatchets and hunting knives. My uncle and aunt 
welcomed them cordially; the squaws and children were 



264 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

given the spacious kitclien to use until their cabins were 
repaired, which stood on the banks of a creek that ran 
through the farm in a dense groAvth of small hemlocks and 
pines. The third day after their arrival the hunt began, 
which was conducted by the chief himself. Early in the 
morning Antone, with their best marksmen, took their 
stand on what was called runways, while the others cir- 
cled around in the woods, driving the game to the marks- 
men, who shot it. At the close of the day's hunt the chief 
would call at the farm house and tell what luck they had. 
At one time he said : ^^ Me shoot four deer to-day " ; at an- 
other time, " Me shoot seven buck to-day." My uncle told 
him that Avas a good day's work. He then got apples and 
cider, of which. Antone was very fond, and in return re- 
ceived venison and other presents. Game was very plenty, 
deer, bear, wolves, all the various fur animals, such as 
foxes, otter, mink, and muskrat. 

At this time Antone's family consisted of ten children, 
eight sons and two daughters. The sons were able to 
join in the chase v>'ith their father. The girls being the 
youngest, about seven or eight years of age, were my play- 
mates during the two hunting seasons they passed in 
South Oxford. When they were dressed in their neat 
Indian blankets, with wampum belts around their waists, 
bead work on their wrists, and their coal black hair 
combed neatly over their necks and shoulders, they were 
really pretty. And their bright, shining eyes, musical 
hi ugh and winning ways added much to their charms in 
my youthful eyes. Game becoming scarce and the country 
settling up so rapidly, Antone went to Delaware county, 
then a wilderness, to pursue his hunting. This was the 
last I ever saw of him or his family, but I became aware 
of some of the tragic events that happened to tliem in 
Uiter vears. 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 26s 

In time the young Indian girls grew to womanhood, were 
admired by the young braves of their tribe, and also by 
the young men among the pale faces. Mary, one of the 
girls, received the addresses of an Oneida brave, to whom 
she was tenderly attached and expected to marry, but 
was doomed to disappointment, for he proved false. He 
married another dusky maiden of the forest, and Mary 
mourned over her disappointment until she could bear it 
no longer. She grew moody and revengeful, and one 
night arming herself with her father's hunting knife went 
to their wigrs^am and, finding them asleep, plunged the 
knife into the breast of her rival. She fled, but was soon 
arrested for the crime and placed in jail by the authorities 
of Madison county. To this Antone objected, telling the 
white men that it was none of their business, and that 
they could settle it their own way, but the authorities paid 
no attention to the old chiefs wishes. Mary was brought 
to trial, proved guilty and sentenced to be hung. Antone 
made strong efforts to save his daughter and told the 
court that he did not want his child hung like a dog, but 
if they would shoot her so that she could die an honor- 
able death he would be satisfied, otherwise he would have 
revenge. She was executed at Peterboro, and I was shown 
the field years after where the scaffold was erected upon 
which my youthful playmate met her death. 

Antone's grief and sorrow over the death of his child 
was intense and he laid plans to carry out his threat of 
revenge. He left his family and disappeared, but suddenly 
appeared in a field one day where men were hoeing corn. 
John Jacobs, an Indian, was one of the party and had been 
the principal witness against Mary and active in her arrest. 
Antone approached, shook hands with each one until he 
came to Jacobs, and while apparently grasping his hand 
in friendship, drew a long knife from his sleeve, at the same 



266 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

time saying, " How d^ye do, brother? " quickly drove it 
three times into the body of his victim, who fell at the first 
blow. Antone gave a terrific whoop and disappeared be- 
fore the terrified witnesses recovered their presence of 
mind. It has been said, though I cannot vouch for it, that 
he also killed the judge and the sheriff who had sentenced 
and executed his daughter. Great excitement followed, a 
reward was offered for his body dead or alive, and a thor- 
ough search made, but no clue could be found. Finally the 
reward was increased, and General Ransom Rathbone of 
Oxford called out the militia and a thorough search was 
made in the forests of New York and Pennsylvania, but 
without success, for Antone was securely sheltered in 
South Oxford by Andrew Achorn until the excitement died 
away. 

Finally two brothers, in whom Antone placed great con- 
fidence, followed him to Delaware county, whither he had 
gone, and after giving him presents and spending some 
days, finally proposed shooting at a mark, with the object 
to take their victim while his musket was unloaded. An- 
tone consented and fired, the men rushed upon him, but 
were beaten off, and the old chief would have then escaped 
if they had not shot him in the leg. He was taken to Mor- 
risville, placed in jail, where he gave up all hope, and 
refusing to eat pined away. Judge Williams of Utica pre- 
sided at the trial. The prisoner pleaded not guilty and 
objected to a trial, except by his own people ; stating that 
he had paid |270 to the different tribes for a ransom and 
thought it hard that he should die when he had made his 
peace with the Indians. He also produced a document 
written by George Washington, appointing him one of his 
aids and fast runners to carry messages and orders from 
one post to another. He plead his services to the country 
in gaining its independence, his friendship for the whites, 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 267 

but all to no purpose. The court appoints Judge Piatt 
and General Kirkland his counsel, who rested their defense 
on this, that the State of New York had no jurisdiction 
over the Indian tribes within her territory. The court, 
however, overruled the objection and Antone was sentenced 
to be hanged on Friday, the 12th of September, 1828. He 
said he was willing to die, but objected to the mode of 
execution, preferring to be shot. A great crowd gathered 
at Morrisville to witness the old chief meet his death, a 
walking skeleton and nearly one hundred years old. 

Antone was accused of other murders, but in a confes- 
sion he made which was printed in a pamphlet, a copy of 
which I have read, he denied, but acknowledged killing two 
persons, an Indian and a white man. 

In later years Abraham Tushnook was another noted 
Indian character in this vicinity. He was also called " Old 
Abe,'' and handled the bow and arrow in a skillful manner. 
At " general training -' he earned quite a little money by 
shooting pennies from a notched stick to the amusement 
of a crowed. Abe belonged to the Stockbridge tribe, and 
served under Captain Jacobs in the war of 1812. His 
attachment for the favorite hunting grounds in the Che- 
nango valley was strong. He died at the County House 
in Preston October 18, 1870, aged 82. 



From Chenango Republican, published at Oxford, Sept. 8, 1S26: 

£^8300 EEWARD.^.^ 

WHEREAS, Several specimens of a7lf7^rac^Ye coal have been discovered, 
at various points in the town of Oxford, imbedded in those charac- 
teristic strata of mineral substances, which invariably attend, & attest the 
presence of coal ; the citizens, of Oxford, as an additional stimulus to the ex- 
ertions of such persons as have evinced a disposition to enter upon the 
search, offer a reward of Three Hundred Dollars, to be paid to the discov- 
erer or discoverers of an inexhaustible Coal-Bkd, in this section of country. 



26S ANNALS OF OXFORD 



Ay me! What perils do environ 

The man that meddles with cold iron ! 



What pla^^uy mischiefs and mishaps 

Do dog him still with after-claps ! — Butler, 

Cork Island Duel. 



The only affair of honor that ever occurred in Chenango 
county took place on the island a half mile above the river 
bridge in Oxford. It was in the early days of the town that 
two worthies, Messrs. Sherwood and Starkwether, had a 
difference, then a quarrel, over some trifling affair, and 
their friends seeing a chance for considerable sport kept 
them in a heated condition until it was resolved to ex- 
change shots in vindication of their honor, and the little 
island was selected for that purpose. Their seconds were 
chosen, who secretly gave the affair publicity that the 
friends might be present and enjoy the fun. 

On the day appointed the belligerents made their appear- 
ance on the spot selected. The seconds had agreed that 
neither should suffer harm, and loaded the pistols with 
cork instead of lead, and each inspired his principal with 
courage by informing him that his antagonist's pistol was 
loaded with cork, but assuring him that his own contained 
a ball. Sherwood, who had arrived first on the field, said, 
as Starkwether approached : 

" Starkwether, you know I'm a good shot and sure to 
kill. If you'll acknowledge you are in the wrong, then 
this affair is ended, and we'll go home." 

" Not by a danged sight, Sherwood," was the bold reply. 
'^ I'm here on my honor, and when I return you'll be the 
one thev'll take home to burv ! " 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 269 

" I will, eh ! '^ quickly answered Sherwood with flashing 
eye. " I know there's going to be a funeral, but it won't be 
mine, not to-day, nor next week, nor for a month to come. 
You know I'm in the right, confound it, and I thought I'd 
give you a chance to live a few years longer. You'd rather 
die a natural death, hadn't you? " 

" Well, I'm going to, you old skunk," said Starkwether, 
as he stooped to pick a spear of grass. '* You can't scare 
me into showing the white feather. Get up there in line 
while I let daylight through you." 

"I'm an old skunk, am I? gol dern ye! Get your old 
pepperbox ready; I ain't afraid! I'll show you a trick 
that's played on folks that never before have been beyond 
their father's farm." 

" You talk as though you had got a brace of printer's 
devils about your ears. Stop your jibberjabber, the sexton 
is waiting for his job." 

The seconds now concluded that the principals were 
thoroughly worked up, placed them in position, back to 
back, with directions to mark off ten paces as one was 
counted, to turn at two and fire at three. The neighboring 
trees concealed many interested spectators, whose sides 
fairly ached with laughter they were compelled to subdue 
for fear of discovery. 

" Now, gentlemen," said one of the seconds, " are you 
ready? If so, we'll proceed." 

The principals bravely and in loud voice acknowledged 
their readiness to shed each other's blood. 

" Tlien, gentlemen, you thoroughly understand the rules, 
and I'll now give the signal. Ready! One! Two! 
Three ! " 

As the last word was echoing from the neighboring hills 
the report of the pistols rang out simultaneously. And 



2^0 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

as arranged neither contestant was injured, but was hur- 
riedly approached by his second, who told each that they 
had winged their man, though not mortally wounding him, 
and that a speedy retirement from the scene and a few 
days in seclusion would be about the thing to do until the 
affair blew over. 

It was several days before Messrs. Sherwood and Stark- 
wether became fully acquainted with the facts of the affair, 
and by that time their wrath had cooled, and they again 
became fast friends. The island has since been known as 
Cork Island. 



F\ ANIEL SILL, son of Rev. Elijah Sill, was born in 
^^ New Fairfield, Conn., in 1771 ; married Abigail Mc- 
Knight, January 25, 1798, and with her came to Oxford. 
She died in 1806, leaving four children, all of whom were 
born in Oxford. They were; 

AsENATH, who married Samuel Lewis, and died in 
March, 1850. 

Addison, married Jemima Cleveland, and moved to 
Kingsville, Ohio. 

Diana, died in infancy. 

Susan, married Ami Cleveland, and died May 15, 1859. 

Mr. Sill's second wife was Albasinda Barnes, whom he 
married February 2, 1808. Two children were born to 
them, who died in infancy. Mr. Sill was a farmer, and 
after residing liere a few years moved away and died Feb- 
ruary 17, 1826, at Ossian, N. Y. 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 371 



Years following years steal something every day ; 
At last they steal us from ourselves away. 

— I'OPE. 



Stephen Weeks. 



Stephen Weeks and wife came from Long Island at an 
early day and settled in Bainbridge. Not liking the situa- 
tion there they went five miles farther and located on 
^* Cider" creek, near Yaleville (Guilford), where he 
cleared the land sufficiently to put up a log house to shelter 
himself and wife. They never saw another w^hite woman's 
face for six months. Mr. Weeks died in 1813, leaving his 
wife with eight children, the youngest of whom, Stephen, 
2d, born March 26, 1813, was but six months old. By the 
time he was old enough to do anything his brothers had 
made way Avith all they could dispose of, and he started 
out to shift for himself. He finally located in the town of 
Smithville and hired out to Joseph Corbin, remaining five 
years, and working for five dollars per month. Eventually 
he bought back the land piece by piece that his brothers 
had sold, and when that was accomplished he married, 
Septem.ber 13, 1837, Julia A. Williams, daughter of Eber 
and Martha (Bennett) Williams, pioneers of Oxford. 
Mr. and Mrs. Wrecks remained in Guilford nearly ten years, 
and then sold the farm and moved to Wisconsin. The 
climate not agreeing with them, they returned East and to 
the home of Mrs. Weeks' parents in Oxford, Mr. Weeks 
buying their farm on the Tyner road. Here they passed 
the remainder of their lives. Mr. Weeks died October 5, 



272 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

1874. Mrs. Weeks was born October 25, 1817, in Oxford, 
and died on the same farm July 4, 1876. Children : 

Amelia F., born in Guilford ; married Burton Westover 
of Oxford. Resides at San Diego, Cal. 

George, born in Guilford; died December 26, 1846, in 
Wisconsin. 

Albekt, born in Wisconsin, died unmarried June 10, 
1864, in Oxford. 



JP PERCIVAL WILLCOX,boi'n September 20, 1808, in 
-■— ' • Durham, Greene county, N. Y. ; died January 27, 
1869, in Montrose, Pa. Married March 31, 1834, Sarah 
Jane Specs, born August 10 ,1808 ; died July 24, 1891, in 
Montrose, Pa. 

Mr. and Mrs. Willcox came to Oxford soon after their 
marriage, and resided in one-half of the Ira Willcox home- 
stead, now the Memorial Library building, for twenty-five 
years. Mr. Willcox, during this time, was engaged in busi- 
ness at the Oxford foundry and also in a hardware store, 
which at first was located in Fort Hill block, and later 
moved to the present location of Burchard Bros.' store. 
Frances Elizabeth, their only child, married Henry C. 
Tyler and resides at Montrose, Pa. Mr. Tyler died June 
10, 1891. 



o 



N the evening of December 25, 1862, Niagara Fire 
Company gave their third annual festival, the pro- 
ceeds of which were donated for the comfort of sick and 
wounded soldiers of the Civil war. 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 273 



The mould of a man's fortune is in his own hands. 

— Bacon. 



John Y. Washburn. 



John Y. Washburn, son of Luke and Margaret (Noys) 
Washburn, born May 31, 1810, in Poughkeepsie, N. Y. ; 
died September 5, 1890, in Norwich. Married (1) October 
28, 1834, Antoinette Bristol, who died August 24, 1838; 
married (2) in September, 1839, Priscilla Gifford, who 
died February 7, 1844; married (3) September 8, 1844, 
Sarah A. Spencer, born November 14, 1820, in Coventry; 
died March 29, 1893, in Towanda, Pa., at the home of her 
daughter, Mrs. Babcock, who was then living there. 

Mr. Washburn came from Massachusetts stock, and some 
of his ancestors took an active part in the Revolutionary 
war. Members of that family thereafter became prominent 
in the affairs of Massachusetts, one of them serving as 
Governor of the State at one time. 

Mr. Washburn learned the cabinet making trade and 
came to Oxford in 1830, where for some years he conducted 
the cabinet business. At the formation of the Oxford Hoe 
and Edge Tool Company he became identified with that 
company as manager of its lumber interest, which at that 
time was quite extensive. He remained with that company 
during his active business life at Oxford, having about 1869 
acquired the entire ownership of the property of the com- 
pany. The factory was destroyed by fire in 1871 and was 
not rebuilt. He served the town of Oxford in various of- 
ficial capacities, and wlien he came to Oxford he identified 
himself with the Methodist churcli of this village, and 
served as on(* of the official board of that church for sixty 



274 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

consecutive years. In his earlier life he was an active 
member of the fraternal organizations having lodges at 
Oxford, and was identified with the Oxford National Bank 
as a stockholder almost from its inception to the time of his 
death. He Avas a man of sterling qualities and character, 
industrious, sober, and faithful in the discharge of every 
duty and undertaking which he assumed. He died at the 
home of his son, Wesley, in Norwich, and is buried in his 
family plot in Riverview cemetery. All his children that 
obtained school age were educated at Oxford Academy. 

Child by first wife : 

John B., born November 24, 1837. Assistant surgeon in 
the United States Navy during the Civil war. Died Sep- 
tember 23, 1863, of yellov/ fever at Pensacola, Florida. Un- 
married. Children by second wife : 

Joseph G., born July 26, 1841. Served in the Civil war, 
at first a sergeant, Co. A, 114th Eegt. N. Y. Vols. Pro- 
moted first sergeant May IT, 1863. Wounded in arm, thigh, 
and shoulder at Opequan. Mortally wounded at Cedar 
Creek, and died October 19, 1864, twelve hours after receiv- 
ing wound. A brave and accomplished soldier. Unmar- 
ried. 

WESLf]Y, born August 4, 1843; died September 7, 1895, 
in Norwich. Served during the Civil war in Co. E, 89th 
Eegt. N. Y. Vols. Married Melantha Baker of Norwich, 
wlio died February 11, 1905, in Norwich. 

Children by third wife : 

Antionette, born June 22, 1845; died November 10, 
1876; married Andrew S. Seeley. Her husband and one 
child, Sarah, still survive. 

Sarah J., born June 20, 1847; died July 6, 1853. 

I^lARGARET F., bom April 2, 1849 ; died August 22, 1849. 

Mary Elizabeth, born November 14, 1850; married 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 275 

Henry E. Babcock of Norwich. Both are now living in 
New York city with one son, Charles E. Babcock, a civil 
engineer. 

Chakles, born March G, 1853 ; died November 5, 1864. 

William B., born April 29, 1855; died February 29, 
1856. 

Frank, born June 13, 1857; died July 16, 1877. Un- 
married. 

Cyrus V., born September 27, 1860; married Lizzie 
E. Bulkley of Oswego, N. Y. Resides and practices law in 
New York city. One daughter, Irene. 

William A., born December 5, 1862; died January 19, 
3892, at Mansville, N. Y., where he successfully practiced 
medicine and became a skillful physician. Married Mary 
B. Carl of Candor, N. Y. Child: John Carl, drowned 
while skating at Mannsville, January 27, 1906, aged 18. 



The most important part of every business is 
to know wliat ought to be done. 

— Columella. 



Alamanzar Watson. 



Alamanzar Watson, born in Palmer, Mass., July 22, 
1809 , was one of six children, three sons and three daugh- 
ters. By the death of the father, the mother was left alone 
to care for the children at an early age, and they did what 
they could toward supporting the family, from which grew 
habits of industry and frugality. At the age of eleven, as 
was then the custom, Mr. Watson served an apprenticeship 
and learned the saddler's trade, after which he started west 
to seek a fortune. Empty handed, with only a brave heart 
and his mother's blessing, he worked his way through 



276 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

Albany, Schoharie, and Otsego counties to Bainbridge, 
where, learning that William Mygatt was in need of help in 
his tannery and leather store, he came to Oxford. Thus 
in 1830, at the age of 21, he was working on a salary of 
eight dollars per month, and by his industry and faithful- 
ness soon won the confidence of his employer, who en- 
trusted to him the most important part of the business for 
a period of more than ten years. Mr. Watson then com- 
menced business for himself in the Fort Hill block, which 
he continued until 1856, when he engaged in the loaning 
of money in Illinois, which he made the field of his financial 
interests for several years. He was trustee of Oxford 
Academy and was one of its heartiest supporters. The 
unfortunate and friendless were often remembered and 
assisted by his aid. The Congregational church received 
his warmest support, with which society he united by let 
ter in 1835. On September 9, 1815, Mr. Watson was mar- 
ried to Miss Jennette M. Hall of Sullivan, Madison county, 
then preceptress of Oxford Academy. They immediately 
commenced housekeeping on Washington avenue, wliere 
they resided until their decease. Their own hands planted 
the trees, graded and beautified the grounds from year to 
year. Mr. Watson died May 8, 1886, in his TTth year. Mrs. 
Watson's death occurred June 20, 1889, at the age of 70 
years. 

In 1848 a son was born to them and christened Charles 
Alonzo. He was educated at Oxford Academy and Am- 
herst College, at w^hich institution he graduated in 1870. 
The remaining years of his life were spent in mercantile 
business in Lockport, N. Y., with the exception of a few 
months in 1873, when he was abroad with his invalid 
mother. On March 19, 1879, he was drowned by the acci- 
dental upsetting of a boat in the Gulf of Mexico, where 
he had been spending a few weeks for recreation. 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 277 



With wisdom fraught, 
Not such as books, but such as practice taught. 

— Waller. 



George D. Avery 



George D. Avery was born at Groton, Conn., August 19, 
1763, a colonial subject of George IV., and a witness of 
some of the exciting scenes of the American Revolution, 
among which was the burning of New London by the 
British. He was a pupil of Nathan Daboll of arithmetic 
fame. On the 8th of August, 1796, Mr. Avery took up his 
residence at Belleville, Va., after a toilsome journey of 800 
miles, having in his train thirteen teams. He there under- 
took the arduous task of pioneer settlement, sawing his 
own timber and erecting houses, against the disadvantages, 
not unknown there, of building in a new country. He was 
familiar with many of the stirring events of the early set- 
tlement of that locality, prominent among which were the 
romantic incidents in the life of Harman Blennerhasset ; 
his island paradise in the Ohio, and the strange adventures 
of Aaron Burr connected therewith, of all of which he was 
personally cognizant. Adverse fortunes at Belleville in- 
duced Mr. Avery to remove to Georgetown, Va., about the 
year 1812, where he engaged in surveying for nearh^ 
twenty years. He surveyed and laid out Georgetown. He 
was an observer of the important political events, being 
frequently in the society of public men of that period. In 
the year 1830, through the kindness of Benjamin But- 
ler, who married his sister, he was induced to come to 
this place, where he resided until his death, April 26, 1860. 
Mr. Avery was twice married, but had long survived his 
children, one of whom was a midshipman in the U. S. 



2^S ANNALS OF OXFORD 

Navy, with Commodores Rogers and Decatur, and died in 
1815. Mr. Avery voted at every election for president since 
the formation of the government, which act was performed 
by him with a religious sense of duty. When his life jour- 
ney began, Napoleon and Wellington were yet to be; dur- 
ing his career the leaders of the English parliament and 
of the American Revolution, that race of Titans, have lived 
and died; the wars of Napoleon and the war of Independ- 
ence have become historical, and a new republic, with a 
network of railroads and a web work of electric wires, 
have been extended from the Atlantic to the Pacific. 
The latter years of Mr. Avery's life were passed quietly. 
On Tuesday, November 9, 1859, at the age of 97, he de- 
posited his last vote, and while he extended his feeble hand 
to present the ballot, there was manifest a solemn feeling, 
as if a cotemporary of Washington had arisen from the 
tomb, appearing again in person upon the earth. 



He was not merely a child of the old block, but the old block Itself. 

— BUEKE. 

Gen. Peter Skenendoah Smith. 



Gener-al Peter Skenandoah Smith, better known as Sken 
Smith, came from Utica at an early day and remained in 
Oxford till the spring of 1829. He was the eldest son of 
FeteT Smith, founder of Smithfield, Madison county, who 
in 1794 succeeded in leasing from the Oneida Indians for 
a term of 999 years a tract of land comprising over 50,000 
acres, and which embraced nearly all of Smithfield and 
Fenner, that part of Cazenovia lying north of the Gore, a 
part of Stockbridge, and a large portion of Augusta, in 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 279 

Oneida county. Tliis tract he secured by treaty with the 
christianized part of the tribe through negotiations with 
their chief, Skenandoah, a warm friend of his and after 
whom he named his son. 

Peter Sken Smith was the only brother of Hon. Gerrit 
Smith, the philanthropist. He was an attractive looking 
man, nearly six feet in height, strong, active, and com- 
manding in appearance. He was educated at Hamilton 
College and became a merchant before he had reached his 
21st birthday. He established a large store in Utica, and 
often would buy at one bid a store with its various con- 
tents. He soon became involved and failed for upwards 
of |100,000, and took the benefit of the bankruptcy act. He 
then entered a law office in Utica as student, and after- 
wards settled in Sherburne for a few weeks, and then came 
to Oxford and studied a short time in James Clapp's office. 
He then went to Pharsalia and entered the law office of 
John Clapp, where he studied until he was admitted to 
practice. He married at Catskill, May 15, 1826, Anne V. 
B. Prentiss, daughter of the Rev. Joseph Prentiss. He 
then bought the John Rathbone house, better known as the 
McKoon house in later j^ears, and laid out about flOOO in 
repairs on the property. In 1829 he removed to Oswego, 
and afterwards resided in Pennsylvania and Florida, 
where he was an officer in the U. S. Army, bearing the 
title of Major-General. For several years he was a prom- 
inent politician in Philadelphia, but his eventful life was 
ended May 6, 1858, in an insane asylum at Springfield, 
Mass. 

A rare jest or witty repartee fell musically from his lips. 
Many balls and banquets owed their chief attraction to 
his exquisite tact and courtly manners. 



28o ANNALS OF OXFORD 



He is happiest, be lie king or peasant, who finds peace in his home. 

— Goethe. 



Stephen Turner. 



Stephen Turner was born January 14, 1772, in New 
London, Conn., and married Patty Prentiss of the same 
place. Shortly after liis marriage he located in Butter- 
nuts, Otsego county, and in 1813 came to Oxford and set- 
tled in the eastern part of the town. He was industrious 
and energetic, spending little time in idleness. It is re- 
lated of him that when he stopped in the field to rest he 
sat upon a sharp stone that he might not sit too long. With 
strong hands and a brave heart he cleared the forest and 
planted the apple, plum, and cherry where the birch, maple, 
and lofty pine once flourished. He lived in a log cabin 
until able to build a frame house, which until the present 
day has been occupied by his descendants. When unable 
to reach the distant mill, the family subsisted on samp 
made from corn pounded in a rude mortar. ^Ir. Turner 
gave his children what in those days was considered a good 
education. The daughters w^ere not only well versed in the 
homely duties of the household, but were proficient in the 
art of fine embroidery and lace making, besides teaching 
the three Ks in the district school. Children : 

Margaret, married Lucius Parker and settled in Steu- 
ben county. 

Nancy, married Simeon Parker, brother of Lucius, and 
settled in the same county. 

Martha, married Abel Polly and moved to Kansas. 

Stephen Prentiss, married Lucinda Harris. 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 281 

Stephen Prentiss Turner, born September 23, 1806, in 
Butternuts, Otsego county; died December 24, 1900, in 
Oxford. Married February 25, 1834, Lucinda Harris of 
Guilford, N. Y., born September 27, 1814; died December 
4, 1867, in Oxford. 

Prentiss Turner came to Oxford in 1813 with his parents 
when but seven years of age. He was not favorably im- 
pressed with his new home and the surroundings, and long- 
ing for his former playmates he started early one morning 
to return to his former home. When search for him proved 
unavailing, his father recalled how homesick the lad had 
been, decided to go to Butternuts, where, to his delight, 
Prentiss was found among relatives. He had traveled the 
whole distance, over twenty miles, in one day by means of 
marked trees. It is not stated what course the father took 
to impress upon the mind of his son that it would be better 
for him to remain at home. It was, however, effectual, for 
during a life of fourscore years he seldom left his home, 
either for business or pleasure, till the infirmities of age 
made it necessary for him to seek a home with his children. 
Children : 

Samuel, died in infancy. 
Francis M., married T. M. Williams. 
Joseph P., married Mary C. Stone; died January 28, 
1884. 

Simeon A., married Lucina M. Post. 
Richard M., married Christianna Walker. 
Nelson J., married Helen R. Ives. 
Lucinda A., died November 12, 1848. 
Martha M., married Hubert Post. 



2S2 ANNALS OF OXFORD 



Learned he was in med'c'nal lore, 
For by his side a pauch he wore, 
Replete with strange hermetic powder. 

—Butler. 



Dr. Perez Packer. 



Among the eight children born to William and Persis 
Packer, who left Guilford, Vt., in 1804, and took up about 
300 acres in Preston, was Perez, born January 31, 1790. 
He became a physician and commenced practicing at 
Latham's Corners, in the town of Guilford, about the open- 
ing of the war of 1812, but soon after removed to Oxford 
and resided in the house now occupied by Charles W. 
Brown. He became noted in his profession, and his circuit 
of practice was very wide. As a surgeon he had no super- 
ior in those early days. During the year 1823 he went to 
France for the benefit of his health, and while there at- 
tended chemical and anatomical lectures in Paris. Among 
those who were students in his office were the late Dr. Ben- 
jamin H. Throop of Scranton, Dr. Austin Rouse and Dr. 
William G. Sands of Oxford. Dr. Packer died of consump- 
tion in Oxford July 10, 1832, aged 42, honored and re- 
spected. His wife, who was formerly Miss Nancy Davis of 
Oxford, died February 16, 1843, aged 47. Their children 
were : 

William W., married Mary D., daughter of Colonel Otis 
J. Tracy, and carried on the drug business while practic- 
ing dentistry four or five years till his death, which occur- 
red March 21, 1851, at the age of 32. 

Nancy Maria, married Eoswell Hewett of Preston, and 
died at Havana, N. Y., September 1, 1849, aged 29. 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 283 

Caroline, aged 19, in attempting to alight from a car- 
riage to which a restive horse was attached, was so vio- 
lently thrown against a wall in this village as to induce 
concussion of the brain, which resulted in her death May 
16, 1845. 

Theodore S., died March 28, 1855, aged 26. 



A peace above all earthly diguitie.s, 
A still and quiet conscience. 

— Shakespeabe. 



Joel Smith 



Joel Smith was born in Southington, Ct., December 9, 
1781. His father was a Connecticut patriot, who served 
in the Continental army, and who brought up his children 
in the old-fashioned New England way, " in the fear and 
admonition of the Lord.^^ In 1812 Joel Smith left his home 
in Southington and came to Oxford, making the journey 
of about 200 miles with a pair of oxen attached to a gen- 
uine Connecticut cart. The spot where he located is known 
as " The Desserts," about six miles southeast of the village. 
He cleared away the dense forest for a home, and in a few 
weeks his wife and two children came with Romeo Warren, 
for many years a prominent resident of Coventry, who 
drove from Connecticut with a fine pair of black horses. 
Mr. Smith built a stockade for his sheep and on many a 
night was aroused from his slumbers by the howling of 
wolves, which he drove away with firebrands or by lustily 
blowing a tinhorn. Long afterward Mr. Smith described 
his journey to the " Chenango country -^ by forbidding 
roadways through unbroken forests, through sparsely set- 



284 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

tied valleys and the cabins of the settlers with their genial 
hospitality, till the embryo village of Oxford was reached. 
The surrounding country was a primeval wilderness, with 
here and there a settler who, with ax and brush hook, was 
making a clearing. His children during their youth suf- 
fered all the vicissitudes of frontier life, and attended such 
transcient schools as were open in the neighborhood. Mr. 
Smith after residing in Oxford many years moved to Cov- 
entry, from there to Guilford, thence to Newark Valley, 
N. Y., where he lived for over twenty years, and died Octo- 
ber 27, 1878, in his 97th year. He married (1) November 
22, 1809, Almira Bradley of Northampton, Mass. ; married 
(2) May 13, 1812, Sophia Andrews of Southington, Ct., 
born March 20, 1787; died October 9, 1877, in Newark 
Valley. Child by first wife: 

Mary Almira, born September 26, 1810, in Southington, 
Ct. ; married ( 1 ) William Copley ; married ( 2 ) Peter 
Moore ; married (3) Lambert Bradley. Resides in Newark 
Valley. Children by second wife : 

Lois Sophia, born December 16, 1812, in Southington, 
Ct. ; married Almander Sprague. Resides in Binghamton. 

Emma Ann, born November 16, 1814, in Oxford; died 
September 30, 1904, in Owego; married Samuel Blair. 

Eliza Maria, born September 14, 1816, in Oxford; mar- 
ried Andrew McNeil. 

Lucena Elizabeth, born June 23, 1818, in Oxford ; died 
June, 1851, in South Oxford; married John Guernsey of 
South Oxford. 

Sarah Ann, born March 24, 1821, in Oxford. Resides in 
Oxford. Unmarried. 

JuLiAETT, born January 6, 1823, in Oxford; died Sep- 
tember 19, 1844, in Owego. Unmarried. 

Phebe Louisa, born October 17, 1825, in Oxford; died 
October 1, 1905, in Sidney; married Watson Clark. 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 185 

Polly Lovina, twin to above, married Mortimer Cham- 
berlain. Resides in Honeoye Falls, N. Y. 

James Willl\m Henry, born February 3, 1829, in Ox- 
ford; married (1) Angeline Stead; married (2) Kate 
Bradley; married (3) . 

Susan Augusta, born February 29, 1832, in Oxford; 
married Stephen W. Ames. Resides in Newark Valley. 



Habit with bim was all tbe test of truth. 

— Crabbe. 



Joseph Mason 



Joseph Mason (Meissonier) was born March 10, 1809, 
in the southern part of France, and lived with his parents 
on a farm, which was afterwards sold off into building lots 
and became a part of the city of D'Hyeres. When Dr. 
Perez Packer of Oxford spent the winter of 1823-24 in 
France he boarded with a family named Meissonier. They 
had a large family, some ten or twelve children, and the 
doctor became very fond of one little boy, Joseph, the sub- 
ject of this sketch. The family was poor, the mother dead, 
and there was but little prospect of providing for so many. 
The eldest daughter, Eugenia, filled her mother's place to 
the best of her ability and cared for the younger children. 
When Dr. Packer proposed to them to give Joseph to him 
to take home to America, there was naturally great hesita- 
tion and reluctance, as they would never see him again, 
which they never did. The father gave his consent, and 
Joseph was brought to Oxford, and while not legally 
adopted was brought up as one of the family. The scliool 
children could not pronounce his name and used to call 



286 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

him " French Joseph •' and " Mason," and eventually he 
went by the latter name. 

Mr. Mason did light chores for the doctor. One day just 
at twilight he was in the woodhouse with an armful of 
kindlings and looking through the doorway saw a figure 
clothed in white on the lawn. He dropped the wood, ran 
into the house and, not having yet mastered English, said 
in French, " My father is dead ! " He w^as greatly overcome 
and the family talked and tried to comfort him, making 
inquiries as to w^hy he felt that his father was dead. He 
replied that he had seen an angel. At the time the family 
thought but little of it, but several months after the news 
came that his father died just at that hour. Papers were 
sent on for Dr. Packer to sign, and from that time Mr. 
Mason never heard from his people again. In 1875 Ameida 
Podinier, a cousin, spent several months in Oxford with 
the family of Mr. Mason. He was an artist and a musician, 
and spoke seven languages. Mr. Mason died February 11, 
1866. Married (1) Louisa DeMont, who died May 30, 
1842; married (2) in 1845 Nancy Smith, born January 13, 
1816 ; died October 10, 1888. Child by first wife : 

Henry DeMont, born April 16, 1842; died October 19, 
1864. Sergeant Co. H, 114th Regt. N. Y. V. Killed at 
battle of Cedar Creek. Children by second vrife : 

Charles W., born November 8, 1846 ; died February 28, 
1847. 

George Frederick, born May 21, 1848. 

Mary Gertrude, born October 12, 1851; married Octo- 
ber 7, 1875, Edward L. Stratton. Children: Henry Meis- 
sonier, Frederick Lynn, born January 12, 1882; died No- 
vember 2, 1902 ; Emmett Abel. 

William Hubert, born January 11, 1855; married (1) 
Jennie Lake; married (2) November 22, 1904, Nancy Hill. 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 287 



Here files of pins extend their shining rows, 

Puffs, Powders, Patches, Bibles, Billet-doux.— Pope. 



Cyrus Tuttle. 



Q^rus Tuttle, born in 1793, at INIiddlebury, Ct, came 
to Oxford, then in the far west, about the year 1814. He 
had formed those thrifty and economical habits character- 
istic of the place of his birth, and was endowed by nature 
with an inherent love of trade, which was almost a passion 
in his case. He was possessed with a remarkable intuition 
regarding tlie relation of the lesser to the greater as applied 
to the laws of trade, and conducted his business, that of a 
general storekeeper, always on the principle that " Many 
a little makes a mickle.'' When in want of some certain 
article not to be found at other stores it was said, " Go to 
Tuttle's and you'll find it," which often proved the case. 
Thus with forecast, caution, and perseverance, adding dol- 
lar to dollar for nearly forty years, Mr. Tuttle was enabled 
by the severest economy and greatest self-denial to secure 
a fine competency. But, with all the exactions of a busy 
life he was duly sensible of his duties as a man and as a 
Christian, having filled the office of vestryman and warden 
of St. Paul's church, of which he was also treasurer for 
many years, and until his death. He began business in 
1834, and built the stone block on North Canal street in 
1843, where he continued till his death, July 20, 1870. The 
stone for his block was quarried near the river bridge at 
South Oxford by George Symonds and brought here on 
canal boats. Its cost was about |450 only. In 1850 Mr. 
Tuttle opened a branch store in East Greene, now Brisbin, 
which was continued about two vears. Mr. Tuttle married 



288 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

in Oxford Catherine Bennett, who died November 23, 1867, 
aged 74. Their adopted daughter, Catherine, died March 
25, 1889, aged 52. She married, May 9, 1860, James B. 
Brown of New York, who died December 23, 1902, in New 
York. Children : Gertrude, Catherine, and Philip. The 
daughters reside in New Haven, Ct. 



He either fears his fate too much. 

Or his deserts are small, 
That dares not put it to the touch, 

To gain or lose it all. 

— Montrose. 



Cornelius Conover. 



While the country was yet new, Cornelius Conover, of 
Dutch descent, with his wife, whose maiden name was 
Polly Furman, came from Glen, Montgomery county, and 
settled at South Oxford in the section known as " The 
Desserts." They brought all their worldly possessions in 
a cart drawn by oxen, and on the journey were often 
alarmed, though unmolested by wild beasts. Through his 
efforts the farm now occupied by his daughter, Julia, was 
made to blossom and bring forth the fruits of civilization 
and prosperity. He erected a frame house instead of the 
usual log cabin of the pioneer, and one standing in the large 
fireplace could look up the stone chimney and see the 
branches of the trees waving overhead. Mr. Conover and 
family attended church at Coventryville and went through 
the forest guided by marked trees. Deer often came to the 
brook near the house, but were unmolested by him, al- 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 289 

though he had firearms. Mr. Conover-s second wife was 
Julia Horton of Coventry, who was born in Connecticut. 

Children by first wife : 

Solomon, married Roxy Barton. 

Isaac, married Eliza Applegate. 

Jane, married Obadiah Canniff of Cincinnatus. 

Jemima, married Leonard Horton of Coventryville. 

Children by second wife: 

FuRMAN, died unmarried. 

Peter J., married Ann L. Havens. 

Julia, unmarried; lives on the homestead farm. 

Mary, married Franklin Knickerbocker of Cincinnatus; 
died April 14, 1900, in Holly, N. Y. 



For we the same are that our sires have been. 

— Knox. 



Judson Family. 



The Judson brothers, David, John, Lewis, Everett, and 
Philo, came to Oxford in 1812 from Stamford, Ct., and 
conducted a woolen mill on the Georgetown road for sev- 
eral years. John, Lewis, and Everett finally moved from 
town; the latter died October 27, 1864, at Candor, N. Y., 
aged 71. David purchased the property now known as the 
David G. Barber place, and resided there until his death. 
Philo came into the village and conducted a mill near the 
present site of the Harrington block. He lived on Wash- 
ington street, in the house now occupied by Miss Clarinda 
LcAvis. Their father, John Judson, was a Revolutionary 
soldier. 



:>90 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

David P. Judson was born February 28, 1786, in Stam- 
ford, Conn. ; died February 15, 1862, in Oxford ; married 
(1) in 1812, Jerusha Stillson of Stamford, Conn., born 
June 14, 1701 ; died April 9, 1832, in Oxford. Married (2) 
April 4, 1833, ]\Ielinda Billings of Preston, N. Y., born in 
Preston ; died October 4, 1892, in Oxford. 

Children by first wife : 

Lewis, born in 1815; died June 17, 1817; poisoned by 
arsenic, which he found w^hile at play in the mill. 

Carolinp], born in 1819; died November 24, 1821, from 
scalds received by falling into a dye vat. 

Charles, married Julia Jerome. Died in 1900. 

JuiJA E., married Orville L. Mead. Died August 17, 
1855. Child by second wife : 

Cordelia T., married November 9, 1886, James W. Sher- 
wood, and resides in Oxford. 

Philo Judson, after the death of his wife. Charity, July 
26, 1851, went to Omaha, Neb., to reside with his son, where 
lie died January 9, 1872. 

Children: Joseph, died September 6, 1828, aged 4; 
Orman B., Augustus, Charles, Henry Martin, Philo 
>[., died May 21, 1850, aged 28; Jane E., died January 4, 
1853, aged 26. 



He is the happiest, he lie Iviiig or peasant, 
who finds peace in his home. 

— Goethe. 

Denison Family. 



AVilliam Denison, born in 1705, lived at North Stouing- 
ton, Conn., was twice married and the father of eleven 
children. He died January 29, 1760. His fifth child, 
Daniel Denison, was born July 20, 1740, and married 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 291 

Martha Geer, an English lady from Groton, Conn., in 1771. 
About 1800 they emigrated to Pharsalia, this county, where 
he purchased large tracts of land and settled on lot 70 in 
that town. They left their Connecticut home surrounded 
with the comforts and luxuries that wealth could bestow. 
When they reached Chenango county it was almost a wild- 
erness, and the wolves and bears came howling around 
their log cabin. All their grain was carried to Bingham- 
ton to be ground. It was carried on horseback, and as 
there was no road the^^ went by blazed trees. Daniel Deni- 
son was a man of considerable prominence and remained 
in Pharsalia until 1802, when he sold his real estate to his 
son, William, w^ho already owned a large tract in that 
town, and came to Oxford, purchasing of Solomon Dodge 
what is now known as the Morse farm, and died there in 
1817. He built the first frame house and barn in Pharsalia, 
and a house on the Morse farm, which within a few years 
has been replaced by a more modern structure. When he 
came here there was no church and the meetings were held 
at his house. He was a large, strong-built man of com- 
manding appearance and a bravery no opposition could 
intimidate. They had seven children — Hannah, born in 
1772, married William Popple; Prudence, born in 1775, 
married James Dennison, Jr. ; William, born in 1777, 
married Betsy Ledyard; Martha, born 1779, married a 
Mr. Spaulding; Mary, born 1782, died unmarried; Emma, 
born 1784, died unmarried; Daniel, born 1787, married 
Betsey Hunt of Oxford. 

William, who married Betsey Led^^ard, remained in 
Pharsalia only a few years, and then moved to Oxford. 
His house stood where St. Paul's church now stands. 

Daniel, Jr., who married Betsey Hunt, after a few years 
moved to Cleveland, O., where he died July 1, 1865, aged 



292 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

78. Mrs. Denison died before he left Oxford. They had 
six children : 

Em:ma Amelia, born in 1815, married VanRensaeller 
Richmond. She lived and died May 18, 1854, in Lyons, 
Wayne county. Their children were : Denison, Frank E., 
and Emma. 

Betsey Ann, born in 1816. 

Mary Jane, born in 1817, married Charles McNeil of 
Oxford, September 22, 1838. They moved to Cleveland, 
O., in 1852. 

William Henry, born in 1819, married Ruth Thomas. 
Five children were bom to them while living in Chicago, 
where both died : Daniel and William, both killed in the 
Civil war; Frank, Lydia, and Loren. Lydia was adopted 
by Mr. and Mrs. Nelson Purdy of Cleveland, married 
George H. Foote and died in that city, leaving three chil- 
dren: Helen, Charles, and Mary. 

Charlotte Rebecca, born in 1820, married Nelson 
Purdy of Oxford, died at Green Spring, O., August 20, 
1895. 

Cornelia Luceba, born in 1825. 



Whose names yet run smoothly in the even road of a blank verse. 

— Shakespeare 

Peter and John Dodge. 



About the year 1800 Peter and John Dodge, with their 
sister Ruth, left their Vermont home and came to Oxford 
to reside with their uncle, Solomon Dodge. Peter married 
^fatilda Sheldon. Their children, all born in Oxford, 
were : Otis, Lyman, Eliza, married James Carpenter, born 
in Exeter, Otsego county. They lived for several years on 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 



293 



the farm above the viHage now owned by Edward B. Bar- 
ber, and in 1831 moved to Troupsburg, N. Y., and died 
there; Lucy, Nancy, and Cornelia. 

John Dodge married in 1801 Mary Burghardt, daughter 
of Peter Burghardt, and lived and died in Oxford. They 
first lived on Panther hill, and in 1806 settled on the farm 
on the east hill now occupied by Ward H. Moore, a de- 
scendant. Mr. Dodge died September 4, 1847. Mary, his 
wife, died September 26, 1855. Children, all born in 
Oxford : 

LuCRETiA, born June 17, 1803 ; died December 31, 1859 ; 
married Lyman Boot, born October 13, 1798; died August 
29, 1880. 

Sally, born June 17, 1806 ; married in 1833 Philo Bur- 
lingame. Moved to Cuba, N. Y., where they both died and 
were buried in the Franklinville cemetery. 

John, bom July 27, 1808 ; died October 5, 1869 ; married 
(1) June 4, 1834, Maria Allen, born March 27, 1813; died 
October 15, 1839. Married (2) October 16, 1842, Amanda 
C. Sheldon, born August 25, 1824. In 1906 still living. 
Child by first wife : Ella Maria, born May — , 1835 ; died 
in infancy. Child by second wife : Alice L., born May 1, 
1844 ; married Lewis Rowe of Schoharie House, N. Y. Mr. 
Dodge held the ofiice of sheriff of the county, and was a 
man prominent in local affairs, both in Oxford and Guil- 
ford. 

Peter, born October 4, 1810 ; died October 23, 1839 ; mar- 
ried January 26, 1835, Mary P. Lewis of Norwich; died 
February 5. 1896, in Cortland. She married (2) June 23, 
1858, Colonel Ezra M. Stratton of Roxbury, N. Y., w^ho 
died October 24, 1876. Children of Peter and Mary 
(Lewis) Dodge: Christianna O., born October 27, 1835; 
married February 21, 1855, D. D. Shepard of Oxford, and 
resides in Oxford. (Children, LaYerne and Addie L.) 



394 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

Anolia P., born May 23, 1837; married April 12, 1864, 
Richard T. Husted of Lisle. (Child, Lura F., born Sep- 
tember 8, 1869; died in 1903.) Augusta P., born Decem- 
ber 6, 1838; married May 9, 1857, Harry J. Wattles of 
Lisle, N. Y. (Children, Mason D., Louis and Louise, 
twins. ) 

Mary Ann, born November 17, 1814 ; died December 17, 
1889; married June 5, 1834, John Moore. 

Laurette, born June 30, 1818 ; died July 16, 1901 ; mar- 
ried April 7, 1841, Munson Smith. 

Harriet N., born June 19, 1821; died April 21, 1886; 
married Charles B. Moore. 

James, born November 9, 1824 ; died in infancy. 

James Oscar, born August 25, 1830 ; died July 7, 1896, 
in Oxford; married (1) March 25, 1855, Elizabeth A. Roys 
of Oxford, born January 16, 1837; died August 6, 1870. 
Married (2) October 26, 1871, Lavina B. Hull of North 
Haven, Conn. Child by first wife: Loyal I., married 
Addie L. Stork of Coventry. (Child, Elizabeth V.) Chil- 
dren by second wife : Margaret I., died in infancy ; Mary 
Genevieve, married November 1, 1898, Arthur C. Lewis; 
died May 11, 1901. 



Worth makes the man, and want of it the fellow ; 
The rest is all but leather or prunello. 

— Pope. 

Job Willoughby. 

Job Willoughby, a very worthy man, was a pioneer who 
in the early part of the nineteenth century settled on the 
east side hill of Oxford. He encountered many incidents 
on his way to the new settlement by a blazed trail, and his 
struggles in the forest to establish a home. He followed 
agricultural pursuits for many years, and was strong in his 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 29^ 

devotions, loyal in his relationship to men and principles, 
and frank and open in all his utterances. Nothing is now- 
known in regard to his wife. Children : 

John, lived and died in Oxford. Unmarried. 

Ira, married Minerva Colson of Poolville, N. Y., a lady 
much respected. After her death, which occurred May 
20, 18G4, at the age of 63 years, he then well advanced in 
age, went to Kansas, where he died. Their home for many 
years was on State street. Mr. Willoughby was very eccen- 
tric, and for a long period was " the town fiddler," whose 
services were frequently required for dances, also for pic- 
nics at Lake Warn, when that resort w^as very popular and 
reached by canal. His favorite song, which he used to sing 
to his own violin accompaniment, was : 

He shot him a goat. 

To make him a coat, 

And his beard hung down like a Jew so ; 

By all that was civil, 

He looked more like the devil, 

Than he did like Robinson Crusoe. 

Children of Ira and Minerva (Colson) Willoughby: 
Frederick Stanley Montgomery, born about 1824 ; while 
a student in Oxford Academy, from 1838 to 1846, composed 
a poem of several cantos of much merit, entitled " The 
Indian Queen of Chenango," which was dedicated to his 
intimate friend, William H. Hyde, Esq. He graduated 
from Union College and then Avent South on account of 
delicate health, later became principal of a leading acad- 
emy in Washington, D. C, where he also read law. Just 
as a brilliant career opened for him he died of yellow^ fever 
near Charlestown, Virginia, September 28, 1849, aged 25 
years. Alfred, possessing a genial disposition, located in 
Illinois, where he married and died October 16, 1867, in 
Nebraska City, aged 35. Ellen Minerva, married and 
went to Missouri, where she died, leaving one daughter. 
Edgar Rodney, enlisted during the Civil war, was a good 



296 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

soldier, but never returned. Rosalie Marie, married 
James Coley, then a teacher in Oxford Academy. Thej 
moved to Iowa, where she died in her twenty-second year, 
leaving two daughters. Her husband, in 1905, was still 
living at the age of 83 years. A singular coincidence of the 
family of Ira Willoughbj^ is that no two members of the 
family are buried in the same state. 

Russell W., resided on Butler street, then known as 
Red street. He also played the violin and followed the 
occupation of a carpenter. For many years he had a clock 
dial set in the siding of his house facing the street, which 
for the passerby or neighbor answered the purpose of a 
town clock. He had a peculiar faculty of calling to him 
any cat, however wild, which he could pick up and caress. 
His death occurred December 22, 1869, aged 55. Ruth, 
his wife, died February 28, 1862, aged 52 years. 

James, a wanderer for many years, finally returned 
home to die. 

Zebulon, moved to Cooperstown, Avhere he died. 

Almira, married Reuben Doty of Oxford. 



He believed that he was bom not for himself, 
but for the whole world. 

— Luc AN. 



John Perry. 



Deacon John Perr-^', born in 1781 at New London, Conn., 
died suddenly in Oxford June 3, 1857. For more than two 
score years he had been a member of the Oxford Baptist 
church, and was one of the constituent members, and the 
last but one of the little band who first received fellowship 
as a church. 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 297 

Deacon Perry's first wife was Mai*>^ Welcli of New Lon- 
don, Conn., whose death on April 21, 1830, was of a dis- 
tressing character. At that time their residence was on 
Washington avenue, a little storv and a half house on the 
site of the present residence of Millard C. Loomis, Esq. 
Ebenezer, their eldest son, was in his room and had taken 
down a gun preparatory for a hunting trip. Having for- 
gotten that the weapon was loaded, he snapped the flint 
and its contents were immediately discharged. Mrs. Perry 
w^as in the garden and directly in range; the ball passed 
through the side of the house, struck the right arm of the 
unfortunate woman about four inches from the shoulder, 
passed through her body and lodged in the left shoulder. 
She fell to the ground and immediately expired. At her 
funeral, which was largely attended. Elder Jabez Swan 
preached a sermon which took three hours to deliver. 

Deacon Perry's second wife was Lydia , whose 

death occurred April 4, 1869, at the age of 77. 

Children by first wife : 

Ebenezer W., died April — , 1875, at Tuscola, Mich., 
aged 68. 

John, died suddenly November 1, 1896, in Tuscola, 
Mich., aged 74. 

Keuben F., died February 18, 1864, in Brooklyn, N. Y., 
aged 40. 

Laura, died March — , 1897, at Atlantic City, N. J. 
Married Dr. Augustus Willard of Greene. Child : Anna, 
married George W. Connely of Atlantic City, N. J. John 
died in New Jersey. 

Mary, died January 27, 1905, in Greene. Married Addi- 
son Dudley Adams. 

Maria Louise, died March 4, 1903, aged 92, in Oxford; 
married Oliver Khodes of Oxford. 



2()S ANNALS OF OXFORD 

Dorcas, married Erastus Main of Friendship, N. Y. 

Fanny, died March 26, 1881, aged 73. Married Palmer 
P. Yeomans of Oxford. Children : Rufus P., married 
Electa Norton ; Fanny, died January 9, 1861, aged 16. 



Bold of your worthiness, we single you 
As our best moving fair solicitor. 

— Shakespeaee. 

Hon. John Tracy. 



Hon. John Tracy, 6th, of Oxford was born at Norwich, 
Conn., October 26, 1783. His descent from Lieutenant 
Thomas Tracy of Norwich, Conn., was in this wise. His 
father was : 

John the 5th, who married Esther Pride. 

John the 4th, who married Margaret Huntington. 

John the 3d, who married Margaret Hyde. 

John the 2d, who married Elizabeth Liffingwell. 

John the 1st, who married Mary Winslow. 

Lieutenant Thomas Tracy of Norwich. 

Mr. Tracy, with his father's family, journeyed on horse- 
back at an early day to Columbus, this county. In 1805 he 
came to Oxford and was deputy clerk under Uri Tracy. 
Having pursued the study of law with Stephen O. Runyan, 
he was admitted in 1808 as an attorney in the Supreme 
Court, and commenced the practice of his profession in 
this village. His rulings in law were never reversed in the 
Court of Appeals. He was appointed examiner and master 
in chancery, and in March, 1815, received the appointment 
of Surrogate of the county. He was a member of Assem- 
bly in 1820, 1821, 1822, and 1826, and in 1821 again re- 
ceived the appointment of Surrogate, and in 1823 that of 
First Judge of the Court of Common Pleas, holding these 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 399 

offices until 1833, when he resigned them. The legislature, 
in 1830, made him a regent of the university, and in 1831 
he was appointed Circuit Judge of the sixth district, but 
declined the appointment. In 1832 Mr. Tracy, then called 
Honest John, was elected Lieutenant-Governor, with Wil- 
liam L. Marcy, Governor; and with him was re-elected in 
1834 and 1836. In 1846 he was elected from Clienango 
county, with Colonel Elisha B. Smith as his colleague, a 
delegate to the convention for revising the constitution, 
and was chosen president of that distinguished body, which 
had on its roll the names of Ira Harris, Ambrose L. Jordan, 
Samuel J. Tilden, Samuel Nelson, Charles O'Connor, and 
Michael Hoffman. 

Mr. Tracy's interests in all good works for the perma- 
nent improvement and welfare of the village was repeat- 
edly manifested, and the Academy, of w^hose board of 
trustees he was for years the president, and St. Paul's 
church, of whose vestry he was a member, and a warden 
at his death, will bear evidence to his worth in faithful 
and affectionate remembrance. 

Mr. Tracy married August 5, 1813, Susan Hyde, daugh- 
ter of Joseph Hyde, of Franklin, Conn., who died Febru- 
ary 3, 1864, aged 76, survived but a short time by her 
husband, who died in the following June at the ripe age 
of four score years. They had one son and two daughters : 

John, born at Oxford, June 20, 1820, and was the 
seventh John in descent from Lieut. Thomas Tracy. He 
Avas drowned while skating on the Chenango river, De- 
cember 24, 1829. 

Esther Maria and Sitsan Eliza, twins, born April 9, 
1816. The former married Henry R. Mygatt, Esq., and 
died June 25, 1895, in New York City. The latter mar- 
ried James W. Clarke and died October 15, 1906, in New 
York City. 



300 ANNALS OF OXFORD 



In requital ope his leathern scrip, 

And show me simples of a thousand names, 

Telling their strange and vigorous faculties. 

— Milton. 



William G. Sands, M. D 



Dr. William G. Sands was a son of Judge Obadiah 
Sands, a native of Sands Point on Long Island, descended 
from Capt. James Sands, an Englishman, who came to 
this country about 1642, landing at Plymouth. 

Dr. Sands was born in Bainbridge, N. Y., November 
5, 1810. About the year 1828 he was in attendance at 
Oxford Academy, and immediately thereafter commenced 
and completed his course of studies here as a physician 
and surgeon with Dr. Perez Packer, and graduated at 
the College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York 
City in 1832. He returned to Oxford and until the death 
of Dr. Packer practiced with him. Later he was asso- 
ciated with Dr. William P. Holmes for a short period. In 
1842 he entered into the drug business, having purchased 
the stock of goods formerly owned by Clarke & Babcock. 
After a time he took into partnership with him, his 
brother, Frederick A. Sands and James H. Fox, which 
was dissolved in December, 1850, Mr. Fox continuing the 
business. 

Dr. Sands retired from the active practice of his pro- 
fession in 1864, and thereafter devoted his time largely 
to the care of his large and increasing estate, and to 
the numerous trust>s as guardian and trustee for others, 
which he discharged with great fidelity and probity. He 
was elected to the Assembly, with Solomon Ensign, Jr., 



ANNALS OF OXFORD ^oi 

and Hiram E. Storrs, as members from this county, in 
1846, and was also Supervisor of the town in 1852. He 
died suddenly June 11, 1889, leavinj^ an estate valued at 
from $500,000 to $600,000. Dr. Sands married October 
26, 1837, Sarah Eliza, daughter of Henry and Sarah 
(Washburn) Mygatt, born January 6, 1818, in Oxford; 
died July 2, 1890, at Vallonia Springs, N. Y. Children : 

Clarissa Donnelly, died in infancy. 

Marla Clarissa, born November 26, 1839; died March 
4, 1870; married December 31, 1867, Peter W. Clarke. 

Sarah Washburn, born January 13, 1842; died March 
7, 1869; married October 1, 1859, Henry L. Wade. Chil- 
dren: William Henry, died in infancy; William Sands, 
died in infancy. 

Catherine Odessa, born October 15, 1852; died Oc- 
tober 7, 1890 ; married January 17, 1882, Joseph E. Pack- 
ard. Children: Edith; Henry, died July 7, 1893; Wil- 
liam Guthrie; Katharine. 



From labor there shall come forth rest. 

LONGFELLOW^. 



Daniel Dudley 



Daniel Dudley was born in Alstead, New Hampshire, 
August 6, 1808, where his early years were spent on a 
farm. He came to Oxford in the autumn of 1830 and 
taught school the following winter in the old schoolhouse 
east of the village, near the old Bush tavern, not very 
far from w^here the station of the N. Y., O. & W. railway 
now stands. In the spring of 1831 he started to learn 



302 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

the wagon making trade with Col. Tarbell. After serving 
a proper apprenticeship he formed a partnership with 
James Durham and they carried on the business together 
for a couple of years, when Mr. Durham withdrew from 
the firm and went to Norwich. Mr. Dudley continued 
the business and about 1836 built the house on Washing- 
ton avenue, now owned by Mrs. Charles M. Dodge, and 
carried on the business of wagon making in it for some 
twenty-three years, a portion of the time also having quite 
an extensive cooperage in the same building. 

Mr. Dudley married, in 1834, Miss Miranda Bemis, 
born November 10, 1811, who had come from Stafford, 
Conn., two years previous. In 1860 Mr. Dudley gave up 
his business and bought a farm in Dodge Hollow, west of 
the village, where he lived some six years. In 1866 he 
moved to Maine, Broome county, where he engaged in 
farming for twelve years, and then went to Binghamton, 
where he died February 19, 1884. Mrs. Dudley died May 
24, 1891, in Altoona, Pa. 

Mr. Dudley joined the Methodist church soon after he 
came to Oxford, and, for a number of years, was one of 
its trustees. He was one of the three members of the 
building committee, which had in charge the erection of 
the church edifice Avhere this society now worships. He 
served a full term in the old volunteer fire department in 
this village and was quite fond of the organization. He 
took a prominent part in the organization of the Republi- 
can party in Chenango county, and, although at one time 
yielding considerable local influence in the new party, he 
neither sought or desired any public office. His most 
prominent characteristics were integrity, strength of will, 
and independence in thought and action. Five children 
were born to Mr. and Mrs. Dudley, of whom two, M. 
Elithea and Mary C, died in infancy. Of the remaining 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 303 

three, Amanda S., married January 4, 1859, Seth W. Free- 
man, and died March 14, 1891, in Peoria, 111.; Charles 
B., married March, 1906, Mary Viro^inia Crawford of 
Bryn Mawr, Pa., and resides in Altoona, Pa. ; and Eliza 
M., married S. S. Allen, and resides in Binj^jhamton. 

Charles B. Dudley, Ph. D., was born in Oxford, April 
14, 1842. His early years were spent in the district school, 
and later Oxford Academy, in the fall and winter, and 
in working on a farm in summer. August 6, 1862, he 
enlisted as a private in the 114th Regiment, N. Y. V., and 
was made a Corporal July 1, 1864. He was in seven 
battles, participating in the siege of Port Hudson in 1863 ; 
in the Red River campaign in the spring of 1864, and 
was finally severely wounded in the battle of Opequan 
Creek, in the Shenandoah Valley, September 19, 1864. 
He was then mustered out of the service and sent to the 
hospital. 

The studious habits, which may be said to have charac- 
terized Dr. Dudley's whole life, manifested themselves 
even during his army service. During one winter, while 
the army was in winter quarters at Franklin, Louisiana, 
he had his Latin grammar and reader sent to him, and 
devoted many hours of his camp leisure to a study of that 
language. 

Returning home in 1865, he began to prepare for col- 
lege at Oxford Academy, and entered Yale College in 
the fall of 1867, graduating as A. B. in the class of '71. 
The next year was spent in newspaper work in New Haven, 
obtaining means to prosecute further studies, and to pay 
off obligations already incurred during the previous four 
years. Having no independent means of his own Dr. Dud- 
ley obtained quite a portion of the funds needed to secure 
an education by working at whatever could be found to be 
done, both in vacation and in term time. In the fall of 



304 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

1872 he entered the Sheffield Scientific school of Yale Col- 
lege and graduated in 1874, with the degree of Ph. D., 
having spent two years largely in chemical study. The 
next college year was spent as assistant to Dr. George 
F. Barker, Professor of Physics, at the University of Penn- 
sylvania, Philadelphia. During this year some transla- 
tions of technical papers were made, which were published 
in the Franklin Institute Journal. In September, 1875, 
Dr. Dudley accepted the position of teacher of the sciences 
in Eiverview Military Academy at Poughkeepsie, which 
position he retained only about a month, as on November 
10th of the same year he was invited to accept the position 
of Chemist of the Pennsylvania Railroad Company at 
Altoona, which position he still holds. When he began 
his work there, no railroad had a chemist as a regular em- 
ploye, although many of them had occasional chemical 
work done. 

Of the work done by Dr. Dudley, perhaps that which has 
attracted the most widespread public attention was the 
study of steel rails made in the early eighties. Another 
and very important line of work in connection with the 
laboratory of the Pennsylvania Railroad at Altoona has 
been the making of specifications for materials. This is 
perhaps the most exacting and time consuming work that 
has been undertaken. 

Dr. Dudley has twice been abroad on business for the 
company, once in 1886 to study oil burning on locomotives 
in Russia, and again in 1900 as delegate to the Interna- 
tional Railway Congress in Paris. He has been vice- 
president of the American Institute of Mining Engineers^ 
and has twice been president of the American Chemical 
Society. He has been president of the American Society 
for Testing Materials. He is a member of the English,. 
French and German Chemical Societies, of the Iron and 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 305 

Steel Institute of Great Britain, and the Verein Deutseher 
Eisenhuttenieute. He is also a member of the American 
Society of Civil Engineers, and of the Mining Engineers, 
the Mechanical Engineers, and the Electrical Engineers as 
well. He is a member of the Union League Club of Phila- 
delphia, the Cosmos Club of Washington, and of the En- 
gineers' Club of New York. 

Apart from his professional work. Dr. Dudley spends 
no small amount of time in connection with the Altoona 
Mechanics' Library, which under his supervision and the 
fostering aid of the Pennsylvania Railroad Company, con- 
tains now over 35,000 volumes. 



They now to fight are gone ; 
Armor on armor shone ; 
Drum now to drum did groan, 
To hear was wonder. 

— Drayton. 



Mexican War Volunteers, 



The trouble with Mexico over the annexation of Texas 
began early in 1846, and Silas Wright, Governor of the 
State, issued orders in obedience to a requisition from 
the President, James K. Polk, for seven regiments of 
volunteer infantry, to be enrolled and held in readiness 
for muster into the service of the United States for the 
prosecution of the existing war between the States and the 
Republic of Mexico. On June 1 James Tyrell, " Captain 
of the Infantry, of the Town of Oxford," advertised in 
the village papers that applications from persons desir- 



3o6 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

ing to volunteer would be received by him up to the 
12tli of that month. Having enrolled a company of fifty 
men, it was organized June 29, by the election of the 
following officers : James Tyrell, Captain ; John Dodge, 
Jr., First Lieutenant; Daniel A. Johnson, Second Lieu- 
tenant; R. H. Sisley, First Sergeant; Hiram Bartoo, 
Second Sergeant; William Eaton, Third Sergeant; Aus- 
tin R. Abbott, Fourth Sergeant; Edward M. Osborn, First 
Corporal; William Bowers, Second Corporal; Josiah L. 
Clark, Third Corporal; Benjamin Miner, Fourth Cor- 
poral. After the transaction of this business the company 
marched to an adjoining field to the music of the " spirit- 
stirring drum '' and ^' ear-piercing fife," where it was 
inspected, and, after performing a few evolutions, was dis- 
persed until called for by ^^ Uncle Sam." 

James Terrel enlisted in the company recruited at Ox- 
ford, and was sworn into the service at Utica, and assigned 
to Compony K, 8th United States Infantry. His regiment 
sailed from New York and joined Major General ScotUs 
army at San Pueblo. He participated in several important 
battles and with the victorious American army entered the 
City of Mexico, and saw General Scott when he rode into 
the city at the head of his staff. The capture of the City of 
Mexico (September 14, 1847) ended the war, and, on 
July 26, 1848, Terrel was discharged from the service at 
Jefferson Barracks below New Orleans. While he re- 
mained in the city he, as were many other soldiers, was 
presented with a stock and a handsome blanket b^^ Mexican 
ladies. The stock was a leather collar Avorn around the 
neck and served to keep the soldier's head up and eyes 
straight ahead. The soldiers called it a *' dog collar." The 
blanket was stolen from him by a fellow soldier who was 
hung for stealing, as were eighteen others for the same 
crime, lie witnessing the execution. The portrait of Mr. 





FIRE DEPXrTMFNT HOUSE, FORT HILL 
(The tower was replaced by a modern structure in 
1Q02 on presentation of a new town clock to the 
village by the Ladies Village Improvement Society.) 



lAMES A. TERREL— A Mexican War soldi. 




V 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 307 

Terrel represents him in cap with silver eagle, and coat 
and sash worn while in the service. His musket and 
other accoutrements he had, at the expiration of his term 
of service, turned over to Capt. Elisha Kent Kane, who 
afterwards became famous as an Arctic explorer. The 
medals shown on the coat were presented to him by the 
government. One of gold, another of silver, given for 
special service and bravery; the third, made from cap- 
tured Mexican cannon, was given in 1878, to all survivors 
of the war. So far as is known he was the last survivor 
of that war in this section of the State. 

Mr. Terrel died May 12, 1906, and was given a military 
funeral. Breed Post, G. A. K., escorted the remains to 
Riverview cemetery, and a delegation from Meade Post 
at the W. R. C. Home fired three volleys over the grave 
of the old soldier. 



Being myself no stranger to suffering, I have 
learned to relieve the sufferings of others. 

— Virgil. 



Dr. Casper Bruchhausen. 



Dr. Casper Bruchhausen was born on the 28th of Au- 
gust, 1806, at Frankfort on the Main, Germany, and came 
to America in 1836, locating in Philadelphia. In 1839 
he commenced the study of homeopathy Avith Dr. Charles 
F. Hoffendahl, a graduate of the University of Berlin, 
who removed to Albany in 1840, where Dr. Bruchhausen 
continued his studies with him. He afterwards pursued 



3o8 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

his studies with Dr. George W. Cook of Hudson, and 
subsequently placed himself under the instruction of Drs. 
Frederick Gray and A. Gerald Hull, who were then the 
principal practitioners of the homeopathic school in New 
York City. In August, 1842, at the urgent request of Dr. 
George W. Roberts, the pioneer homeopathist of Che- 
nango county. Dr. Bruchhausen went to Greene, and the 
two practiced in company with mutual benefit until May, 
1843, when the latter established himself in Oxford. Here 
he remained until April, 1848, and then permanently lo- 
cated at Norwich. He was twice married, his second wife 
was Miss Mary Leonard of Oxford, who died in Norwich, 
September 17, 1883. An adopted daughter, Ellen, mar- 
ried Frederick H. Burchard of Oxford, and now resides 
in Norwich. Dr. Bruchhausen was an author of consid- 
erable poetical ability; many of his poems originally ap- 
pearing in The Oxford Times. In 1870 he issued a vol- 
ume entitled " Rhymes of the Times and Other Chimes." 
He died in Norwich December 28, 1891, aged 85. 



The eternal Master found 

His single talent well employ'd. 

— JOHN80>f. 



Elijah B. McCall. 



Elijah Brewster McCall, born June 22, 1794, at Leba- 
non, Conn. ; died August 6, 1868, in Oxford ; married 
November 19, 1829, in Oxford, Mahetabel Smith, bom 
April 9, 1807, in Hadley, Mass., died July 14, 1895, in 
Buffalo. Children : 



ANNALS OF OXFORD • 309 

Eliza, died October 30, 1878, at Sayre, Pa. Unmarried. 

John B., married September 3, 1879, Helen L. Morse, 
at Norwich ; residence, Buffalo. Children : Adrian Morse, 
Mary Eliza. 

Elijah Brewster McCall was born on a farm, and came, 
with his father's family, lineal descendants of one who 
landed at Plymouth Rock from the Mayflower, to Che- 
nango county in 1807. At an early age he taught school 
and took up civil engineering, or surveying, at which he 
became quite expert, thoroughly understanding the his- 
tory of Central New York and Chenango county in par- 
ticular. He w^as an early and active participant in the 
construction of the Chenango canal, and it is said that 
he once made a survey of the whole line and that the 
levels proved to be correct when the canal was completed. 
He also surveyed the Ithaca & Owego R. R., one of the 
first in the State. 

Mr. McCall was town superintendent of public schools 
for Oxford for a number of years until the system was 
changed to school commissioners. He also assisted the 
students of the old Academy in the practical part of sur- 
veying. He was extremely fond of the game of back- 
gammon, and often would be seen in the stores of Cyrus 
M. Brown and A. F. Bartle, indulging in that pastime. 

The barn and oflSce of Mr. McCall was burned March 
8, 1853. His entire stock of surveying and engineering 
instruments, together with a valuable collection of field 
books and maps of the original surveys of this section of 
the country, and the records of his own surveys, covering 
a period of more than thirty years, were destroyed by 
the flames, involving a loss of $1500, on which there was 
no insurance. 



310 ANNALS OF OXFORD 



Man passes away ; his name perishes from record and recollection ; 
his history is as a tale that is told, and his very monument becomes 
a ruin. — Ibvino. 



Gordon Family, 



Henry Gordon, bom in 1770, was an early resident of 
Oxford, and settled on and cleared the land now known 
as the Lobdell farm. He died June 21, 1820. He married 
Elizabeth Bartle, who was born in 1773, and died in 1854. 

Children : 

John, born in 1795 ; died March 24, 1879 ; married July 
7, 1822, Polly Hackett, born April 27, 1798, died October 
12, 1889. Children: James H., died in 1845; George W., 
died in 1853; William A.; Mary J., died November 16, 
1864; Harriet; Susan, died October 17, 1864; David B., 
and Charles A. 

Henry, born in 1797. 

Margaret, born in 1800; married Artemus Haynes. 

Erastus, born in 1802; died in 1873; married, (1) 

Hannah ; married, (2) Mrs. Mary Jane (Baker) 

Bennett, by whom he had two children, Etta and Chester, 

Susan, born in 1803; died in 1888; married Nehemiah 
Smith. 

Jeremiah, born in 1806. 

Eliza, born in 1808 ; married Morehouse. 

David, born in 1810; died 1837. 

Melissa, born in 1813. 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 311 



Dentil bunlers iipDii our birth, and our cnullc stuiuls in our grave. 
Bishop Hail. 

Redmond Family. 



On the 19tli of March, 1851, Owen Redmond and family 
sailed from Kingston, Ireland, for America on board the 
'^ Coronet," a sailing vessel of 1500 tons register, and, after 
a tedious voyage of eight weeks, arrived in New York City. 
Mr. Redmond intended to locate in Green Bay, Wis., and 
came to Oxford to leave his family to rest and recuperate 
from the strain of the long voyage. His health failed and 
death closed all his hopes and trials on the 11th of June, 
1851. His remains were interred in Riverview cemetery, 
where his youngest son was laid beside him a few months 
later. 

Mr. Redmond w^as born in Ballywalter, County Wex- 
ford, Ireland. He married Sarah Newton Lett of Tinn- 
across, County Wexford, Ireland, who died January 18, 
1894, in Greene. Mrs. Redmond, in the time of her deep 
affliction, found many kind sympathizing friends, among 
whom w^ere the Balcoms and Hydes. In the following 
October she bought from Henry R. Mygatt, Esq., a farm 
of 131 acres, now^ owned by Lazarus Gallagher, on which 
she lived till 1886. The last seven years of her life were 
spent in Greene with her son Richard. The closing of 
her life of sad trials w^as met with courage and the hope 
for reward in the better land. Children : 

Walter J., married Margaret McKeon, and still re- 
sides in Oxford. 



313 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

Richard Joseph, married M. Clare Nowlan, resides in 
Greene. 

KiTTiE M., died April 12, 1869, aged 23, unmarried. 

Owen, died in infancy. 

Daniel W. Kedmond, born in Ballywalter, County Wex- 
ford, Ireland; died January 16, 1903, in Oxford, aged 84. 
Mr. Redmond came to Oxford in June, 1851, the day of 
his brother Owen's funeral. He had a liberal education, 
and was a man of large experience, having filled the posi- 
tion of paymaster under the government works during 
the famine period, after which he was in business as 
malster and cloth merchant in Garey, Ireland. After 
coming to Oxford he was engaged as clerk and bookkeeper 
by Clark & Hayes, and afterwards by H. R. Mygatt, Esq., 
and continued in that vocation for various firms while he 
lived. Mr. Redmond never married. 

John Redmond was born in Ballywalter, County Wex- 
ford, Ireland, and came to Oxford in November, 1854. 
The year following, his brother-in-law, Nicholas Scallen, 
also came and together they bought the Seeley sawmills, 
etc., which they worked until failing health obliged them 
to give up. Mr. Redmond died February 12, 1881, and 
his wife, Elizabeth Scallen, died in 1873. 

Children : 

Walter J., married (1) Kate Moore; married (2) Mrs. 
Judith Conners. Now deceased. 

Mary, married James Keyes; died in 1905. 

Lawrence, who follovred the sea, died in New York 
City. 

Christina, married James Dunn ; died in 1906. 

Teresa, married Thomas Horan, of Eau Claire, Wis., 
where she died. 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 313 



Go where glory waits thee ; 

But, while fame ehites thee, 

Oh ! still remember me. 

— Moore, 



Nelson Purdy. 



Nelson Purely, a resident of Oxford for several years 
previous to 1851, was born in 1819 at Sherburne Four 
Corners, Chenango county. After learning the carpen- 
ter's trade he came to Oxford to follow that occupation. 
He became identified with the building interests of this 
place to a great extent, and his first work was on the 
Methodist church, which he erected. He built a house 
for himself on Washington avenue, now the home of M. 
C. Loomis, Esq. He also constructed the residences now 
occupied by Mrs. O. H. Curtis, Mrs. B. F. Edwards, James 
G. Van Wagenen, and Frank T. Corbin. His wife was 
Charlotte Rebecca Denison, daughter of Daniel and Bet- 
sey (Hunt) Denison of Oxford, who died August 20, 1895, 
at Green Spring, Ohio. In 1851 Mr. Purdy moved to 
Dunkirk, N. Y., and entered into the wholesale lumber 
business, where he was later joined by his brother-in-law, 
Charles McNeil of Oxford. In a year or so Mr. Purdy 
and Mr. McNeil moved to Cleveland, Ohio, where they 
continued the same business for a number of years. Mr. 
Purdy died February 20, 1906, in that city, having enjoyed 
exceptionally good health throughout his lifetime. At the 
time of his death he was a director of the People's Gas 
Company, and vice president of the People's Saving and 



314 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

Loan Association, the latter being one of the most pros- 
perous banks in Cleveland. 

Children : 

John Nelson. 

Henry Denison. 

Helen Emma, died July 14, 18G0, aged 6. 



A man in any station can do his duty, 
and doing it, can earn bis own respect. 

— Dickens. 



Elihu Cooley 



Elihu Cooley came to Oxford about the year 1838 from 
Cooperstown. He was born December 15, 1805, in Lau- 
rens, Otsego county, N. Y. He was a descendant of Benja- 
min Cooley, one of the founders of Springfield, Mass., 
the descent being, Benjamin, came from England, 1620- 
1684; Daniel, born in Springfield, Mass., 1651-1727; 

Benjamin, born in Springfield, 1681 ; Ebenezer, born 

in Wales, Mass., 1716-1753; Barnes, born in Brimfield, 
Mass., 1748-1844; Samuel, born in Pelham, Mass., 1778- 
1844; Elihu. His maternal grandfather was Elihu Ack- 
ley, a Revolutionary soldier. Mr. Cooley was an architect 
and builder, and an expert in wood carving. 

Mr. Cooley was the builder of the fifth Academy build- 
ing, and the Methodist church, in which there is a marble 
tablet containing his name. All the wood carving and 
fine wood work in St. Paul's church was his handiwork. 
He had charge at different times of building or improving 
every church, but one, in town, and many of the old homes 
contain his handiwork. 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 315 

He was a Knights Templar, as was his father and grand- 
father before him. He married in 1829, Asenath Payne, 
daughter of Edward Payne of Laurens, born in June, 
1807; died April 6, 1885, in Oxford. Mr. Cooley died 
April 17, 1882. His descendants look upon him as a type 
of the early Puritan, staunch in principle, faithful and 
conscientious in duty, and stern, but a tender and loving 
nature. He gave his children a good education, and his 
eight daughters were graduates of Oxford Academy. 

Children of Elihu and Asenath (Payne) Cooley: 

Caroline IM., born May 5, 1830, in Laurens; married 
William Haight of Oxford. 

Clarissa A., born January 4, 1832, in Laurens; died 
December 29, 1899; unmarried. 

Emeline M., born October 28, 1834, in Laurens; mar- 
ried Daniel C. Winton of Morris. 

Edwin Ruthvin, died in infancy. 

Adaline S., born March 14, 1838; died May 28, 1904, 
in Medford, Oregon; married Judge David van Antwerp. 
She was a gifted and fluent public speaker, and was identi- 
fied with educational and temperance work for many years 
in Oregon and Nebraska. She was re-elected four times 
to the office of Superintendent of Public Schools in 
Nebraska. 

Julia E., born August 15, 1839, in Oxford; married 
Virgil D. Carruth ; resides in California. 

Amanda C, born February 13, 1843, in Oxford; mar- 
ried Albert Saunders; resides in California. 

Louisa H., born October 28, 1846; married William 
Moffatt of Oneonta. 

Estella M., born January 1, 1848; married James T. 
Lowry; resides in St. Paul, Minn. 

Chester Cole, born January 5, 1851, in Oxford; died 
May 6, 1865, in Oxford. 



3i6 ANNALS OF OXFORD 



Our duty is to be useful, not according to our 
desires, but according to our powers. 

— Amiel. 



Rev. Henry Callahan. 



Rev. Henry Callahan, born January 5, 1811, at And- 
over, Mass., came to Oxford June 25, 1850, and was pas- 
tor of the Congregational church for the following twelve 
years. He was prepared for college at the celebrated 
Philips Academy, at Andover, and graduated from 
Union College and xVndover Theological Seminary. Be- 
sides at Oxford he aptly filled pastorates at Niagara Falls 
and Franklin, N. Y. His residence while here was on 
Clinton street, now the home of Fr-ank T. Corbin. In 
1862 he was appointed Chaplain of the 114th Regt., N. Y. 
Vols. A severe illness of fever at New Orleans ruined 
his health so that a full recovery never followed, and 
he resigned September 19, 1863. Soon after his return 
from the army he went to Franklin, where he remained 
for more than twenty years as pastor and teacher, in the 
latter position he fitted and prepared many young men for 
college. He was a friend of all, especially to youth, with 
whom, in social relations, he gained confidence, and with 
earnest sympathy gave needed assistance. In his home, 
where a graceful and gracious hospitality always pre- 
vailed, and in other homes, he brought the comfort of a 
bright and tender Christian confidence. Mr. Callahan 
died at Franklin, February 7, 1888, aged 77. Mrs. Calla- 
han was a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Jere Allis. Their 
children who grew to manhood were, Edward, Henry 
White, Robert Carioll. 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 317 

Jere Allis, who, with his wife, resided in Oxford for a 
number of years from 1850 with his daughter, Mrs. Henry 
Callahan, nearly reached the century mark before his 
passing away. His death occurred April 19, 1885, in Frank- 
lin, N. Y., at the age of 98 years and nine months. His 
wife, Mary White Allis, died February 2, 1877, in Mil- 
waukee, Wis., aged 83 years. Mr. Allis had voted at 
every presidential election from 1807, as Federalist, Whig, 
and Republican. Karely favored, through exemption from 
disease, all his faculties remained alert until the last day 
of his life. Though in his 99th year his habits of activity 
continued, and every day he w^ould sit at a chopping block, 
cutting small wood for exercise. He did not relinquish 
his chair until a day or two before his death. His second 
daughter, Lucy J., married J. T. Gilbert of ^lilwaukee, 
Wis., and died there November 12, 1889. 



Throw not the cross away. 
Of it the crown is made. 

— Solace. 



St. Joseph's Church 



St. Joseph's (R. C.) church was erected in the fall of 
1849. Mr. James Flanagan, the first of the congregation, 
came to Oxford February 14, 1848, and labored faithfully 
for the church in this mission. Father James Hourigan 
of Binghamton was the pioneer of Catholicism in this 
county, his mission embracing the counties of Broome, 
Chenango, and Cortland. 



3i8 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

Previous to the erection of the church edifice occasional 
services were held at the residence of Mr. Flanagan, where 
the first mass in town was celebrated in the fall of 1848. 
Father Hourigan having appointed the date upon which 
services were to be held, Mr. Flanagan would notify the 
people in the neighboring towns, sometimes taking nearly 
three days to go the rounds. At that time there were five 
families in Smithville; three in Preston, four in Nor- 
wich and only Mr. P^lanagan's in Oxford. There was no 
church, except at Binghamton, and Father Hourigan was 
the only priest in this mission. 

During the pastorate of Father Callen, through his and 
Mr. Flanagan's exertions, land was purchased for a ceme- 
tery of Mr. C. F. T. Locke and paid for by the parish- 
ioners. After Father Callen came Father McCabe, w^hose 
mission embraced Oxford, Sherburne, Hamilton, Cortland, 
and Solon. He left this charge in April, 1857, to resume 
the pastorial duties of his former mission at Malone, N. Y., 
where he met with a shocking death on the 24th of the 
following November. He had retired for the night and 
in some way the bed clothes caught fire, burning him to 
death. The fire was confined to the room and nothing 
was known of the lamentable affair until next morning, 
when his body was discovered. Father McCabe, while 
a resident of this village, made many friends in and out 
of his communion. 

In the fall of 1870 repairs were commenced on the 
church and finished the following spring. The building 
was moved back, an addition of sixteen feet and a new 
front put in, the auditorium arched, and stained glass 
windows added. Following is a list of the clergy in their 
order: Fathers Hourigan, Roach, Callen, McCabe, Brady, 
McDermont, McAnulty, O'Conuell, Harrigan, Finneran, 
Shay, Cullen, Hart, Mahon, and Purcell. 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 319 

In 1890 the building now used as a public library was 
purchased for a rector^^ and occupied till the o[)ening 
of the library, when the present rectory on Scott street 
was purchased. 



Unwept, unhonoiired, and unsung:. 

— Scott. 



Adolphus B. Bennett. 



Adolphus B. Bennett was among those who served his 
country during the Revolutionary w^ar, soon after the 
close of which he came to Oxford. Nothing further is 
now known in regard to him. Children: 

Egbert, died in Oxford; married Gertrude Reichtmier, 
died June — , 1882, in Des Moines, Iowa. Children: 
Amanda M., born September 28, 1824, in Homer, N. Y. ; 
married Chester C. Cole; Royal; Ransom, married June 
21, 1849, Mary Jane Baker of Utica. 

Catpierine, married Cyrus Tuttle; died November 23, 
1867. 

Nancy, married Samuel Wheeler. 

Adolphus B., 2d., married Harriet Cary. Child : Charles 
A., died April 18, 1898, aged 87; married August 30, 
1836, Caroline Osgood of Preston, died June 6, 1905, aged 
93: Children: Adolphus B., 4th, married Margaret R. 
Rouse (children, Charles H., infant, died July 13, 1887; 
Florence B., teacher in public school, New York City). 
Charles A., 2d, married Mary A. Baldwin; (children, Re- 
becca B., Thomas B. ) . Adolphus B., moved to Brantford, 
Canada, and died there. 



320 ANNALS OF OXFORD 



So with decorum all things carry'd ; 
Miss frown'd, and blush'd and then 
was married. 

— Goldsmith, 



Lewis Ketchum. 



Lewis Ketchum was born February 14, 1819, at Quaker 
Hill, Dutchess County, N. Y., and, w^hile yet quite young, 
came with his parents, Elijah and Anice Ketchum, to 
Smithville to reside. In 1849 he became a resident of 
Oxford, having in February of that year bought the Philip 
Bartle farm on Panther Hill, where he still resides with 
his granddaughter, Mrs. Baron Gale. Panther, or 
" Painter Hill " as it is now commonly called, derives its 
name from the fact that the last panther in this vicinity 
was killed on it. 

Emmarilla Bartle, a comely maid, was a member of 
Elijah Ketchum's household, and it was not long ere 
Lewis, then twenty-three years of age, had avowed his 
love for her. One winter's night, it was the 13th of Janu- 
ary, 1842, Thomas S. Purple, a justice of the peace, 
dropped in to spend a social hour with his neighbors. 
During a lull in the conversation, Lewis spoke up and 
said: 

" 'Squire Purple, can you tie a knot with your tongue 
that you can't untie with your teeth? " 

The 'Squire was not slow in understanding the ardent 
lover's wants and replied : '^ That I can, young man. Is 
it a marriage knot that you want tied? " 

" It is," said Lewis, " and I want it done now and 
right here." 

" Very well," answered the 'Squire, as he arose from 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 321 

his chair, " you take me by surprise and must wait a short 
time, that I may get over my confusion." 

" All right, 'Squire, we'll be ready when you are." 

Thus speaking, Lewis crossed the room where Emma- 
rilla Avas spinning wool on the big wheel, dressed in a 
light short gown and brown quilted petticoat; her arms 
were bare, and her hair was gathered away from her 
flushed cheeks and knotted behind her ears. The wheel 
was humming a quick measure, and she trod lightly back 
and forth, the wheelpin in one hand, the other upraised 
holding the tense, lengthening thread, which the wheel 
rapidly devoured. 

" Emmarilla," fondly spoke the youthful lover, " put 
away your work, for this shall be our wedding day." 

" Wait a while, Lewis," was the shy reply, " I want 
to get my twenty knots before nine o'clock." 

" We'll not wait at all," answered he, and trustingly 
she placed her hand in his and was led, blushingly, before 
the Justice. 

By this time 'Squire Purple had overcome his nervous- 
ness and soon made them man and wife. The parents of 
the groom witnessed the simple ceremony and with tear- 
ful eyes in heartfelt words gave their blessing. 

On January 13, 1892, after having passed on life's path- 
way, through winter storms and summer sunshine for 
half a century. Mr. and Mrs. Ketchum gathered their 
friends and relatives together and celebrated their golden 
wedding. On the second day of the following month Mrs. 
Ketchum passed away at the age of 69 years. 

Children : 

Harriet, died January 14, 1903; married November 8, 
1861, George Webb of Oxford. 

Warren E., born September 10, 1850; died in infancy. 

Anice a., born January 3, 1852; died in infancy. 



322 ANNALS OF OXFORD 



Of right and wrong he taught 
Truths as refin'd as ever Athens heard; 
And, strange to tell, he practic'd what he preached. 

— John Armstrong. 



Benjamin Cannon. 



Benjamin Cannon was born at Cannonsville, Delaware 
county, June 11, 1818. He entered Oxford Academy in 
1835, where he studied two years, then joined the sopho- 
more class of Union College, graduating in 1840. AUer 
finishing his college course, he spent a year in the law 
office of Judge Amasa J. Parker at Delhi. He continued 
his studies with Henry YanDerLyn, in this village, and 
was admitted to the bar in New York city in 1843. During 
the next year occurred his marriage with AnnaM., daugh- 
ter of Epaphras Miller of Oxford. Remaining here in the 
practice of his profession until 1850, during which time he 
was appointed Examiner in Chancery, he removed to Can- 
nonsville, named from his father, where he resided until 
elected County Clerk of Delaware county in 1853, being 
reelected in 1856. Returning to Cannonsville in 1859, he 
passed the intervening years until the spring of 1873, when 
Mr. Cannon came to Oxford, having purchased the Will- 
cox residence, now the Memorial library. He died at the 
age of 59, on the 19th of December, 1877. Children : 

Robert M., born April 26, 1848; married December 22, 
1881, Antoinette, daughter of Col. George D. Wheeler of 
Deposit. Has four daughters. Mr. Cannon is vice presi- 
dent of the AlbermarleandChespeake Canal Co., Norfolk, 
Va. Elizabeth B., born May 29, 1850; married January 
21, 1875, at Oxford, Robert W. Archbald, now United 
States Judge at Scranton, Pa. J. Lathrop, died April 7, 
1856, in Delhi, aged 4 years. Charles B., born March 
15, 1856, resides at Cannonsville. 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 323 



IIow the Dootor'8 brow Hhould smile 
Crown'd with wreaths of chamomile. 

— MooRE. 



Mowry Family. 



The Mowrys, formerly spelled Morey and Mori, are of 
English stock and descendants of the Earl of Mori. The 
first of the name to emigrate to America came over in 
the Mayflower and settled in Providence, R. I., and after- 
wards some of the family moved to Whitehall, N. Y. Pre- 
vious to 1806, Dr. Phillip Mowry, his wife Ruth, and 
six children came to Oxford from the latter place. Dr. 
Mowry was a tall, spare man, active till within five years 
of his death, when the dial of time marked 100 years. 
Mrs. ^lowry died at the age of 90 years. Children : 

George. 

Washington. 

George Mowry, born October 23, 1765 ; died October 23, 
1823, in Oxford; married June 11, 1809, Sally Manly of Ox- 
ford, born February 26, 1791, died February 26, 1830, in 
Oxford. Studied and practiced medicine in Oxford, and 
was very methodical in his w^ays. He owned and occupied 
a residence which stood near the present site of the Clarke 
block, the grounds extending to the river. He and his 
wife w^ere buried in the old cemetery on State street. Dr. 
IMow^ry was about four feet in height and used two canes 
when walking, w^hich was seldom. His wife always helped 
him mount his horse Avhenever his practice called him 
any distance, and when fairly astride he made a very odd 
appearance. His legs and arms were those of a tall man, 
but his body was very short, in consequence of a curvature 
of the spine, in those days called rickets. 



324 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

Capt. James Thompson of Norwich frequently told an 
amusing incident in regard to Dr. Mowry, both of whom 
were members of the Masonic lodge in this village. Joseph 
Richmond, a neighbor of Capt. Thompson, came with him 
one night to Oxford to join the lodge. Richmond was 
an unassuming man and stuttered when embarrassed. 
After entering the lodge room Capt. Thompson jokingly 
said to him that when initiated he would see the devil, 
as his Satanic majesty always took part in the work. 
At that instant the door oi)ened and Dr. Mowry entered, 
stooping forward with flowing hair over his deformed 
shoulders and reaching out his long silver headed canes 
directly toward them. Richmond jumped up and excitedly 
exclaimed : " Goo-od God, th-th-there he comes ! " The 
captain was highly amused and could scarcely restrain 
his laughter as he arose to greet the doctor. 

Dr. Mowry was one of the original members of the 
Chenango County Medical Society, of which he was the 
first secretary, an ofifice he held for over fifteen consecu- 
tive years. 

Washington Mowry, born April 19, 1777; died May 20, 
1859, in Oxford; married Hannah Curtis, daughter of 
Deacon Solomon Curtis, who lived on the farm now owned 
and occupied by Whitman Mowry. Mrs. Mowry w^as born 
April 2, 1782; died July 25, 1870, in Oxford. Washing- 
ton Mowry, when but a lad of 17, selected the land now 
known as the George Root farm, and assisted by his father 
made a clearing near a spring and erected a rude house 
to live in. He continued to clear and improve the land, 
and when opportunity offered set out many fruit trees, 
among which were apple, pear, peach, plum, and cherry. 
As his means increased he built a large and commodious 
house and numerous barns, and at his death owned a fine 
farm of 230 acres. He was an inveterate smoker and a 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 325 

man of very few words, aside from mattere pertaining to 
his farm. 

Children of George and Sally (^lanly) Mowry, all of 
whom were born in Oxford : 

Ruth Eliza, born August 10, 1810. After her mother^s 
death lived in the family of Deacon Wm. Gile. Died 
November 7, 1831. 

Sally Cassandra, born January 16, 1812. Lived with 
family of Dr. Cleveland, druggist. Died June 20, 1831. 

George Phillip, born January 28, 1814 ; died June 28, 
1885, in Geneva, N. Y. ; married Mary Rodman, who, in 
1905, was still living. While a young man clerked in the 
drug store of Dr. Cleveland in Oxford and later went 
to Geneva, where he engaged in the drug business with 
Luther Kelly. Had nine children. 

DeWitt Clinton, born May 18, 1816, died July 26, 
1848, in Middlebury, Ohio; married Rhoda Allen of Mid- 
dlebury. Children: Allen and Henry. 

OCTAVIA Aldruda, boru September 16, 1818; died July 
23, 1877, in Flint, Mich. Lived in the family of Samuel 
Farnham, merchant, for a time and then went to a rela- 
tive's in Pennsylvania, Avhere she met and married Dr. 

Fish. They came to Oxford for a three days' visit 

and then left for Flint, Mich., accompanied by Mrs. Fish's 
sister, Helena. Children: two sons and two daughters. 

Washington Jefferson, born December 28, 1820, is 
now a resident of Kansas City, Kan. He married in 1850, 
Mrs. Rhoda (Allen) Mowry of Coventry, Ohio, widow of 
his brother DeWitt. She died August 23, 1906, at Kansas 
City, Kan. After the death of his mother Mr. Mowry lived 
with his uncle, Washington Mowry, four months and then 
returned home with his aunt, Mrs. Arnold Briggs, of 
Smyrna, who had come to Oxford to attend the funeral 
of her mother. There he stayed till he was fifteen years 



3i6 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

old and then returned to his Uncle Washington's in Ox- 
ford, remaining till after his twenty-first birthday. Dur- 
ing this time his uncle never mentioned the name of his 
brother, the father of his nephew. Becoming tired of 
farm life, Washington J. drifted westward and located 
at Akron, Ohio, near where his brother DeWitt lived. 
Later he engaged in the manufacture of Sarsaparilla beer 
at New Lisbon, Ohio, and then entered the grocery busi- 
ness at Salem, Ohio, but soon sold out to his partner and 
returned to New York, where he worked a year and a 
half for his brother George in Geneva. Still having a 
fondness for the West he left Geneva and finally located 
at Turner Junction, 111., remaining there twenty years. 
Here he bought land, built a large house, kept boarders 
and again entered into the grocery trade. During four 
years of this time was postmaster at Turner Junction. 
In 1870, with his family, Mr. Mowry again started west 
for Kansas City, Mo., but, not liking the place, went to 
Fort Scott, Kan., where he rented and kept a hotel for 
ten months, then located at Arkansas City, Kan., having 
been engaged in farming and hotel business. Of his chil- 
dren but one is now living, Wilmot DeLancy Mowry, who 
is married and resides in Kansas City, Kan. 

Helena Cordelia, born April 10, 1823; died May 14, 
1900; married in Flint, Mich, John Sutton, a merchant 
tailor. Children : Lell M., married James Potter, of Flint; 
George, married and lives in Buffalo, N. Y. ; Josephine, 
married William Tennant of Saginaw, Mich. 

Children of Washington and Hannah (Curtis) Mowry, 
two sons dying in infancy: 

Almira, died April — , 1827; married about 1826, Syl- 
vanus Root. Child: George W., married (1) Harriet 
Bowers; married (2) Mary J. Jacobs. 

Lydia, born February 26, 1810; died November 13, 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 527 

1888; marriiKi May 5, 183(), Nicholas Walker of Oxford. 
Cliildren : Frances E., born Jul}^ 15, 1812 ; married James 
Murray, a native of Scotland, and resides on the old 
homestead. Washini^ton, born February 27, 184G; died 
March 20, 1851. Austin G., born May 21, 1849; died 
July 11, 1895; married Betsey Dent of Greene. 

George W., born April 21, 1806; died suddenly Au- 
gust 17, 1885, in Oxford; married January 5, 1832, Polly 
Root of Oxford, born April 20, 1802; died August 4, 1886, 
Children : Kertha Almira, died in infancy ; Henry A., 
born October 30, 1834 ; married Emeretta Hutchison ; Van- 
Buren, born December 27, 1839; died November 23, 1890; 
maiTied Sarah A. Wheeler. 

Phila, born January 10, 1812; died April 5, 1897; 
married Elisha Dickinson. 

Solomon C, born February 11, 1814 ; died January 26, 
1886; married December 15, 1836, Abigail C. Havens. 
Children : Sarah M., died in infancy ; Whitman R., mar- 
ried Sarah P. Wheeler; Charles L., married Augusta A. 
Brewer; Sarah C, died March 18, 1849; Curtis S., married 
Alice L. Root. 

Andrew, born August 4, 1816 ; died November 7, 1900 ; 
married February 27, 1840, Hannah Carhart of Oxford. 
Children : Lydia M., died in infancy ; Narcissa A., mar- 
ried February 26, 1862, Julius Wheeler; Andrew F., died 
November 16, 1897, married September 27, 1869, Jane 
Bloomer; Phila A., married June — , 1868, Adelbert See- 
ley; Washington E., married October — , 1882, Emma 
Lewis. 

Wilson G., born , 1824; died June 7, 1888, in 

Troupsburg, N. Y. ; married Lucy A. Greene. 

Zeruah, born , 1820; died August 19, 1884, 

in Coventry, N. Y. ; married William Walker. 



328 ANNALS OF OXFORD 



God's finger touched him and he slept. 

— Tennyson. 



Ray Clarke, 



Ray Clarke, who lived on what is now the Cone farm, 
was born February 13, 1782, at Newport, R. I., and died 
in 1847 at South Oxford. He married Celia Greene of 
Warwick, R. I., born January 10, 1776; died August 9, 
1829, at East Greenwich, R. I. In 1825, when traveling in 
Tennessee, he was overtaken by a heavy storm in the 
Cumberland Mountains and exposed all night to its fury. 
This brought on an attack of brain fever, from which he 
never fully recovered. Among his children were: 

Cecelia Greene Clarke, born in 1808; died in 1880; 
married Judge George A. Brayton, Chief Justice Rhode 
Island Supreme Court for thirty-one years. 

Ethan Ray Clarke, born January 10, 1818, at Po- 
towomut, R. I. ; married October 29, 1840, Mary E. Mil- 
lard of Warwick, R. I. He w^as educated at Jamaica 
Plains, Mass., and inherited property from his grand- 
father, including a farm in this town. He removed to 
Oxford in 1840 after his marriage, and entered the min- 
istry in 1851, becoming pastor of the Free Will Baptist 
church in the east part of the town. He removed to 
Genesee county in 1856, and, during the Civil Avar, went 
as Chaplain of the 1st R. I. Cavalry, and then later the 
25th N. Y. Cavalry, serving until 1865. In 1866 he re- 
turned to Oxford and remained until 1870, wlien he 
removed to Michigan. Children : 

Susan Celia, born in Oxford ; married Wm. E. Marwin 
of Jersey City. 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 329 

Anna Augusta, born in Oxford ; marrie<i James P. 
Boyd of Chicago. 

Isabella Emily, born in Oxford; died April 25, 1888; 
married Arthur M. Mayhew. 

Mary Elizabeth, born at Oxford; married William 
J. Rose. 

Jessie, born October 19, 1849, in Oxford; died No- 
vember 8, 1864, at Buifalo. 

George Brayton, married Florence J. Holley; resi- 
dence, Vernon, Mich. 

Ray, born January 13, 1855, in Oxford; died January 
6, 1865, at ButTalo. ^ 

Ward Greene, born January 2, 1859, at Stafford, N. Y. 
A physician and professor of dental surgery in Rush 
University, Chicago. 



His life was gentle ; and the elements 

So mix'd in him. that Nature might stand np, 

And say to all the world, This was a man ! 

— Shakespeare. 



Amos A. Franklin 



Amos A. Franklin was born in Stonington, Conn., June 
27, 1785. He learned the trade of cabinet maker in New 
London, Conn., and came to Oxford in 1808, where he 
was active in advancing the interests both of religion 
and education. He fitted up the upper story of his cabi- 
net shop to make a comfortable place for holding meet- 
ings, instituted a flourishing Sunday school, of which he 
was for many years superintendent. In the long inter- 
vals Avhen the Presbyterian church was without a pastor, 



330 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

being too poor to afford continuous support, with the 
assistance of other members of the church he held meet- 
ings, which were well attended, reading some well selected 
sermon. He was for many years a trustee of Oxford 
Academy. In company with James A. Glover he estab* 
lished in 1829 the Oxford foundry-. Mr. Franklin was a 
member of the State legislature in 1829, was a partici- 
pator in getting the Chenango canal, at that time consid- 
ered of great importance to the prosperity of the town, and 
was one of the special commissioners sent to Albany to 
look after its success. He was a magistrate in Oxford 
for about twenty years, and sheriff of the county one term. 
In 1847 he moved to Wisconsin and assisted in building 
up a church in his new home, of which he was ten years 
a deacon. He died April 14, 1858, in Patch Grove, Wis. 
He married (1) in October, 1809, Anne Howe of Spring- 
field, Vt., who died July 12, 1811, aged 21 years. Married 
(2) in January, 1814, Minerva, daughter of Anson Gary, 
whose death occurred May 23, 1859, in Patch Grove, Wis. 

Child by first wife: 

Stephen. 

Children by second Avife : 

Hannah, married Anson Gary, 2d. 

Minerva, married Rev. Samuel XL Stevenson, died Janu- 
ary 27, 1872, in Oilman, 111. 

Anna, 

Sarah. 

Mary. 

Richard. 

Amos. 

Edward. 

Benjamin, died October 23, 1843, in Wisconsin, aged 18. 



ANNALS OF OXFORD })i 



They are soldiers, 
Witty, courteous, liberal, full of spirit. 

— Shakespeare. 



Sherwood Family 



Asa T. Sherwood was baptized in Greens Farms, Conn., 
July 4, 1762; died in Guilford, N. Y., June 18, 1834, 
where he settled when it was a part of Oxford; married 
Mary Phillips. He was one of those small Connecticut 
boys who went into the Eevolutionary army as soon as 
he could hold a gun and served seven years. His broth- 
ers and sisters, some of whom settled in this section, were : 
Levi, Elen, Isaac, Abigail, John and Hezekiah, twins, and 
Hannah. His children were : Isaac, David, William, Asa, 
Phoebe, Gorham, Sally, and John. 

William Sherwood, third child of Asa T. and Mary 
(Philips) Sherwood, was born June 2, 1793, in Greens 
Farms, Conn.; died May 9, 1875, in Norwich, N. Y. ; 
married Abigail Smith, of Oxford, born September 18, 
1800; died August 21, 1850. William Sherwood served 
in the War of 1812 and was with General Scott at Sack- 
ett's Harbor. 

Children, all born in Guilford, N. Y. : 

James W., 1st, born May 5, 1818 ; died July 20, 1820, 
in Guilford. 

David L., born September 25, 1819; died suddenly No- 
vember 8, 1891, in Oxford; married Susan C. Peabody, 
died September 22, 1897, in Oxford. Children : Charles 
W., married Anna Estabrook; Frederick, married Hattie 
Judd; Emogene, died in Utica, unmarried; Ida, married 
Charles B. Eaton, died in Tacoma, Wash. ; Abigail. 



332 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

Charles S., born February 7, 1822; died August 21, 
1900, in Lebanon, 111.; married Mary J. Riley. 

Nehemiah, born June 22, 1824 ; died May 21, 1893, in 
Greene; married Lucy A. Rice, died June 12, 1899, in 
Greene. 

SoPHRONA A., born April 9, 1827; died November 12, 
1896, in Norwich, unmarried. 

Nancy Eliza, born March 29, 1829 ; married James H. 
Allen, born in 1822; died February 10, 1898, in Frank- 
fort, N. Y. 

Edmund T., born February 10, 1831; died October 3, 
1895, in Norwich, unmarried. 

Eugene, born June 18, 1834; married Susan Whita- 
more and resides in Binghamton. Served three years in 
Civil war. 

James W., born February- 7, 1837; married Cordelia 
T. Judson, and resides in Oxford. Served three years in 
Civil war. 

Susan C, born October 7, 1839; unmarried. Resides 
in Norwich. 

The descent of James W. Shenv^ood of Oxford from 
Thomas Sherwood, who came to America from Ipswich, 
England, in 1634, is as follows: I. Thomas, II. Isaac, 
III. Thomas, died August 5, 1756, in Albany, N. Y., where 
he was in Capt. Whiting's company in the campaign of 
1756; IV. John, V. Asa, VI. William, VII. James W. 

The descent of Asa T. Sherwood, on the maternal side, 
is, I. John Rowland, born in 1593 in England. By first 
wife, said to be a daughter of Gov. Carver, he had a 
daughter II. Desire. John Rowland was a prominent 
man in the Plymouth Colony; was governor's assistant, 
etc., and is named among the first in the list of Mayflower 
passengers. Desire, born in 1623, in Plymouth, married 
Capt John Gorham, who was a great soldier, and lost 



ANNALS OF OXFORD }}} 

his life from disease contracted when fighting the Nar- 
ragansett Indians. There are sevei'al towns named Gor- 
ham for him, and Gorham, Maine, has a monument erected 
to him. He and Desire had III. Jebez, born August 3, 
1656, in Barnstable, Mass., who marri«|d Hannah 
(Sturges) Gray, and they had a son IV. Joseph, born 
August 22, 1692. Joseph married Deborah Barlow, and 
had V. Mary, who married John Sherwood, and they were 
the parents of VI. Asa T. Sherwood. 



Offering to carry weary traveller 
His orient liquor, in a crystal glass. 

— Milton. 

Andrew Achorn. 



Andrew Achorn, who had been one of England's " Hes- 
sian hirelings," in the w^ar of the Revolution, but who, 
after being captured with Burgoyne's army, came to know 
and love the American people, whom, he said, he had been 
taught to believe were all savages. At the close of the 
war many of these soldiers remained and settled in the 
country they had fought against. Achron drifted into 
South Oxford, where he lived to a good old age, well pre- 
served in the whisky of that day. He was a good me- 
chanic and farmer, and had a large orchard and cider 
mill which flowed large quantities of cider. It was a 
place for the tramping Indians and a resort for Abe 
Anton e and his band when they went into that neighbor- 
hood to hunt. Achron was a gunsmith, having learned 
the trade in Germany, and did a good business by re- 
pairing guns and making steel traps for the Indians. He 
and An tone were fast friends. When Antone was in hid- 
ing, after murdering John Jacobs in Madison county, it 
was Achorn who secreted and sheltered him until the 
flearch in this section was over. 



334 ANNALS OF OXFORD 



The sun was set ; the night came on apace, 
And falling dews bewet around the place, 
The bat takes airy rounds on leathern wings, 
And the hoarse owl his woeful dirges sings. 

—Gay. 



Wheeler Family. 



Of the early history of Hezekiah Wheeler, from whom 
the whole Wheeler family in this vicinity is descended, 
little is known. He was probably born and raised in the 
vicinity of Gloucester, R. I., and spent his youthful days 
there. He was born about the year 1749 or '50, and was 
married to Mary Wood about 1773. Soon after his mar- 
riage he enlisted in the Patriot army of the Revolution 
as a minute man, like ever}^ other able-bodied man of that 
day who was not enrolled in the regular army. The min- 
ute men were permitted to remain at home, but were liable 
to be called out in an emergency on short notice when 
an invasion took place or when army stores and supplies 
were to be guarded. At the close of the war Mr. Wheeler 
settled down on a farm in Gloucester, where, in connection 
with his farm, he conducted a hotel, which, being on the 
public highway leading from Gloucester to Providence, 
and being withal a genial landlord and a popular man, he 
soon amassed a fair competence. 

On the 8th of October, 1813, Mr. Wheeler came to Ox- 
ford, where some of the family had already preceded him. 
During this year he had had a protracted illness which 
nearly cost him his life, but on the 27th of September his 
health having improved, he with his wife, and Nicholas 
Smith, wife and child, started on the long and tedious 
journey to join their friends in the then famous " Che- 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 333 

nango county/' Their progress, necessarily slow, was 
a part of that general trend of New England blood toward 
the setting sun, which so markedly charact-erized the 
early part and middle of the last century, and took place 
at the time when it was going " out west '- to go into 
New York State. 

Their friends became very much alarmed and anxious 
at their failure to arrive on the day expected, and, on 
October 8, Nehemiah Wheeler and Arnold Phetteplace 
started out to find trace of them. Passing through Rock- 
dale, Mt. Upton, up the Butternut creek, and through 
Gilbertsville, without any tidings, they continued the 
search until near Morris thft travelers were discovered 
slowly approaching. After joyful greeting had been ex- 
changed the journey toward their destination was resumed 
which w^ould consume many hours. Night fell, the wolves 
howled, and terror began to exert its sway as they passed 
beneath hemlock trees whose heavy boughs overhung their 
path. Late in the evening they reached their journey's 
end, the log house of Eddy Phetteplace, the husband of 
their daughter Anna, where a warm fire of crackling logs 
and a warmer greeting introduced them to their western 
home. 

The farm where Mr. Wheeler located is now owned 
by Nelson Turner. During the fall of 1827 it became 
evident that his earthly pilgrimage was drawing to a 
close, and that he with his companion of so many years 
were soon to be numbered with the departed. On January 
8, 1828, his spirit took its flight into the great unknown. 
Mrs. Wheeler was too ill to be informed of her husband's 
death, and on the following day, after an interval of 
twenty-seven hours, their spirits were reunited. They 
were both buried in one grave at the Gospel Hill cemetery 
in Guilford. Children : 



336 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

Hezekiah, born November 5, 1775; died February 26, 
1779. 

Maey, born September 10, 1777, in Gloucester, R. I.; 
died January 7, 1863, in Providence, R. I. ; married Oliver 
Wade of Gloucester, R. I., born June 4, 1773; died May 
8, 1853, in Providence, R. I. Children : Susan, born April 
4, 1795; died January 16, 1882; married Asaph Smith. 
Wheeler, born October 2, 1796; died June 22, 1809. Nancy, 
born May 1, 1800 ; died July 8, 1887. Deborah, born De- 
cember 25, 1804 ; died January 16, 1884. Sarah B., born 
February 21, 1807 ; died May 11, 1880. Violetta, born May 
8, 1808; died October 23, 1893. Nathaniel, born April 19, 
1811 ; died September 20, 1841. Mary M., born July 19, 
1813; died November 27, 1902. Paris, born January 19, 
1816; died March 28, 1854. Serrie, born November 28, 
1821 ; died October 19, 1872. 

Anna, born December 17, 1779, in Gloucester, R. I. ; died 
October 10, 1859, in Springfield, Pa.; married April 20, 
1796, Eddy Phetteplace of Gloucester, R. I., born February 
29, 1776, in Gloucester; died August 15, 1861, in Spring- 
field, Pa. Mr. and Mrs. Phetteplace settled in Oxford in 
1811, but in April, 1813, the town of Guilford, then called 
Eastern, was set off from Oxford, which made them resi- 
dents of Guilford. Children : Arnold, born June 8, 1798 ; 
died in Sabona, 111. Mary, born August 31, 1800; died 
August 10, 1871, in Wisconsin. Isaac, born April 27, 1802 ; 
died May 12, 1815. Minerva, born November 18, 1804; 
died December 31, 1841, in Oxford. Eddy W., born April 
21, 1808; died about 1898 in Jamestown, N. Y. David T., 
born February 13, 1800; died February 18, 1868, in Wis- 
consin. Hezekiah, born July 11, 1812; died May 20, 1891, 
in Chautauqua, N. Y. Anne, born May 16, 1815 ; died May 
8, 1892, in Wisconsin. William, born January 4, 1818; 
died November 23, 1883, in Michigan. Eli, born June 6, 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 337 

1821; died Juue 29, 1865, in the army. John, born July 
18, 1823. 

ITexky, born February 26, 1782, in Gloucester, R. I. ; 
died October 24, 1855. Married Naomi Phillips, born June 

10, 1784 ; died March 9, 1874. Children : Nehemiah, born 
July 23, 1802; died June 29, 1872; married Fanny Hurli- 
son; (children, Lee, Ilezekiah, Nathan, Willis, Peter, 
Nehemiah, Minerva, Lily.) Thomas, born December 13, 
1803 ; died June 4, 1875 ; married ( 1 ) Alma Stead ; married 
(2) Charity, widow of Stephen Stead; (child by first wife, 
Angel S.). Jeremiah, born December 21, 1805; died May 

11, 1864; married Almira Brown; (children, Orrin, An- 
drew, John, George, Eddy, Elizabeth). Anna, born No- 
vember 26, 1807 ; died February 22, 1839 ; married Gardner 
Wade. Hezekiah, born December 4, 1809 ; died March 29, 
1816. Henry, born November 18, 1811 ; died May 14, 1902 ; 
married (1) IMiranda Shapley; married (2) Emma Lamb; 
(children by first wife, Maria, married Devillo Hallett; 
David, married Janette Knight; Julius, married Narcissa 
Mowry; Thomas, married Lydia E. Dickinson; Sarah, 
married YanBuren Mowry. (Child by second wife, Julia 
M., married George Hovey). Naomi, born February 1, 
1814; died June 7, 1901; married John Shapley; (children, 
Martha, Hannah). Luke, born January 27, 1816; died 
January 23, 1860; married (1) Sarah Evans; married (2) 
Pamelia Gray; married (3) Mary Ann Gray; (children by 
second wife, Jirah, married Janette Smith ; Sarah, married 
Whitman Mowry; Gerritt, married Hattie Hovey). Ru- 
fus, born April 2, 1818; died July 27, 1896, in Whitney 
Point; married Elizabeth Willcox; (children, Nancy, mar- 
ried Abram Coxe; Priscilla, married (1) Silas Rogers; 
married (2) Samuel Rounds; John P., married (1) Lot- 
tie Smith; married (2) Mrs. Carrie Cline; Mertie died 
young). Mary, born February 27, 1820; died April 28, 



338 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

1888; married Reuben Pearsall; (child, Edgar A., married 
Marietta Moon). Philip, born July 31, 1823; died Octo- 
ber 11, 1878; married Lavina Scott; (children, Anna, mar- 
ried Joseph Baker; Randall, married Marilla Stead). 
Nancy, born January IG, 1827; died October 28, 1839. 

Susanna, born October 17, 1786, in Gloucester, R. I.; 
died August 19, 1858, in Guilford, N. Y. ; married Nicholas 
Smith, son of Perigrine Smith of Gloucester, R. I.; came 
to Oxford October 8, 1813. Children : Mary, born Decem- 
ber 29, 1811, in Rhode Island; died August 3, 1891, in 
Pennsylvania. Susan, born December 31, 1813, in Oxford ; 
died December 31, 1817, in Guilford. Isaac P., born No- 
vember 18, 1815, in Oxford; died May 25, 1875, in Pennsyl- 
vania. George, born December 18, 1817, in Oxford; died 
February 3, 1848, in Guilford. James W., born March 1, 
1820, in Oxford; now resides in Bainbridge. Miranda, 
born November 16, 1822, in Oxford; died February — , 
1825, in Oxford. William H., born April 6, 1827, in Ox- 
ford; died January 31, 1899, in Guilford. Elvira O., born 
September 8, 1830, in Guilford. 



The introduction of noble inventions seems to hold by far the most 
excellent place among human actions. — Bacon. 

The Chenango Foundry. 

The Oxford Foundry was established in April, 1829, as 
the Chenango Foundry, by Amos A. Franklin and James 
A. Glover. They introduced the first steam engine into 
this town, and were the first establishment of the kind west 
of the Hudson river to use steam power. They carried on 
the business a few years, when Levi Chubbuck and Erastus 
Miller became associated with Mr. Franklin. The business 
was continued a short time under the name of A. Franklin 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 339 

& Co., when E. P. Willcox became a partner and the firm 
name was changed to Franklin, Willcox & Co., who oper- 
ated it three years. Messrs. Franklin and Miller then 
withdrew, and the remaining partners continued under the 
name of Chubbuck & Willcox. On the 28th of August, 
1846, the foundry, then owned and occupied by E. P. Will- 
cox, took fire and, with the plow shop and wareroom at- 
tached, was entirely consumed. Only a portion of the 
plows, stoves, etc., were saved. The loss was several thou- 
sand dollars. The shop was rebuilt and Mr. Willcox con- 
tinued the business in connection with a hardware store 
till March, 1859, when he sold to George Rector and Eli 
Willcox, who, on the 29th of October, 1860, dissolved part- 
nership, Mr. Rector purchasing the entire interest of Mr. 
Willcox. In January, 1868, Mr. Rector disposed of the 
foundry to James M. Edwards, and the hardware store to 
Messrs. Raymond & Miller. Mr. Edwards did a general 
machine and foundry business till November 23, 1883, 
when early on that morning the foundry, together with all 
the machinery, patterns, etc., was again destroyed by fire, 
nothing being saved. Loss about |5000, with an insurance 
of |2500. The wood shop was saved. The foundry has 
never been rebuilt. The building was constructed of stone 
and was about 40 by 62 feet, two stories high, and stood 
upon the same foundation as the one burned in 1846, which 
was only one story high. 



THE ONEIDA ANNUAL CONFERENCE of the IMeth- 
odist Episcopal Church was held in thisviUage in 
August, 1842, and nearly 200 ministers were in attendance. 
Bishop Hedding was present and presided with ease, dig- 
nity, and dispatch. On Sunday, during the conference, ten 
elders and seventeen deacons were ordained. 



340 ANNALS OF OXFORD 



In life there are meetings which seem 
Like a fate. 

— Owen Meeedith. 



Jacobs Family. 



Cornelius Jacobs, born in 1720 in Holland, came to 
America at a very early age with his parents. In the same 
vessel that brought them over was a family from France, 
whose name is now lost to history. This French family 
had a daughter nearly the age of Cornelius. On landing 
in New York the two families traveled together to a point 
in Dutchess county, N. Y. The infants were placed in 
baskets, slung over the back of a horse and thus made the 
journey to their new home in America. In later years they 
again met, renew^ed their acquaintance and married. Mr. 
Jacobs died January 22, 1805, in Dutchess county. Their 
children were: Leavis, who went to Vermont at an early 
day and became lost to the family. Israel, born in 1741, 
lived most of his life in Westchester county; at an ad- 
vanced age he came to Oxford to reside with his nephew, 
who was his namesake, and died July 23, 1832, unmarried. 
Cornelius, Jr., born May 19, 1754, in Westchester county ; 
died April 18, 1811, in Durham, Greene county, N. Y. ; fur- 
ther mention of Cornelius, Jr., is made below. 

One incident is related in regard to Cornelius, Sr. He 
w^as accustomed to say grace at the table in the most 
reverent manner. One day during the ceremony the family 
cat took a notion to sharpen her claws upon his leg. 
Dressed in his knee breeches and long thin stockings, it 
proved a very severe experience, and the well-known formu- 
lary could scarcely be finished, when he shouted in great 
wrath, '^Rabbit the cat!" 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 341 

Cornelius Jacobs, Jr., married about 1784 Elizabeth 
Lyon at North Castle, Westchester county, N. Y., born 
July 8, 1764; died September 27, 1818, in Oxford. She 
was a girl of twelve years when General Howe gained 
possession of New York. Cornelius was in the Revolu- 
tionary war, having enlisted at its commencement and 
serving to the end. He was one of the body guard of 
General Washington, and as he was a light man and a 
bold rider, was employed in carrying dispatches. The 
service required skill in horsemanship, tact, daring, in- 
tegrity, and great power of endurance. During the entire 
war he held this position, a perilous and arduous one that 
took him much of the time from camp, and during the 
seven years was never in a battle. At the close of the war 
he was paid in Continental money, nearly worthless, and 
w^nt back to begin life in empty handed poverty at 35 years 
of age. In April, 1811, Mr. Jacobs found himself with a 
large family struggling with poverty and anxious for the 
future. Finally it was decided that they leave Dutchess 
county, where they were residing, and start for the west 
and locate in the '^ Chenango country." Accordingly he 
started on horseback, leaving his wife to pack the house- 
hold goods and stow them away so that an incoming tenant 
could have the house. The Catskill turnpike had been 
opened a few years previous, a thoroughfare of great in- 
terest to the people of the Hudson valley. Over this Mr. 
Jacobs traveled and in the course of a few days arrived at 
the home of his brother-in-law, David Lyon, who had 
located above Oxford in 1792, on the brook now known by 
his name. The only place he could find for his family was 
a part of a log cabin in the woods a few rods east of what 
was so long known as the VanDerLyn farm in South Ox- 
ford. After a few days he started on the return trip for 
his family, who were waiting in suspense, and when in the 



343 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

town of Durham, about thirty-five miles from home, he 
became seriously ill. After lingering between hope and 
fear, striving in the meantime to get word to his wife, he 
died before she could reach him. Here began the struggle 
of a heroic woman and mother, whose strong character 
appears in bold relief, shining out from the early history 
of the town. She had nothing to do but return and face 
the rayless night that had settled upon her surroundings. 
The widow of one week with the assistance of two sons, 
aged 17 and 15, turned her face toward Oxford. The chil- 
dren and goods were put into two wagons and the journey 
commenced in the last week of April, 1811. Six days were 
consumed in their pilgrimage, that is now compassed in 
about as many hours. Beaching Oxford, the children and 
goods were placed in the rude cabin, which soon became 
home with all its sacred attachments. After a struggle of 
two years they were forced to move into another log house 
in the vicinity of the river bridge at South Oxford, work- 
ing the land on shares for a year. The family then moved 
on to the Eoswell Enos farm, one mile above the village, 
where toil and economy brought more of the comforts of 
home and more experience to the boys. Their father had 
at the close of the war drawn a ^' soldier's right " of 160 
acres, situated near Auburn, N. Y., but thought it of very 
little value and sold it for a horse, saddle, and bridle. 
Thus throwing away a golden opportunity. 

In a short time his sons were old enough to go into the 
woods in " the Deserts," and then and there commenced a 
struggle for a home, clearing the land, purchasing the title 
and living at the same time. But few can realize the hard 
times experienced by the pioneers following the war of 
1812. The year 1816 was called the year without a sum- 
mer. The year following was nearly as bad. Mrs. Jacobs 
and her family were near the famine state and at the same 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 343 

time endeavoring to pay for land at |5.50 per acre. But 
perseverance and sturdy hearts won the battk^ and homes 
for the children, some of whom had grown into rugged men 
and women. 

Children of Cornelius and Elizabeth (Lyon) Jacobs: 

Mary, born June 25, 1786 ; died April 10, 1879 ; married 
May 25, 1811, Stephen Lake, born June 20, 1786; died No- 
vember 12, 1857. 

Susan, bom November 22, 1788; died March 1, 1852; 
married Eber Isbell. 

Israel, born April 26, 1791 ; died July 29, 1857 ; married 
(1) in 1810 Jane Anderson, born February 3, 1787; died 
April 19, 1848; married (2) June 11, 1819, Mrs. Julia 
Kinney, born January 5, 1813; died February 1, 1881. 

Thomas, born October 13, 1793; died February 18, 1875; 
married October 6, 1816, Phebe A. Stratton, born July 17, 
1798; died February 15, 1883. Children: Alfred S., born 
December 8, 1817; married Laura Holladay; (children, 
Amanda, died in infancy; Luancy H., married John H. 
Gifford; Alvine, married Alice H. Sweet; Alice, married 
T. G. Stanton; Charles H., married Lucina E. Sweet; 
Agnes A., married Thomas J. Eoot). Susan Ann, born 
April 1, 1820, married George Davidson. Thomas H., 
born July 21, 1822; married Nancy Holladay; (children, 
Francis H., married DeEtta Rathbone; John P., married 
Louisa Rathbone). Alvin, died in infancy. Harriet C, 
born December 25, 1825 ; married Laman Pearsall. Peter 
G., born June 22, 1828; married Caroline Ferris; (chil- 
dren, Carrie L., married William T. Kelsey; William K., 
married Mrs. Ella Graves Edwards; Mary F., married 
Asa P. Hyde. Harriet C). Austin, died in childhood. 
DarAvin, born September 19, 1833 ; married Tamer E. Wes- 
sels; (child, Albert J.). James A., born November 13, 
1835; died November 24, 1856; unmarried. 



344 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

Cornelius, born February 28, 1796 ; died December 21, 
1872; married November 13, 1824, Ann Baldwin, born 
December 21, 1801; died November 26, 1867. Children: 
John, born August 16, 1825; married Catherine Healy. 
Daniel B., born October 28, 1827 ; married Jerusha A. Hin- 
man. Israel, born September 22, 1831 ; married Sarah E. 
Hull. James E., born August 5, 1836 ; married Catherine 
Norris. 

William G., born May 28, 1798; died in infancy. 

Eliza Ann, born January 28, 1800; died July 24, 1885; 
married January 1, 1817, William Stratton, born August 
13, 1795; died January 7, 1879. 

William Lyon, born July 21, 1802; died April 6, 1876; 
married Phila Clifford, born November 17, 1807 ; died Octo- 
ber 13, 1886. Children: Jane E., married Henry Race. 
Three children died in infancy. 

George Alvin, born January 22, 1805; died May 27, 
1848; married January 31, 1830, Elnora Adams, died July 
18, 1880. Children : Susan, Jane A., Vashti, George. 

James H., born May 1, 1807 ; died June 23, 1884 ; mar- 
ried November, 1833, Sarah Miller, born July 31, 1813; 
died February 27, 1905. Children: Zeruah E., born 
August 2, 1834. Mary J., born November 18, 1836. Israel 
P., born May 25, 1839; married (1) Lisetna DeF. Brazee; 
married (2) Emma Hayward. S. Elexey, born May 30, 
1841; married N. D. Bartle. James, born May 21, 1843; 
married Sarah J. Bunnel. Ann B., born May 22, 1847; 
married Wheaton Eace. 

Edwin T., born January 16, 1809 ; died August 1, 1889, 
at Pitcher, N. Y.; married (1) September 23, 1832, Mary 
Ann Noble, born November 23, 1811 ; died June 19, 1881 ; 
married (2) March 28, 1888, Mrs. Martha L. Darrance. 
Children by first wife: Infant son; Ira D., in Civil war 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 345 

and died Septembor 19, 18G3, at Folly Island, S. C. ; Ed- 
win T, Jr. 

Edwin T. Jacobs was for many years a prominent Bap- 
tist minister and well known in this section of the State. 
In an article prepared for the writer in 1888 he stated : 

From the Indian trail to the iron rail ; from the pine Ivnot blaze to 
the electric light ; from the trammel and crane to the kitchen range ; 
from the saddle to the Pulman car ; from the power of muscle to the 
power of steam. These are notches on the tall stick of time. Measured 
by epochs of by-gone ages they seem but the brief steps of childhood, 
but taking the vast changes and wonderful progress in human events, 
they seem like the tread of a giant. The hardy woodman and his 
family found that suffering and progress were inseparable, that self- 
denial is the price of everything valuable in human attainment, and 
that labor is the force that wins. 

How well I remember the old round table turned up against the wall. 
We looked forward very impatiently to the time when it was drawn 
out, turned down and a pin inserted to keep it in place. Then the tin 
basins were placed in a circle to the number corresponding with the 
hungry moutlis, and filled with milk if there was enough, if not the 
balance was supplied with water. Mother was a very practical woman 
with a vast amount of inventive genius. Young ladies and gentlemen, 
these are the days of fine arts, but the coarser arts were studied then 
in the hard school of necessity. 

At that time there were no schools as at present and no church 
privileges, nor a church edifice in the county. A road was cut through 
the woods east from Coventry station, and it was a saying that Sunday 
only went up as far on that road as a certain rock, all beyond was no 
Sunday. But 

The groves were God's first temples. Ere men learned 
To hew the shaft, and lay the archtrave, 
And spread the roof above them. 

The writer has often attended services in a barn and sat " up gal- 
lery " on the scaffold or on the hay mow, the only cushioned seats, and 
watched the old white-haired minister as he waded through his sermon 
of an hour and a half, pausing when half through to take a pinch of 
snuff. Conventional rules were dispensed with, and so was his coat 
in very warm weather. But the question of bread could not be dis- 
pensed with, though broadcloth and brass buttons might. There is 
nothing like a boy's appetite except it is a girl's. After bread came 
clothing. Richard Arckwright had taught the world the art of spin- 
ning by machinery, but in the backwoods of America every yard of 
cloth needed for clothing was the product of home manufacture. The 
little wheel, the big wheel, the distaff and reel, and the old loom in the 
corner were always called into requisition. No power loom had then 
been invented, but behind these rude implements of domestic art was 
the power of a mother's love. The hands that held the distaff, turned 
the wheel and pressed the lathe never struck for wages. I wish some 
artist could reconstruct that old kitchen with the tranmiel and lug-pole, 
the bake-kettle on the hearth, the frying pan held by its long handle 
over the blazing fire, and a lot of hungry boys and girls waiting for 



346 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

the Indian loaf or flapjacks. The artist must not omit the " old wooden 
rocker." Then in that relic of the by-j<one days, clasped in the loving 
arms and pressed to the warm heart of that best of mothers, my 
childish tears have often been dried and the rough passages of life 
made smooth. 

The only question about clothing was where to find the wool and 
flax. Sheep are not found in the wilderness, though wolves may be, 
and it was sought among the older farmers on the river, then worked 
up " at the halves," making the labor double. How well I remember 
my first jacket and trousers. They were made of green flannel, and 
how anxiously the process of making was watched. At last they were 
finished and submitted to the inspection of the household. The next 
Sunday morning was bright and beautiful. Invested in the suit I was 
a boy enlarged, elongated, bifurcated! Life and the nineteenth cen- 
tury were opening grandly. But a change came over the spirit of my 
dreams and the first great downfall of my life awaited me — I fell into 
the slop pail. And now to see that new suit, the pride of the house- 
hold, and the triumph of a mother's skill, drawn out of the ruins with 
the remains of a boy in it. Do you wonder that after almost 80 years it 
is called to mind. It was the first thing I do remember, and the last 
thing to be forgotten. 



He stands erect ; his slouch becomes a walk. 
He steps right onward, martial is his air. 
His form and movement. 

COWPER. 



Bliss Willoughby. 



Bliss Willoughby, son of Joseph and Bridget (Wiek- 
wier) Willoughby, was born in New London county, Conn., 
February 22, 1767. When sixteen years of age he enlisted 
in the Revolutionary army, and served the last six months 
of the war. While in service he marched three days with- 
out food, and the last night, coming to a place where cattle 
had been slaughtered, found a paunch, which he emptied 
and w^ashed in a nearby creek, and with five companions 
ate it with a keen relish. When he laid down to rest he 
slept soundly through the night, and awoke in the morn- 
ing to find himself half under water, a heavy rain having 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 547 

set in. Mr. Willoughby was not in any general battle, but 
while on a march came to a place where the British were 
burning buildings, who hastily took to their boats, but 
before they could get out of gun shot distance he saw 
many of them fall into the water. After being discharged 
and paid off he started for home, finding that it took |30 
of Continental money to buy a meal of victuals. He had 
but little schooling, only three months in two winters. He 
lived on a farm in Westchester county for a short time, 
when he moved to the farm now owned by Griffin Bros., in 
Preston, February 23, 1800, where he had bought 600 acres 
of land. He was on the road eighteen days, finding the 
snow four feet deep in the forests. Here he remained till 
after the war of 1812, when he was forced to leave, being- 
unable to make payments. He then lived a few years on 
the farm now owned by Lazarus Gallagher, and then 
bought the place, now known as the Willoughby farm, on 
the road from Oxford to Guilford, where he lived until his 
death, which occurred May 31, 1819. He married April 
20, 1791, Fanny Patton, born January 10, 1768 ; died Feb- 
ruary 7, 1815. Children : 

Nancy, born April 25, 1792; married in Preston James 
Ashcraft of Connecticut. 

David P., born in Mottville, Conn., April 20, 1791 ; died 
February 21, 1883 ; married in 1818 Charlotte McNeil of 
Oxford, who died December 29, 1891, aged 93. Soon after 
their marriage they moved into the south part of the town, 
settling upon a farm which they cleared and lived upon 
over forty years. In 1862 they removed to the west side of 
the river in South Oxford to reside with their son. They 
united with the Oxford and Greene Baptist church in 
1837, and for a period of sixty-five years enjoyed married 
life. Children: John Bliss, married Mary Ann Race; 
(children, Marcia, married David Bartle; Rector, married 



348 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

Rosalia Stratton; Chester, married Emma Stratton). 
Sarah Maria, died April 29, 1906, in Binghamton ; married 
Albert Jewell. 

Levi C, born March 9, 1796; married Nancy Black; 
lived and died in Ohio. 

Margaret P., born February 4, 1799; died January 
13, 1815. 

John B., born January 16, 1802; died May 23, 1885; 
married May 3, 1829, Nancy Shapley, born in 1806; died 
October 19, 1897. They resided on the homestead farm 
during the remainder of their lives. Children : Francis 
E., married Janette E. Root; residence, Rockford, 111. 
William D., born February 10, 1833; married September 
18, 1861, Lucy E. Willcox of Preston; until 1889 he re- 
sided on the homestead, when he moved in the village. 
John H., born in 1842; died in 1891; married L. Louise 
Woodruff. 

Eliza P., born August 17, 1804; married Samuel Eddy. 

LucETTA, born June 24, 1807, in Preston, N. Y. ; mar- 
ried February 21, 1836, George N. Havens of Oxford. 

William D., born January 2, 1811 ; died April 11, 1832, 
in Oxford; unmarried. 



I shall show the cinders of my spirits 
Through the ashes of my chance. 

— Shakespeare. 



Ira Willcox. 



Ira Willcox was born in Durham, Greene county, N. Y., 
August 22, 1788. He commenced business in the county 
of his birth, where he resided till 1812, when he removed 
to Norwich, and soon after made his home in Oxford, Avhere 
he lived, until his death, thirty-nine years. On coming to 
this village he opened a store in the vicinity of Washington 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 349 

park. In 1833 he built the brick block on Fort Hill, con- 
tinuing the mercantile business until 1840, when he retired. 
Mr. Willcox was a member of Assembly from this county 
in 1831, and in 1830 was elected president of the Bank of 
Chenango in Norwich, Avhich place he continued to fill 
while he lived. He was a large, fine looking man, weigh- 
ing 200 or more pounds; of strong mind, great energy of 
character and of persevering industry. These qualities soon 
enabled their possessor to acquire a fortune. Mr. Willcox, 
while on a southern trip, died at Jacksonville, Florida, 
November 29, 1852, aged 64. He married Rachel Austin 
September 22, 1813, who was born at Durham, N. Y., Sep- 
tember 22, 1793, and died at Oxford July 31, 1817. On 
February 20, 1819, he married Lucy Willcox, who was born 
at Chatham, Conn., October 28, 1793, and died at Oxford 
January 22, 1873, aged 79, after suffering from consump- 
tion for a quarter of a century. His children were : 

Chauncey a., who died at Oxford September 14, 1817. 

M ARY Elizabeth, a gifted and cultured young lady, who 
only reached the age of 19, dying on July 31, 1838. 

Ann Augusta, for many years prominent in religious 
and social life, of a most friendly and generous spirit. 
Her last years were fraught with disease and suffering; 
she died at Philadelphia November 8, 1885, aged 70 years. 
She married Nathan B. Willcox February 10, 1842, who 
died at Whitesboro, N. Y., February 7, 1854. Two daugh- 
ters survive : Mrs. Theresa B., Zueliz, and Mrs. Charlotte 
Combs of Philadelphia. 

Ira Willcox's store on Fort Hill was the principal one in 
the town, and he had an ashery on one of the streets lead- 
ing to the Lackawanna station. At that day Chenango 
county was new and cleared lands scarce, except along the 
river. He purchased large quantities of ashes gathered 
from the fallows at six cents per bushel, put them into 



350 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

leaches, made Ive and boiled it down to black salts, trans- 
porting tliem to Catskill, from there by sloops to New 
York, where they were sold and the proceeds returned in 
goods to his store. After a time he built ovens and pearled 
the salts into pearl ash, which lessened the weight and in- 
creased the value. Farmers from around the country 
would drive wagons loaded with salts, pearl ash, etc., to 
Catskill, taking a week to make the round trip. They re- 
turned with all kinds of merchandise. For two years Mr. 
Willcox purchased large quantities of oats at fifteen to 
eighteen cents a bushel, potatoes at twelve cents a bushel, 
and butter at six cents a pound, loaded them in arks, con- 
structed of rough planks put together tightly, made on the 
bank of the river near the store, and when the spring 
freshets came floated down the perilous tide to a southern 
market. The first year he had the good luck to pass safely 
down the rapid stream, but the second year he stove up in 
endeavoring to pass a bridge near Harrisburg and lost 
heavily, everything being washed down the river. This was 
the last of the ark business on the Chenango. 



Our human laws are but the copies, more or less imperfect, of 
the eternal laws, so far as we can read them. 

— Froude. 

Village By-Laws in 1810. 



The following extracts from the village by-laws are 
copied from the Chenango Patriot of September 11, 1810 : 

AT A MEETING 

Of the Trustees of the Village of OXFORD, convened at the dwelling 
liouse of Erastus Perkins, innholder, in said Village, on the ^th day 
of September, 1810, the following BYE-LAWS and RESOLVES 
were ordained and estahlished. 

Sec. I. "pE IT RESOLVED BY THE TRUSTEES OF THE VILr 
Jj LAGE OF OXFORD, IN LEGAL MEETING CON- 
VENED, That in addition to the officers particularly defignated by 




LAFAYETTE SgUARE— Before trees were set out in the I'ark in ipos 




FORT HILL MILL — Remodeled trom structure erected shortly after 1800 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 351 

the act of incorporation, there fhall be elected by the Trnftees, when 
it fhall by them be thought expedient, a Vice-Prefident a Secretary, 
and not lefs than two nor more than four officers, to be deflgnated by 
the name of Ediles. * * * The duty of the Ediles fhall be to 
execute all laws relating to the improvement of the ftreets, allies and 
fquares, all laws relating to nuifances, all laws relating to delinquen- 
cies under the fifth and fixth fections of the bye-laws, and fhall alfo 
be pound keepers. 

Sec. II. BE IT ALSO RESOLVED, That all meetings of the Trnf- 
tees hereafter to be had shall be warned by the Prefident, giving four 
hours perfonal notice, or three days public notice in writing, fet up on 
one of the pofts of the central arch of the bridge ; and that all ex- 
traordinary meetings of the free-holders and inhabitants of faid village 
fhall be warnned by the Prefident, giving eight days like notice, or 
publifhing the fame in fome newfpaper printed within the village, 
giving not lefs than five nor more than eight days notice. * * * 

Sec. IV. AND WHEREAS it is at all times convenient that the 
village location be marked with accuracy and diftinctnefs, to prevent 
ambiguity in reference to be made in any bye-law or refolve of the 
Board of Truftees touching the fame, BE IT THEREFORE OR- 
DAINED, That that part of the village fub-allotted and plotted by 
Doctor Jofiah Stephens, lying on the fouth-eaft fide of Chenango-river, 
a plan of which is appended to his truft deed executed to the Prefident 
and Directors of the Chenango Turnpike Road Company, fhall in the 
number of lots, the names of fquares and ftreets, be and the fame is 
hereby eftablifhed. That the ftreet running parallel with the Chenango 
river on the weft fide thereof, fhall for ever hereafter be known by 
the name of Water-ftreet ; that the Public Square on the north-weft 
fide of the river, and between Water-ftreet and the river fhall forever 
hereafter be known by the name of Market-Square ; that the ftreet 
running from Market-Square weft-north-wefterly, commonly known by 
the name of the State Road, be for ever hereafter called and dif- 
tinguifhed by the name of Cayuga ftreet. 

Sec. V. Swine, geefe, and ducks fhall not be fuffered to go at large 
within the village, and if any fuch are found it fhall be the duty of 
the Ediles or any one of them, to caufe the fame to be impounded, and 
the Edile fo impounding the fame fhall immediately thereafter caufe 
a notification thereof to be fet up on one of the pofts of the central 
arch of the bridge. ♦ * * 

Sec. XI. AND WHEREAS it is important both to the convenience 
and fafety of the citizen, that no obftruction be interpofed to the fafe 
paffage over the Chenango-bridge in faid village, BE IT RESOLVED, 
That no individual or individuals fhall be fuffered at any time here- 
after to ufe the faid bridge as a log way, or to lay or depofit thereon 
any log,, logs, or timber of any kind. * * * 

Sec. XII. BE IT ALSO RESOLVED, That as foon hereafter as the 
treafury fhall be in a fituation competent to difburfe the neceflfary 
expenfe, and on the order of the Prefident, the Ediles fhall caufe Main- 
ftreet, from the houfe of Uri Tracy, efquire, to the bridge, Greene- 
ftreet, as far as the Academy, Academy-Square, Merchant's Row, Fort 
Hill Square, Market Square, Water-ftreet from the houfe of Anfon 
Cary, efquire, to the house now occupied by John B. Johnfon, and Cay- 
uga-ftreet to the fchool-houfe, to be lined with lombardy populars or 
other ornamental trees. 



352 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

Sec. XIV. WHEREAS ALSO, the firing of guns in the public ftreeta 
and fquares of the village is a boyifh paftime, not unfrequently at- 
tended with great mifchiefs and hazard to the citizen, the fame is 
hereby prohibited. * * * 

Sec. XIX. The foregoing bye-laws fhall be immeditely printed in 
the Chenango Patriot and fhall go into operation the firft day of 
October, one thoufand eight hundred and ten, and not before. 

By order of the Trustees, 

THOMAS BUTLER, Peesident. 



When I 

. . sleep in dull cold marble. 

Say, I taught thee. 

— Shakespeare. 



David G. Barber. 



David G. Barber, A. M., born February 19, 1817, in 
Fort Ann, N. Y. ; died December 1, 1899, in Oxford ; mar- 
ried September 22, 1841, Milicent E. Griswold of New 
Berlin, born August 9, 1819, died December 6, 1901, in 
Oxford. 

Mr. Barber was born on a farm, but in early life de- 
veloped a desire for an education, which was obtained in 
the district schools, at the old iVcademy at Hamilton, and 
at Oxford Academy, then under the charge of Prof. Merrit 
G. McKoon. He first taught in Litchfield, N. Y., and 
then in other district schools until he located at South 
New Berlin, where he taught a select school for several 
years. From there he went to Norwich and taught in 
the Academy, returning to South Berlin, and in 1859 took 
charge of Oxford Academy as principal, a position he 
held eleven years. No teacher in the long list of instruc- 
tors in the Academy, the history of which covers more than. 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 353 

a century, ever had the love and respect that Prof. Barber 
commanded. He was j^entle, kind, and patient, harsh 
words and forcible methods were unknown, and his school 
was a model of good order and earnest work on the part 
of his pupils. The Academy, during his principalship, en- 
joyed a successful season, and was largely attended. A 
large number of prominent business and professional men 
throughout the country, " my boys," as he was accustomed 
to call them, owe their success in life to the teachings 
and moral principals instilled into their minds by Prof. 
Barber of Oxford Academy. His mild, persuasive powers 
won that love and respect for him that can never be for- 
gotten. In recognition of his successful work as an in- 
structor Madison University, now Colgate, conferred upon 
him, in 1855 the honorary degree of Master of Arts. Years 
previous he was made a town superintendent of schools, 
an ofifice now extinct, a position he held three years. In 
1870 he was elected school commissioner for the second 
district of Chenango county on the Democrat ticket, and 
resigned the principalship of the Academy. He held the 
office for three successive terms, and conducted its affairs 
faithfully. On his retirement from official duties he lived 
a quiet life in his pleasant home just above the village, 
and died commanding the respect of the community. In 
accordance with his expressed wish a gold-headed cane, 
presented to him by his pupils while in the Academy, was 
placed in the casket and buried with him in Riverside 
cemetery. 

Children : 

Elizabeth Freelove, died in infancy. 

ZoRADA, married Rev. Lewis Halsey; died January 2, 
1900, in Phoenix, Ariz. 

Caroline, married George S. Keyes. 

AzALiA, married William T. Coggshall. 



354 ANNALS OF OXFORD 



Clock of the household, the sound of thy bell 
Tells the hour, and to many 'tis all thou canst tell ; 
But to me thou canst preach with the ton^ie of a sage, 
And whisper old tales from life's earliest page. 

— Eliza Cook. 



Benjamin Moore. 



Benjamin Moore, born October 19, 1776, in Massa- 
elmsetts ; died April 16, 1846, in Oxford ; married in 1801, 
Margaret Bell, born July 20, 1784, in the Parish of And- 
worth, Galloway, Scotland; died February 9, 1845, in 
Oxford. 

Mr. and Mrs. Moore came to Oxford shortly after their 
marriage in 1801, while the country was yet wild and 
unbroken. They were obliged to follow " blazed " trees, 
and often were followed by a pack of howling wolves 
which they kept at a distance by carrying firebrands. 
Their early life was passed amid hardships and privations 
known to the pioneers of Chenango county, of which the 
present generation have no comprehension . 

Children, all born in Oxford: 

Elizabeth, born July 29, 1802; died March 5, 1877; 
married Thomas Boot. 

John, born in 1805; died September 2, 1880; married 
June 5, 1834, Mary Ann Dodge, whose death occurred 
December 17, 1889. He was familiarly known as Capt. 
John Moore, receiving his title from being captain in the 
local militia. He was a man of remarkable business judg- 
ment, having accumulated Avhat was considered in his day 
a large fortune. Children : Helen L., born October 5, 
1835, died April 28, 1874, unmarried; George L., born June 
17, 1840, died April 6, 1887, married February 22, 1881, 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 333 

Carrie Darling of Guilford; Margaret Augusta, born Jan 
uary 2, 1851, died in childhood. 

William, born January 30, 1808; died in infancy. 

Benjamin W., bora June 8, 1813; died in infancy. 

Charles B., born February 2, 1814; died suddenly 
September 19, 1896, on the farm upon which he was born, 
now occupied by his son. Married October 28, 1841, Har- 
riet N. Dodge, whose death occurred April 21, 1886. Mr. 
Moore held several town offices creditably and with ability, 
though he never sought political preferment. Child : 
Ward H., married Estella Chaddon. 



In re(K>rds that defy the tooth of time. 

— Young. 



Assessment Roll. 



The following memorandum is taken from assessment 
rolls of the town and shows the valuation of property as 
far back as 1807, or earlier, when the town was called 
Fayette : 

TOWNSHIP OF FAYETTE. 

Garrett Van Waggouer, $600; Peter Whiteside, $900; Jonathan Law- 
rence, $500; Samuel M. Hopkins, $600; John Quackinboss, $1860; 
George Gossmar, $2560. 

OXFORD GORE. 

Andrew Mitchel, $400; Robert Gossmon, $680. 
village OF OXFORD. 

Hoyt, Gold all that Lot of land Withe the Building there on, late the 
homestead of Thomas Butler, Esq., in the village of Oxford at the N. 
E. end of academy Square so called is bounded and decribed as follows, 
to wit : beginning at a point n. * * * along Main Street to Tracy's 
land * * ♦ by Dan Throop's land * * * to academy Square on 
the Common along Side Throop's line * * * to the place of be- 
ginning, being 2 A 2 R 10 P, be it more or less. Amen. So say you all. 

Hoyt, Gold, the large store and lots on which it stands on fort hill 



3s6 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

Square in said village, Being Lots No. 3 »& 4, in a village allotment of 
Lot 92 in Fayette. Being each 50 feet L 7 & a half, $800. 

Assessment Roll of the Real and Personal Estates in the town of 
Oxford, in the County of Chenango, Made the fourteenth Day of May 
in the year of our Lord, one thousand Eight hundred and Seven, By 
Reuben Bristol, Gurdon Hewitt, and Benjamin Yale, Assessors for Said 
Town: 

Ai Beard, $750; James Bennet, $525; Peter Burgot, $1900; Jonathan 
Baldwin, $1500; Zepheniah Eddy, $400; Benjamite Green, $360; Hosea 
Goodspeed, $50; Green Hall, $920. 



Sink or swim, live or die, survive or perish, I give 
my hand and heart to this vote. 

— Daniel Webster. 

Town Meeting, 1811. 



At the annual town meeting held at Perkins' Hotel on 
the first Tuesday of March, 1811, the following persons 
were chosen to fill the following offices: Isaac Sherwood, 
supervisor; Erastus Perkins, town clerk; Samuel Smith, 
Lyman Ives, Hiel Tracy, assessors; Daniel Johnson, Levi 
Sherwood, poor masters; Luther Cowles, Daniel Tracy, 
Asa Gregory, commissioners of highways; Zalmon Smith, 
Samuel Smith, Alvan Woodworth, Silas Haven, Ira Locke, 
constables; Samuel Smith, collector. The pathmasters 
chosen were: David Kichmond, Abel Gibson, Jr., Rufus 
Phelps, Benjamite Green, Levi Sherwood, Alexander Mc- 
Neil, John Nash, Zalmon Barnum, Archibald Lindsey, 
Hewitt trills, Edward Hackett, Jr., Gerrit Burgot, Wil- 
mot ^Munson, Henry Gordon, Ebenezer Belknap,, Simon 
Cook, Augustus Parsons, Elam Yale, Simeon Parker, 
Thomas Kichmond, John Dodge, Abraham Pier, Levi Yale, 
Gurdeon Chamberlain, Thomas Root, Roswell Drake, 
Kniffen Wilson, Elemuel Cornwell, John Anson, Daniel 
Smith, Josiah Hackett, Job Wilcox, W'illiam Bennett, Asa 
Sherwood, Emmaus Locke, Gideon Mead, Aaron Root, 
Asa Havens, Luther Austin, James Cure, Solomon Bundy, 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 357 

Roswell Holmes, Eliphalet Bristol, James Mudge, Jona- 
than Godfrey, Amos Rice, John Cely, Joseph White, Wil- 
liam Cable, Samuel Kent, Samuel Balcom. The fence 
viewers and pound keepers were : David Tillotson, Russel 
Root, Thomas Root, Isaac Boyce, Joseph GifPord, Peter 
Esten, Roswell Morgan, John Nash, Uriah Yale, Amasa 
Coleman, Amos Burlison, James Hayes, Daniel Johnson, 
Samuel Balcom, Andrew Miller, Francis Balcom, John 
Hull, John Miles, Daniel T. Dickinson, Daniel Wetherby. 
At this meeting it was 

Voted, that the Fence viewei's be pound keepers for the present year. 

Voted, that every pound keeper's yard be considered as a sufficient 
pound. 

Voted, that the Fence viewers receive for their services, six shillings 
a day. 

Voted, that Hogs, Horses, Mules, Jacks or Jenneys shall not be free 
Commoners the present year, and every person taking either of them 
to pound shall be entitled to Twenty-five Cents a head. 

Voted, that no beast or tame animal of the four footed kind, shall 
be a free commoner between the first day of November and April 
within half a mile of any Store, Tavern, Grist or Saw mill under a 
penalty of Twenty-five Cents a head. 

Voted, that the owner of every Ram which is found running at 
large between the 10th day of September and the 10th day of Novem- 
ber shall forfeit the sum of Two Dollars, 

Voted, that there be a bounty of Ten Dollars for each Wolf Scalp 
or Panther's caught within the bounds of this Town for the Present 
Year. 

A true record of the Proceedings of Town Meeting for the present 
Year. 

Erastus Perkins, Clerk. 



But just as he began to tell, 

The auld kirk-hammer strak the bell, " 

Some wee short hour ayout the twal, 
Which raised us baith. 

— Burns. 

The Village Bell Ringer. 

The first bell in the county was placed in St. Paul's 
church in this village in 1818, and was rung for many 
years by an old man named Walter Dwiglit Russell. He 
was a well known character, and rang the bell on all occa- 



358 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

sions, morning, noon and night, and for funerals, after 
which he struck the age of the deceased. He used to say 
that he knew when he was a mile away whether he was 
ringing the bell or not. His business was boring pump 
logs for water to be conveyed through the village. The 
following is a fac simile of an advertisement from a paper 
of that period, which gives an idea of the character of the 
'^ old sexton '^ : 

DIS'G DO^G BELL 
PAY ME OFF WELL. 

THE worthy inhabitants of the village of Oxford, who, for one 
long year, have heard the faithful and deep toned admonitions 
of the village bell, which reminds them of the hours of devotion, danger, 
rest, and refreshment, will, in their turn, please to salute my ears with 
the jingle of their CASH. But if they neglect this call, I swear by 
the " hollow head and long tongue " of my sleep destroying instrument, 
that the Justice shall rattle his precepts, and the Constable ring a 
peel that shall make both their ears tingle. 

WALTER DV^^IGHT RUSSEL. 



When I was sick you gave me bitter pills. 

— Shakespeare. 



Levi P. Wagner, M. D 



Dr. Levi P. Wagner was born in Georgetown, Madison 
county, in the year 1830. His early education was aca- 
demic, on completing which he entered the Albany Medi- 
cal College. Upon graduating he came to Oxford in Feb- 
ruary, 1854, and commenced the practice of his profession 
in rooms now occupied by Dr. Chas. E. Thompson, dentist. 
He married January 15, 1857, Julia Emily Sands of 
Oxford, born February 4, 1838, in Franklin, N. Y. Mrs. 
Wagner was the daughter of Marcellus and Louisa ( Cham- 
berlain) Sands. Bereft of her parents at an early period 
in her life, she came to Oxford and resided with her uncle, 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 359 

Dr. Will. G. Sands. Her education was completed at 
Oxford Academy. She died June 18, 1901, in Binghamton, 
while on a visit. 

Dr. Wagner after his marriage purchased the residence 
now known as the Congregational parsonage and moved 
his office thereto, where he remained until commissioned 
surgeon of the 114th Regt, N. Y. Vol., July 29, 1862, 
when he immediately entered upon his duties of the office. 
On the departure of the regiment for the seat of war, Dr. 
Wagner was presented by his townsmen with a revolver, 
and by the Masonic lodge with a sword. He remained with 
the regiment till Sheridan's great battle in the valley of 
the Shenandoah, when he was detached and put in charge 
of the Depot Field Hospital at Winchester, Va., of which 
he had entire control until April 1, 1865. Thereafter he 
had a important position on the staff of Gen. Hancock, 
which he held till his muster-out. After the close of the 
Civil war, becoming enamored of the Southern country, 
the doctor engaged extensively in cotton raising near 
Charleston, S. C, where he died on the 14th of October, 
1872. 

During his residence in Oxford, Dr. Wagner, both in his 
profession and as a citizen, won a large share of the public 
respect and esteem, and in the more intimate relations of 
companion and friend, showed his more generous and ex- 
cellent gifts of head and heart. Mrs. Wagner, with her 
sons, returned from the South after the death of her 
husband and made her home in Norwich. Children : 

William Sands, born August 23, 1858, in Oxford ; mar- 
ried November 24, 1890, Sarah Scott in Norwich. Besides 
at Syracuse. 

Max, born March 14, 1867, in South Carolina; died 
October 1, 1900, near Panay, Island of Luzon; married 
Jennie Macey, and had two children. Served in the United 



36o ANNALS OF OXFORD 

States signal service for six years and later in the govern- 
ment weather bureau at Washington. At the outbreak 
of the war with Spain he volunteered in the signal service 
and spent several months in Cuba and Porto Rico. At 
the close of the war he was honorably discharged from 
service. Soon after he accepted a lieutenant's commission 
and went to the Philippines in charge of the signal service 
with the 26th U. S. Vol. Infantry. Was killed in ambush 
by Filipinos, while en route from Jaro to Santa Barbara 
with Private Lamareux. 

Maud, born September 21, 1868; died in infancy. 

Clement S., twin to Maud, resides in Norwich, and is 
station agent at Lackawanna depot. Unmarried. 

Florence, born in 1871 ; died in infancy. 



In every rank, or great or small. 
'Tis industiy supports us all. 

—Gay. 



Albert C. Hovey 



Albert C. Hovey, son of Simon Hovey of Guilford, N. Y., 
was born in that town April 17, 1827. His grandfather, 
who was an early settler in Guilford, was a brother of 
Gen. Benj. Hovey, the pioneer of Oxford who gave the 
town its name. Albert C. Hovey came to Oxford in the 
fall of 1860, and up to the time of his death, February 
8, 1901, followed the occupation of a farmer. In politics 
he was an active worker in the Eepublican party, and for 
many years held the town office of assessor. He married 
(1) March 6, 1851, Mary L. Small of Millbur>^, Mass., born 
Novetnber 11, 1831 ; died July 31, 1858, in Millbury; mar- 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 361 

ried (2) January 2, 1859, Betsey Burton Woodruff, born 
June 22, 1825, in New Milford, Conn.; died October 1, 
1901. Children, by first Avife : 

Harriet F., married Gerrit Wheeler. Children: Nora, 
married Seymour Fleming; Emma, married Lee Bixby. 

George A., died March 30, 1884; married (1) Julia 
W^heeler; married (2) Marilla Hartwell. Children by 
second wife: Luella, married Homer Padgett; Frank, 
married Bertha Gilbert; Ethel, married Alvin Stead. 

Hiram Frank, in 1887 married Carrie E. Gifford of 
Oxford. He followed agricultural pursuits for many years 
and then moved into the village, where he now conducts 
an extensive livery business. He has been commissioner 
of highway and is now holding the oflSice of deputy sheriff. 

William A., married Anna Doolittle. 

Child by second wife : 

Mary L., married Elroy V. Salisbury, and resides on 
the homestead. 



To tell again a tale once fully told. 

— Bryant. 



A Wolf Hunt 



In the winter of 1818-19 a Avolf had its lair on Fitch 
Hill, three miles above this village, and sheep were missed 
nightly from the neighboring folds. Two young lads, 
Aaron B. Gates and Rathbone Lewis, believing they could 
kill the beast left the schoolhouse on the east side of 
the river at noon one day and started in pursuit. The 
only weapon they had was a gun, which Gates carried. 
On reaching Fitch Hill these bold young hunters found 



362 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

under a pine root the hiding place of the wolf, but it had 
left and they followed the tracks until dark into the town 
of Preston, being unsuccessful in their search. They re- 
traced their steps, but becoming tired and hungry stopped 
for the night with a hospitable neighbor. Next morning 
the boys were joined by a party of a dozen or more and 
again started in pursuit. Fresh tracks were found around 
the pine root, but the wolf was again missing and that 
day's hunt resulted as did the first. The chase was con- 
tinued for more than a week, and on one or two occasions 
kept up through the night by some of the hunters, but still 
the wolf eluded them and killed a sheep every night. 
Horns were blown at intervals to enable those in pursuit 
to keep advised of their companions scattered among the 
hills and valleys. Major James McCall of Preston, a 
great hunter, though rather portly, followed the trail three 
days on horseback. Finally the wolf was driven upon the 
flat below this village, managing though closely watched 
to elude the vigilance of those on guard, and ran upon the 
ice in the river, over the dam and under the bridge, making 
his escape in the direction of Pharsalia with the hunters 
closely following. Night coming on, a number of the party, 
including young Gates, halted at the log house of a Mr. 
Powell, between East Pharsalia and the ^' Hook.'^ They 
were hospitably entertained and early in the morning con- 
tinued the pursuit, which was to close the chase. An 
old hunter named Breed, living near a large spruce swamp 
on what was then known as Moon Hill, hearing the horns 
of the approaching party, suspected the reason and 
watched; soon the wolf came in sight and was shot by 
him. The party, though disappointed at the result of the 
chase, determined to enjoy what was left of it, and placing 
the carcass in a sleigh drove to this village where a great 
time was had. They then went to Norwich, stopping 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 363 

at the Gates farm where another team was hitched to a 
large sleigh and the trophy of the chase placed in a con- 
spicuous position. At that early day liquor was sold in 
nearly every store, and, as the delegation halted in front 
of each, liberal potations were handed out and many of 
the boys got quite mellow before the finish. Mr. Breed 
claimed the large bounty then offered on wolves and got it. 



Independence Day, 1824, 



" I'd sooner ha' brewin' day and washin' day together than 
one o' these pleasurin' days. There's no work so tirin' as 
danglin' about an' starin', an' not rightly knowin' what you're 
goin' to do next. 

— George Eliot. 

In July, 1824, the anniversary of American Independ- 
ence fell upon Sunday, but, notwithstanding this, the citi- 
zens were patriotic and held three celebrations on the 
follow ing day. The Gazette of July 7, states : 

INDEPENDENCE. 

The anniversary of American Independence was celebrated in this 
village on Monday. 

At an early hour a large concourse of citizens of this, and the ad- 
jacent towns, assembled at Perkins' Hotel. Capt. M'Call's troop of 
horse, and Capt. Glover's company of artillery, were paraded to unite 
with the citizens in the proceedings of the day, and deserve much credit 
for their martial appearance and military evolutions. A numerous 
procession was formed and proceeded to the Presbyterian Church. 
When the procession was formed there appeared on the ground. Six- 
teen Revolutionary officers and soldiers — men who had braved the 
dangers of war to secure our country's freedom. They formed them- 
selves into a hollow square, and Col. Tracy the marshal of the day, 
committed to their charge two national standards ; which were borne 
by two of the veterans within the square. The sight of the colours 
under which they had fought and bled, and the sound of martial music, 
appeared to reanimate these old soldiers, they marched off the ground 
with military precision and firmness, in the full enjoyment of the 
blessings of Liberty and Independence. The exercises in the church 
were commenced by an impressive prayer, by the Rev. Mb. Wickham. 



364 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

A choir of singers, and a band of Instrumental music, are deserving 
of great praise, for the highly creditable manner in which they per- 
formed the national and patriotic airs, and other musick selected for 
the occasion. 

The Declaration of Independence was read by Mr. Thorp, at the 
close of which he very eloquently eulogized the writer and the signers 
of that instrument. 

The Oration by Mr. Allen, was listened to with the most profound 
attention. The auditors awarded to him their full approbation of the 
sentiments advanced by him, and were highly gratified by his pathos 
and his eloquence. 

After the exercises at the church the procession again formed, and 
returned to the Hotel, where between 200 and 250 citizens sat down 
to an excellent dinner, provided by Mr. Perkins. — After dinner. Toasts 
were drank, accompanied with the discharge of cannon and music by 
the band. 



In the afternoon upwards of 100 Ladies repaired to Doct. Packer's 
Island with a band of Musick, and partook of refreshments prepared 
for the occasion. Towards evening a number of Gentlemen joined 
them and the day was closed in sociable conversation with much good 
feelings. Several Volunteer Toasts were given containing much senti- 
ment, but which we are unable to publish for want of room. 



The third celebration was reported in the Gazette, as 
follows : 

FOURTH OF JULY IN OXFORD. 

The day was celebrated with unprecedented brilliancy, on the summit 
of the eminence in rear of E. Clark's Hotel. Distinguished fellow citi- 
zens from the adjacent towns honored the day with their presence. 
Mr. Clark dined nearly 500 persons, and it was estimated that 1000 
were present. — It was truly a proud day, for freemen rich and poor. 
Several revolutionary veterans rallied around the proudly waving flag 
of liberty, and drank the memory of our much loved Washington. 

We select a few of the numerous Volunteer Toasts on the occasion : 

By a gentleman from Norwich : 

The Young freemen of Chenango opposed to Patent Gentlemen and 
mock drmcino-room dignity. 

By a gentleman from Coventry : 

The Y'eomanry of the United-States — the tag-rags and hohtails, in 
the hour of doubt and peril their country's best defence. 

By a gentleman from Bainbridge : 

Our Farmers, Mechanics and Laborers — in time of war. Soldiers. 

By a gentleman of Oxford : 

The Sowers of discord — may they reap hemp well twisted. 

By a gentleman of Oxford : 

The officers and soldiers of our country — May they never drai^ the 
sword without cause, nor sheath it without conquest. 

By a gentleman from Pharsalia : 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 36s 

The American Fair — They will never Surrender to any arms but 
those of Freemen. 

The Gazette of July 14, contains the following com- 
munication from the ladies: 

Mr. Hunt, The gentleman who furnished for your last week's paper 
the account of the celebration of the 4th July, at Perkins' Hotel in 
this village, connected with it also (inadvertently no doubt) the Ladies' 
celebration. The Ladies wish it to be distinctly understood that they 
were in no wise identified with either party, and they disclaim any 
newspaper plausibility calculated to mislead the public. They cele- 
brated on "Cork Island" which has always been viewed as neutral 
ground. An invitation was given to all the reputable females within 
the precincts of the corporation, rich and poor. Indeed their primary 
object was to discountenance invidious distinctions in the celebration 
of public festivals. 

In the issue of the following week, Mr. Hunt states : 

It will be seen that on the anniversary of the day from which we 
date our freedom — two or three parties were got up to celebrate that 
event. We regret that on this occasion such animosities among citizens 
of a town should exist, as to prevent a strict unity of feeling and 
good will for each other — and we hesitate not to say, that if a deaf 
ear was turned to the voice of demagogues and designing men and 
that if every individual viewed mankind as they ought that all men 
are horn free, equal, and independent, that no dissentions, no jealousies 
and animosities would exist, but that all would be peace, harmony and 
concord among us — and we hope that when another year shall roll 
around that we may be as united in celebrating as were our fathers 
in achieving our independence. 



On the light of Liberty you saw arise the light of Peace. 

W^KBSTEE. 



Samuel Baldwin, M. D. 



Samuel Baldwin, M. D., was born in November, 1756, 
in the town of Egremont, Berkshire County, Mass. At 
the age of 17 he was one of the drafted militia of his native 
State, and served in the Continental army at different 
periods thirteen months. In the year 1775 he was a '' min- 



366 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

ute man," being called into active service soon after the 
battle of Lexington, on the 19tli of April of that year. 
He joined the Continental troops at Boston, where he re- 
mained three months. In the following January he was 
one of the volunteers who marched into Canada, in prose- 
cution of one of the most difficult and perilous enterprises 
undertaken during the Revolutionary contest. Besides 
suffering from an attack of the smallpox at Montreal, on 
his way to that place, he marched in one day sixty miles, 
on the ice of Lake Champlain. In the spring of 1777 the 
army, under General Gates, having been obliged to re- 
treat before the combined British force of the North, Mr. 
Baldwin returned to Egremont much reduced and en- 
feebled by the hardships and privations which he had 
endured. He w^as drafted again in the following Septem- 
ber, and once more joined the army under General Gates. 
He was present at the battle of Saratoga and witnessed 
one of the most important events of the Revolution, the 
surrender of Burgoyne on the 17th of October, 1777. After 
this Mr. Baldwin devoted himself to study, and succeeded 
in acquiring a substantial education in the ordinary 
branches of English learning, together with a sufficient 
knowledge of the languages to enable him to begin the 
study of medicine. At the age of 28 he entered upon the 
practice of his profession in the town of West Stockbridge, 
Mass., where he continued for sixteen years, during which 
he was twice elected a Representative to the Legislature. 
In the year 1800, after the death of his wife, he removed 
to Wyoming, Pa., where he resided, with the exception 
of two years spent in Ohio, until he came to this village 
in 1819, where he spent the remainder of his life with his 
daughter, Mrs. Epaphras Miller. He died September 2, 
1842, aged 86. 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 367 

Milo Porter. 



Milo Porter, born in 1808 at Waterbury, Conn., came in 
early youth to Smith ville, when he came to Oxford and 
purchased the farm now owned by M. E. Wooster, near 
the W. K. C. Home. Mr. Porter resided upon this place 
forty-five years, or until his death, which occurred August 
27, 1899. Mrs. Porter died August 5, 1889. Children : 

Fidelia, married (1) Samuel A. Small, of Millbury, 
Mass.; married (2) Henry B. Stone, of Worcester, Mass., 
where she died in 1906. 

Pauline, resides in Oxford; unmarried. 

Walker, married Alice Brizee. Resides in Oxford. 

Theodore L., died January 11, 1864, aged 14. 



I have done the state some service, and they know it 
No more of that ; I pray you, in your letters. 
When you shall these unlucky deeds relate, 
Speak of me as I am ; nothing extenuate, 
Nor set down aught in malice. 

— Shakespeabe. 

Nathaniel Locke. 



Nathaniel Locke came to Oxford as early as 1800, for 
he received the appointment of sheriff of Chenango County 
on the 12th of August, 1801, being the second person to 
hold that office in this county. He was also the second 
State senator from Chenango, serving four years from 
1806, and was in the Assembly in 1810. Mr. Locke built 
the residence on Albany street, now occupied by Chas. W. 
Brown, Esq. He married Mary Hovey, daughter of Gen. 
Benjamin Hovey. His death occurred June 6, 1820, at 
the age of 54 years. Child : 



368 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

Charles Floyd Thomas Locke, was born in Oxford 
and became a prominent citizen and business man. He 
served several terms as deputy sheriff, and in 1851 rep- 
resented the town as supervisor, having been elected on 
the Whig ticket. He married in 1817. Addeliza Wood, 
who died May 25, 1854, aged 57 years. His second mar- 
riage was to Mrs. Eliza A. Willcox of Oxford, May 27, 
1855. Her death occurred October 31, 1856, at the age 
of 38 years. Early in 1857 he went on a visit to Omaha, 
and on his return was taken ill in St. Louis, where he 
died May 13. Mr. Locke was very popular in the com- 
munity. A universal joker, he had a word for everybody 
and a curt reply for anything said to him. Whoever of 
his associates met him expected and received a return of 
real wit. He was one of the best hearted men, full of 
sympathy for the afflicted and an open hand for charitable 
purposesc Children by first wife: 

Mary G., born in 1818; died December 20, 1849, in 
Portsmouth, Ohio; married Smith. 

John Van Ness, born in 1820. He received the title of 
Major during his connection Avith a militia company in 
this village. In July, 1852, he went to California and 
his efforts in mining were favored by fortune. On the 
17th of October of that year, while driving a loaded team 
between Stockton and the mines, the mules took fright 
and threw him to the ground, where the wheels of the 
wagon passed over him, terminating his existence. Mar- 
ried September 18, 1845, in Utica, Catherine Helen Clarke, 
born March 29, 1819, in Brookfield, N. Y. Children : Mary 
Elizabeth, married September 1, 1869, in Chicago, Edwin 
Hanson; residence, Denver. John Foote, residence^ 
Denver. Child by second Avife: 

Helen, married Clarence R. Miner of Oxford. 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 369 



I do remember an Apothecary, 
Aud hereabouts he dwells. 

— Shakespeare. 



Samuel Ray Clarke, M. D. 



Dr. Samuel Ray Clarke, brother of Ethan Clarke, born 
in Brookfield, N. Y., November 6, 1800, came to Oxford 
and opened an office on the west side of the river where 
he practiced, and later carried on the drug business, with 
the exception of one or two short periods, until his death, 
which occurred June 1, 18G0. Married Susan Maxon, 
daughter of Capt. William Cheever, October 15, 1827, at 
Oriskany, N. Y., who survived him but a short time, her 
death occurring on the 29th of October, 1860. Four sons 
were born to them. Dr. Clarke had, at different times, 
associated with him as partners in the drug business, E. 
G. Babcock, and from September, 1846, till June, 1847, 
Dr. George Douglas. In April, 1856, he disposed of his 
stock of drugs and medicines to his sons William H. and 
Herbert R., who dissolved the copartnership in September, 
1857, the former continuing the business till April, 1858, 
his store in the Clarke block having been burned in the 
preceding February, when Dr. Clarke again became pro- 
prietor. He was a man of very fair standing in his profes- 
sion, a good citizen, generous, public spirited and hos- 
pitable. Their children were: 

Herbert Ray Clarke, born August 1, 1828, in Leonards- 
ville, N. Y. ; married in Philadelphia, June 3, 1857, Mary 
Whitney, daughter of Eli Wescott Bailey, died October 



370 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

18, 1886, in Jersey City. Children: Herbert B., Fannie 
W., William H., Grace. 

William Henry Clarke, born March 21, 1832, in Ox- 
ford ; died at St. Paul, Minn., January 17, 1862 ; married 
in Greene, July 28, 1857, Julia Mc^Mahon born in New 
Milford, Conn., September 5, 1836, died March 15, 1864, 
at Oxford. Had one child, Henry McMahon, born May 8, 
1860, died March 11, 1861. 

James Orville Clarke, born May 11, 1836, at Oxford; 
married (1) July 11, 1860, Marie Louise, daughter of Dr. 
Austin and Jane (Perkins) Rouse of Oxford; married 
(2) March 17, 1881, Marian L., widow of Jacob Winants, 
and daughter of Chauncey and Rebecca Devendorf, at 
Savannah, Ga. Children by first wife : Fred Rouse, born 
April 17, 1861, at Oxford, died at Chicago, December 19, 
1881 ; Charles Carter, born December 17, 1863, at Oxford, 
died April 17, 1894; Louise Maxson, born August 19, 
1865, at Jersey (^ity, married at Chicago, June 20, 1887, 
John Herbertw^Chiidren by second wife: Alma Marian, 
born in Savannah, Ga., February 12, 1882; James Or- 
ville, born in Ocala, Fla., August 4, 1887; John Dunn, 
born in Ocala, Fla., September 28, 1889. 

Sarah Cornelia Clarke, born March 17, 1841; died 
September 26, 1842. 

George Cheever Clarke, bom January 11, 1844, in 
Oxford; married in 1871, in Mt. Vernon, Ohio., Clemmie, 
daughter of John Gershaw and Elizabeth (Curtis) Plymp- 
ton, died July 17, 1886, in New York City. Children: 
Lizzie P., George H. 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 371 



Everybody's family doctor was remarkably clever, and was 
understood to have immeasurable skill in the management 
and training of the most skittish or vicious diseases. 

— George Eliot. 

Edward York, M. D. 



Edward York, M. D., was bom at North Stonington, 
Conn., August 26, 1797. He graduated at Yale Medical 
School, and in 1824 went to McDonough, where in August, 
1825, he married Lydia Stratton. They lived for a time 
in East Smithville, now Tyner, he being the only physician 
that ever located there; then moved to Oxford, where his 
brother, Jeremiah York, and his sister, Mrs. Randall 
Maine, were living. Here he built a house on the west side 
of the river, but after about a year returned to McDonough 
and bought his father-in-law's farm, where he lived until 
about 1843, when failing health obliged him to give up 
both the farm and the practice of his profession. He 
moved to Oxford and bought a house on Mechanic street, 
where he died May 16, 1855. Mrs. Y^ork sold the homestead 
in 1877 and moved to Westfield, N. Y^., to reside with her 
only son, George P. York. She died there on the 10th of 
February, 1888, aged 80. Dr. York was fond of his pro- 
fession, and in many of his ideas was in advance of the 
thought and practice of his time. He was a man of excel- 
lent character, but his timidity, resulting from a want of 
confidence in his abilities, unfitted him for the profession. 
Children : 

Minerva, married Abel Patchen. 

Mary, unmarried. 

Rachel, married Zacharias Paddock. 



372 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

George P., died August 19, 1888, in Westfield, aged 50 ; 
unmarried. 

Maria, died January 26, 1855, aged 15. 

ACHSA, married Dr. William H. Tanner ; died in August, 
1904, at Waterbury, Conn. 

Alice, unmarried 

Jenny, married in 1873 J. Arthur Skinner of West- 
field, N. Y. 



Thomas Brown 



Thomas Brown, whose death occurred April 2, 1848, at 
the age of 08 years, at an early day lived upon the farm now 
occupied by the Woman's Eelief Corps Home. His wife, 
Rebecca Jewell, who died June 8, 1843, at the age of 58 
years, was a sister of Gilbert Jewell, a well known farmer 
of North Guilford, (born October 12, 1794; died June 16, 
1876). Mr. Brown was a builder of bridges and mills, and 
was associated with Theodore Burr, a prominent bridge 
builder in the early days of this town. He built the long 
bridge at Sunbury, Pa., over the Susquehanna river, and it 
was there while engaged in this work his daughter, Sarah 
J., who married Levi Nichols, was born. His son, George 
T. Brown, who resided at the head of Albany street, died, 
April 16, 1882. Sarah, his wife, died January 7, 1892. 
His other children were: Alpheus, Gurdon, and William. 
Mrs. Brown was a daughter of Elisha Jewell of Trenton, 
N. J., who owned a stage coach line running between Tren- 
ton and New York and Philadelphia. 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 373 



Thou know'st that all my fortunes are at sea. 

— Shakespeare. 



Hatch Family, 



The following record of the Hatch family in this country 
begins with Elisha Hatch, born in 1689, the record not 
giving his birth place. He died April 15, 1770, in Green 
River, Columbia, county, N. Y. 

Among his children was Samuel, born June — , 1720, 
in Rhode Island ; died April 30, 1797, in Hillsdale, N. Y. 
He was a sea captain and his mate was John Sweet, and 
the two owned the vessel they cruised in. After the death 
of Sweet, Captain Hatch married the widow of his mate. 
Captain Hatch followed the sea forty years, and then 
bought a farm in Hillsdale. Children : 

Samuel, was drowned while at sea with his father. * The 
body was recovered and buried at Hadam, Conn. At one 
time he was with a shipwrecked crew, and they were 
several days without food. Finally one night, becoming 
desperate from hunger, they resolved that the next day 
they would draw cuts to decide who should be sacrificed to 
save the lives of the remainder of the crew. But when 
morning dawned a vessel appeared, which rescued them 
from their perilous position and from the horrible ordeal 
they had planned to put in practice but a few hours before. 
At another time his crew were taken by the Morgans 
and they again suffered for lack of food, but for not as long 
a period. 

John, born May 4, 1761 ; was drowned July 26, 1839, in 
the Chenango river at South Oxford; married March 22, 
1790, Martha Bassett, died June 3, 1850, in Oxford, aged 
86 years. John was the only heir to his father's (Captain 



374 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

Samuel Hatch's) property in Hillsdale, which was a part 
of the Van Rensselaer claim. When the court decided it 
belonged to YanKensselaer John was left with scarcely 
anything, and moved to Oxford, where he bought land 
three miles below the village, upon which he remained 
until his death. Children : 

Hannah, born May 11, 1791 ; died in childhood at Hills- 
dale. 

Samuel, born October 13, 1792, at Hillsdale. 

John S., born July 26, 1794, at Hillsdale ; died of fever 
and ague Februarj^ 13, 1846, in Oxford; married January 
1, 1834, Irene Kilbourn, born March 30, 1815, at Hawley, 
Mass. Child : Thomas J., born October 28, 1834, in Ox- 
ford; married Mary E. Scoville at Mt. Morris, N. Y. ; 
(children, John S., Ida J., Orra, Ira M.). Jane Eliza, 
born October 29, 1836, in Oxford ; married March 7, 1854, 
A. D. Snyder, at Cuba, N. Y. ; (children, Allen, Ivan, Ethel, 
died January — , 1892 ; Evelyn, married Walter P. Boname 
of Oxford; died February — , 1894; child, William). 
Francis Irene, born April 26, 1844, in Oxford; married 
William Kellar October 18, 1863, at Cuba, N. Y. 

Sally, born May 16, 1796, at Hillsdale; died January 
17, 1892, in Oxford; married (1) John I. Powers; married 
(2) Shubel Bliss. 

Charles C, born March 10, 1798, at Hillsdale. 

Hannah, 2d born December 1, 1801, at Hillsdale ; died 
August 19, 1875, in Oxford; married September 11, 1832, 
Ira Merrill in Oxford, born November 10, 1806, in Water- 
bury, Conn. Ira Merrill's second wife was Mrs. Irene 
Hatch, widow of John S. (Children of Hannah and Ira: 
Martha, born October 31, 1833 ; died September 23, 1864 ; 
married November 29, 1854, Edgar Hull. Evalina, born 
April 23, 1836; died January 13, 1854. Mary M., bora 
November 29, 1839; died April 10, 1870.) 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 375 

Margaret, born January 12, 1803, at Hillsdale, N. Y. ; 
died June 14, 1883, in Oxford ; married September 9, 1833, 
Benjamin K. Barber of Oxford, born November 11, 1802; 
died November 9, 1891. Children: Charles Oscar, born 
December 4, 1834, in Oxford; married in 1857 Celinda O. 
Finch; fitted himself for a teacher; Avas in Civil war, after 
which located in Kansas. Sarah, born June 2, 1837, in 
Oxford ; died March 22, 1901, in Oxford ; unmarried. Irene, 
born February 29, 1840; married (1) John Lord of Ox- 
ford; (2) George Salvage of Bolivar, N. Y., where she 
resides. Thomas A., born March 9, 1843 ; during Civil war 
enlisted in 89th N. Y. S. Regt. in August, 1861; Avounded 
December — , 1862, and after several months in hospital 
was discharged and returned home May 20, 1863; died 
July 29, 1863. John W., born July 28, 1846; died August 
20, 1848. 

Thomas, born March 29, 1806, in Hillsdale, N. Y. ; died 
October 3, 1829, in New Tro}^, Pa. 



Labour, \A'ide as the earth, has its summit iu heaven, 

— Cablyu:. 



William Lett. 



William Lett, born in 1820 at Timacross, County Wex- 
ford, Ireland; died December 9, 1895, in Oxford; married 
in 1845 Catherine, daughter of Edward D'Arcey and Bar- 
bara Kirkman (Hodges) Clifford of Ashfield and Castle 
Annesley, County Wexford, Ireland. They left the " Green 
Isle " in 1851 and after a long and tedious voyage arrived 
in America and located in Oxford. Mrs. Lett was born in 
1830 and with two dauj?hters still resides in Oxford. Mr. 



376 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

Lett was an industrious and persevering man, and in a 
short time was able to provide a comfortable home for his 
family. He assisted in laving out Kiverview cemetery and 
lived to see a large majority of his early acquaintances 
taken their for their final rest. In later years he twice 
visited his native land, but still had a fond affection for 
his adopted country. Children : 

Elizabeth, a sister in the Loreto Convent, Gary, Ire- 
land. 

EiCHARD, went to Texas, and nothing heard from him in 
years. 

Charles, died March 10, 1906, in Oxford. 

Margaret J., married Thomas Nowlan of Binghamton. 
Since his death has resided in Oxford. 

Sarah F., unmarried. 



Only the Actions of the jnst 

8niell sweet and blossom in the dust. 

— Shirley, 



William E. Chapman 



William E. Chapman was born in Ithaca May 10, 1806. 
His mother died when he was young and the family was 
quite broken up. Mr. Chapman went to New York, learned 
the printer's trade and spent several years there with the 
Harpers, who thought very much of him. He became a 
member of the " Marine Temperance Society of the Port 
of New York," and was an earnest, faithful worker in the 
temperance cause the rest of his life. He came to Oxford 
about the year 1828, and on the 10th of December of that 
year, with Daniel Mack, purchased the Chenango Re pub- 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 377 

lican, tlien published in this village by Benjamin Corry. 
On March 3, 1831, Mr. Chapman and T. T. Flagler com- 
menced a new series and soon after changed the name to 
The Oxford Rcpnhlican. In 1838 Mr. Chapman became 
sole proprietor and continued the business of publisher, 
and also conducted a book store for a few years, when he 
sold to eJ. Taylor r>radt, and purchased the farm now 
owned and occupied by O. M. West over. After several 
years spent upon the farm he retired from active business 
pursuits and returned to the village to spend his remaining 
days, 

Mr. Chapman was a consistent member of the Methodist 
Episcopal Church, and had witnessed its growth in this 
village from the erection of the first edifice, and w^as 
actively identified with its welfare through his long and 
worthy life. For more than ten years he was a member of 
the Board of Trustees of Oxford Academy. In his life he 
manifested tlie qualities of the good citizen, the kind neigh- 
bor, and steadfast friend and patron of the religious and 
educational interest of the community. His death occur- 
red August 21, 1887, at the age of 81 years. Mr. Chapman 
was twice married. His first Avife was Harriet Sellick, who 
died June 19, 1829, leaving three daughters and one son: 

Emily, married David C. Bronson, and died in 1872. 
Children: William C, married Ella E. Painter; has one 
daughter, Mrs. E. W. Tallman. Henry W., married Carrie 
Wiltsie; has one daughter, Imogene. Carrie J., died in 
1857. Addie I., married John Tyler. 

Harriet Elizabeth, still resides in Oxford; married 
Henry B. AVillcox, noAV deceased. 

Thomas E., was a member of the 44th N. Y. Cavalry 
during Civil war, and now a member of the G. A. R. ; mar- 
ried (1) S. Arline Westover; married (2) Ida M. Birdie- 



378 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

bough. Children bj first wife: Clarence W., married 
Maggie C. Carter; have one son, Stuart R. Alice May. 

Arminta M., married Charles W. Miles, and died at 
Saratoga February 23, 1881. Had one son, C. Grosvenor, 
now living in NeAV York. 

Mr. Chapman's second wife was Sarah L., daughter of 
Rev. Peter Lowe, born at Flatbush, L. I., in 1804, and 
died in Oxford January 19, 1887, aged 82. She was a 
sister of Mrs. Gerardus VanDerLyn, came here in 1829 
and was married to Mr. Chapman in April 1840. Had one 
daughter : 

Sarah Eliza, married Osmer M. Westover. 



Our country ! in her intercourse with foreign nations, may she 
always he in the riglit ; but our country, right or wrong. 

— Stephen Decatub. 

Independence Day, 1852. 



Oxford has been famous in times past for its Cork Island 
duel, the great Greek ball, and the celebrated Bridge bee. 
Matters of so much notoriety as to have found their way 
into the history of the county. We now place before our 
readers a description of the Fourth of July celebration in 
1852, which was carried out in the good old fashioned 
way. 

Thirteen guns saluted the rising sun, and the merry peal 
of the village bells fell harmoniously upon the waking 
senses of our citizens. Long before the hour assigned for 
the commencement of the exercises a larger gathering than 
had ever before assembled in our town had congregated 
upon Lafayette Square. The Oxford Guards, led by 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 37Q 

Colonel John C. Bowers, were out in all their glory, and 
full of the original spirit. The members of the Fire Com- 
pany, in neat and uniform dress, with Niagara engine 
decorated with flowers, also took a part in the exercises. 
At 10 o'clock the procession formed in front of the Stage 
House, Major Samuel A. Gilford acting as marshal and 
Colonel Solomon Bundy as assistant, and moved to Wash- 
ington Square, marching to the stirring sound of martial 
music. Then, after an eloquent prayer by the Kev. S. Han- 
son Coxe, and music by the Gilbertsville Brass Band, the 
Declaration of Independence was read by Benjamin Sher- 
wood, Esq. An exceedingly appropriate oration was then 
pronounced by James AY. Glover, Esq., Avho adorned its 
close by a graceful and elegant address to a surviving 
soldier of the Revolution, j^resent upon the platform, Mr. 
Ebenezer Terry of Guilford, aged 99. 

During its delivery a wagon fantastically decorated and 
filled with some dozen young men, evidently bound on a 
spree, entered the village from the north. As it advanced 
they struck up a lively air, discoursing music from tin- 
horns, old pans, drums, and cowbells. Proceeding to the 
ground where the exercises were in progress, it was evident 
that a disturbance was contemplated. They were warned 
not to go on the ground, but not heeding the kindly warn- 
ing, their vehicle was suddenly arrested in its progress, 
the music silenced, the instruments abandoned, and the 
serenading party, driving their detached horses before 
them, beat a precipitate retreat and disappeared in a sorry 
plight in the direction from which they came. Their 
wagon found a calm retreat in the waters of the Chenango. 
The incident furnished material for many humorous jokes, 
and will explain some allusions made at the feast. 

At the close of the oration three enthusiastic cheers were 
given for the reader and the orator. The benediction was 



38o ANNALS OF OXFORD 

pronounced by the Rev. Henry Callahan. Cheered by a 
lively piece from the band, the procession again formed 
and marched to La Fayette Square, where beneath the 
shade of a pleasant arbor a sumptuous dinner was pre- 
pared. An ox had been roasted whole for the occasion, 
and 520 persons sat down to the entertainment. Great 
numbers were unable to obtain seats at the table and dined 
at the hotels. After the clotli was removed the thirteen 
regular toasts were called for, each one being followed by 
three hearty cheers, one gun, and music by the band. The 
following toasts were then given : 

By David Brown, President of the day. — Generals Scott and Pierce; 
Each leading a great army to battle. May the fight be an honorable 
one; and may the vanquished party render cheerful obedience to the 
rule of the victors. 

Received with three hearty cheers. 

By Ransom Balcom, Esq. — The Orator and Reader of the Day: Not 
like prophets who are without honor in their own country — their talents 
are properly appreciated at home. 

To this Henry S. Monroe responded. He arose amid 
tremendous cheers and made a most brilliant and effective 
speech. He alluded in the most felicitous terms to the 
sacrificing of the ox, and to the artist who had rendered 
him immortal. He spoke of the glory and recollections of 
the day, and paid a high compliment to the patriotism of 
the citizens of Oxford. At the close of a most judicious 
and entertaining speech he presented : 

The name of Ransom Balcom: The true Patriot, the distinguished 
Advocate, and the gifted Artist. (Mr. Balcom engraved the cut repre- 
senting the ox upon the bills.) 

Six cheers were given and Mr. Balcom was loudly called 
for. His response was eloquent and patriotic. He alluded 
to the fact that Oxford was the only place in the count^^ 
where an ox had ever been roasted whole. He said in olden 
times a certain people made a golden calf, which they 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 381 

could not eat, but worshipped; that the citizens of this 
place, discarding the ancient example set them, had 
slaughtered an ox, which they roasted whole and fed to 
the multitude. The calf of olden time was only food for 
the eye, whereas the ox of to-day was food for the stomach. 
There was no artist who had given us a picture of the 
golden calf, but if his friend (Monroe) was to be credited, 
there was one who had furnished a cut for the roasted ox, 
and had thus rendered the real four-footed beast of the 
day immortal. His speech throughout was exceedingly 
appropriate to the occasion. 

William H. Hyde was called upon. He said that he 
was forcibly reminded by the carniverous visit of certain 
ill-disposed persons of a historic reminiscence quite in 
point. After the destruction of Troy by the Greeks, and 
wiien Aneas and his companions, after long wanderings, 
had landed upon the Strophades and spread on the shore 
their tables for a repast, the Harpies, flying monsters, at- 
tracted by the savory viands, flew down and stripped the 
tables. We had received a similar visit, but thanks to a 
few gallant patriots, our tables are unharmed — our noble 
ox was untouched. We do not blame them very much. A 
strong southern breeze wafted the savor of beef northward. 
They had had no beef for many weeks, and through their 
streets rang beef! beef! beef! Unlike the Harpies, they 
left their feathers behind them, and got no uecf. If they 
will send down that wagon we will send them a boiie. He 
closed with the following toast: 

The Harpies who hovered around our Ox: If their impudence con- 
tinues to keep pace with their rapacity, we hope soon to be taxed for 
a jail enlargement. 

Three tremendous cheers followed. 
S. Bundy then presented the banner which the " Har- 
pies " had hoisted upon their ill-fated vehicle when enter- 



382 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

ing the town, which was captured by one of the gallant 
Oxford Guards, accompanied b}^ the following: 

The unicclcome Delcgntion from the North: Behold, their once prond 
banner has become the plucked feathers of the " Hai-pies." 

G. H. Perkins, after a few appropriate remarks gave the 
following toast, which was drank standing and in silence : 

The Memory of Henry Clay: As his life was an emblem of the 
progress, success, and glory of our country — the recollections of his life 
will grow dearer to every true-hearted American. (Henry Clay died 
June 29, 1852.) 

So when the great and good go down, 

Their statues shall arise 
To crowd those temples of our own, 

Our fadeless memories. 

By James W. Glover — Hungary and Ireland — deserving to be added 
to the catalogue of independent nations; may a day like this soon be 
theirs. 

By T. 8. Packer — The Oxford Firemen. They will never be able to 
throw water enough, even through their extra 100 feet of hose, to 
quench the fires of their patriotism. 

By Win. H. Hamilton — The Fair of our County. Unlike our County 
Fair, for the reason that the largest does not always take the pref- 
erence. 

By James Coley — The Ox roasted here to-day ; his has been the un- 
usual and distinguished honor of being sacrificed in the cause of 
liberty. 

By a Guest — Captain Frederick Hopkins ; The last survivor of Revo- 
lutionary times in Oxford. Would that Providence might prolong his 
days in comfortable health, with the power, fairy-like, never to grow 
older until the Fourth of July shall cease to be celebrated by the 
American people. 

The best feeling prevailed at the table, and the toasts 
were drunk amid the most patriotic demonstrations. In 
the evening there was an exhibition of fireworks, including 
the throwing of fireballs, which were large balls of cotton 
soaked in camphene, lighted and hastily thrown from one 
direction to another until burned out. 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 383 



Of manners gentle, of affections mild; 
In wit a man, simplicity a child. 

— Pope, 



George Stone, 



Among the early settlers in the eastern part of the town 
was George Stone, who emigrated from Foster, R. I., in 
1827, where he was born in 1788. He, with his wife and 
four sons, the eldest eleven years of age, came w^ith an ox 
team over a rough road, traveling many days on the way 
through an unbroken wilderness, encountering many a 
wolf, panther, and other wild beasts. He bought a farm 
of Joshua White, which was partly cleared and had a small 
frame house, and 

" A rusty-gray curb, round a rugged stone well. 
Where with dangle of bucket the sweep rose and fell." 

Here Mr. Stone passed the remainder of his days, dying 
May 14, 1839. He married in 1813 Naomia Bennett, born 
in 1788, and died February 10, 1835, in Oxford. Children : 
George W., married Jane Stratton and settled in Penn- 
sylvania. 

Jonathan, married Minerva Price and settled in Illi- 
nois. 

Zebulon, died in Oxford; unmarried. 

Joshua B., born October 11, 1816, in Foster, R. I. ; died 
December 26, 1867, in Oxford; married February 5, 1840, 
Anna Matteson, born August 26, 1813, in Otsego county; 
died April 26, 1895, in Oxford. Mr. Stone remained on 
the homestead, and the same farm is now^ owned by his 
son, Charles, having been in the family well toward one 



384 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

hundred years. Three years after her husband's death, 
Mrs. Stone married LeAvis B. Anderson. Believing in early 
life that she had a special work to do for God and human- 
ity, for nearly half a century she devoted her life to that 
purpose. She often conducted services in the Free Will 
Baptist Church in East Oxford and was a preacher of more 
than ordinary ability. She had lived in that vicinity nearly 
sixty years, and her kindly ways and social disposition 
gained for her friends from all stations of life. 

Children of Joshua B. and Anna (Matteson) Stone: 
Mary C, married December 27, 1859, Joseph P. Turner of 
Oxford. Charles M., married October 21, 1874, Ada 
Smith of Oxford. ( Children : Jessie, married Jesse Jacobs 
of South Oxford; Anna, married Irving McNitt of South 
Oxford, and resides in Norwich.) Mr. Stone has been 
supervisor of the town two terms. He has been prominent 
in town politics and is an influential and able member of 
the Eepublican organization. Jennie F., married O. A. 
Campbell of Brooklyn. George H., married Grace Beebe 
of Mai'athon and resides in Tacoma, Wash. Jessie F., 
died August 12, 1874, aged 17. 



List ; a brief tale. 

— Shakespeare. 

Visited by Indians, 



In 1826 there lived near the western part of the town 
Richard Holdridge, a hatter by trade, and he also taught 
the school in that neighborhood. One morning he arose 
early and finished a bonnet that a neighboring housewife 
had ordered, and then proceeded to the school house. 

Mrs. Holdridge and baby were alone in the little house,. 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 



J^y 



and while busily engaged about her household duties was 
startled by the opening of the door and the entrance of a 
number of Indians. Among them was a squaw, who, seeing 
the infant at play on the lloor, picked it up tenderly and 
chanted an Indian lullaby. Mrs. Holdridge was now 
greatly alarmed as she thought her baby was to be taken 
from her, but soon saw tears trickling down the dusky 
face of the squaw, who by gestures indicated that she had 
recently lost her papoose, and that Mrs. Holdridge need 
feel no alarm as the little one would not be harmed or taken 
away. 

In the meantime the remainder of the party had made a 
tour of inspection in the little house, and among all the 
articles they inspected the new bonnet was the only thing 
that really caught their eye. The chief, or leader of the 
party, who was tall and very stout, approached Mrs. Hold- 
ridge, and with the bonnet in his hand exclaimed, "Me 
want this ! " She endeavored to explain that it w^as not her 
property and could not give it away, but to no purpose, 
and reluctantly granted the request, rather than have them 
make further search in the house for articles that could 
not be as easily replaced. The unwelcome guests soon 
departed with the chief in the lead wearing the odd head- 
gear with much sedateness and pride. 



The' unwieldy elephant, 
To make them mirth, us'd all his might, and wreathed 
His lithe probocis. 

— Melton. 

Early Exhibitions. 



One of the first exhibitions of wild animals to appear in 
Oxford was held in the hotel barns in August, 1822. In 



3S6 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

one barn was a large African lion and a monkey; in the 
other was a leopard, tiger and monkey. It was the town 
talk for many a day and but few missed the wonderful 
sight brought to their doors by the caravan. The follow- 
ing announcement appeared in the Oxford Gazette: 

^®=T0 THE CUKIOUS. 

A FULL GROWN 

AFRICAN LION. 

With several smaller Animals, to be seen at Mr. Clark's hotel in 
Oxford, on Saturday the 24th and Monday the 26th of August. Hours 
of exhibition from 9 o'clock in the morning until 5 in the evening — with 
good music on an Organ. — Admittance 12 1-2 cents, children half price. 

THE BRAZILIAN TIGER 

AND 

AFRICAN LEOPARD, 

with several smaller Animals, also to be seen at the same time and 
place as above — with good music on different instruments. — Admittance 
12 1-2 cents, children half price. 

The first theatrical troup that came to this village was 
the Walsteins in September, 1823. The performance was 
given on Fort Hill in an old store, situated between the 
brick block and the building now occupied by the Me- 
morial library. The building was then used as a Lancas- 
terian School, in those primitive days of the scholastic 
reign of Joseph Lancaster. It was a huge barn-like, un- 
painted barracks. The stage and its gaudy decorations 
were fitted up for a week's campaign. The following is 
the advertisement taken from the Gazette: 

OXFORD 

THEATRE, 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 387 

THIRD NIGHT. 

MR. & MRS. WALSTEIX, (late Mrs. Baldwin, of the London and 
New York Theatres,) have the honour respectfully to announce to the 
inhabitants of Oxford and its vicinity, their intention of performing 
with a Theatrical Party, at Fort Hill Old Store, this evening, Sept. 

24, when will be presented the celebrated Comedy of 

MATRIMONY; 

Or; the Castle of Dc Linihurg. 
After which the foUoicing Vocal Entertainments: 

A favourite Hunting Song, by Mrs. ^yalstein, 

•' Barney leave the Girls alone," Mr. Gilbert, 

'* The Hayband " — a Yorkshire Song, Clarendon, 

'* Five to One, or the Rival Lovers," Walstein. 

To conclude with the celebrated Comic Opera of the 

POOR SOLDIER. 

TICKETS tw^enty-five cents, to be had at Mr. Clark's Bar, & Mr. 
Throop's Office. — Doors open at seven, and curtain to rise at half after 
seven. — Front seats reserved for the Ladies. 

The following advertisement from the Gazette of June 

25, 1823, announces the appearance of an elephant, prob- 
ably the first that was ever exhibited in this town. A 
single elephant at that time excited more interest than the 
droves that circus companies own at the present day, and, 
probably, the small boy with those of a larger growth, 
were up early in the morning to welcome the great pachy- 
dermatous mammalia and later, to Avitness the " sagacious 
animal draw a cork from a well filled bottle and drink the 
contents " — a feat that, undoubtedly, many of the patrons 
imitated successfully, and accounts for the custom that is 
kept up to this day on public occasions, and especially 
when Barnum with his " Greatest on Earth " invades the 
country : 



388 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

AN EXHIBITION 
Of A Natural Curiosity, 

THE LARGE AND LEARNED 

ELEPHANT. 

TO be seen at Clark's Tavern, in the village of Oxford, on Friday and 
Saturday, the 4th and 5th of Jnly, 1823. 

This wonderful Animal, which for Sagacity and Docility exceeds any 
one ever imported into this country, will go through her astonishing 
performances, which have excited the admiration of every beholder. 

The Elephant is not only the largest and most sagacious animal in 
the world, but from the peculiar manner in which it takes its food and 
drink of every kind with its trunk, is acknowledged to be one of the 
GREATEST NATURAL CURIOSITIES, ever offered to the public. 

She is nearly 8 feet high, 20 feet fit>m the end of her trunk to that 
of her tail, 12 feet 6 inches round her body, 3 feet 9 inches round her 
legs, 3 feet 6 inches round her feet, and is judged to weigh between 
SIX & SEVEN THOUSAND POUNDS. 

Some of the amusing exercises of this animal, are, to kneel to the 
company, balance her body alternately on each pair of legs, present her 
right foot to enable her keeper or any other person to mount her trunk, 
carry them about the room and safely replace them, draw a cork from 
a filled bottle and drink the contents, and then present the empty 
bottle and cork to her keeper. She will lie down, sit up, and rise at 
command, bows and whistles at request, answers to the call of her 
keeper, she takes from the floor a small piece of money with her trunk 
and returns it to her keeper, besides many other marks of sagacity. 
Those wishing to gratify their curiosity, may now have an opportunity. 

Music on the ancient Jewish Symbal. 

Admittance 12 1-2 Cents, ChUdren under 12, half price. Hours of 
exhihition from 9 in the morning until 5 in the evening. 



Alike all ages : dames of ancient days 

Have led their children through the mirthful maze : 

And the gay grandsire, skill'd in gestic lore. 

Has frisk'd beneath the burden of threescore. 

— Goldsmith. 



Grand Ball. 



In the year 1823 the sympathies of the citizens of Ox- 
ford were aroused by the revolution progressing in Greece. 
Her people had long suffered from oppression and cruel- 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 389 

ties imposed by the Turks living among them, who littk» 
expected that the time of retribution was at hand. As 
the Greeks became enlightened by contact with the world 
at large they chafed under the tyranny of their oppressors 
and resolved to throw off the yoke of the Moslems. They 
organized a secret society whose members were solemnly 
pledged to fight for the emancipation of their country. 
When the signal was given for the rebellion to begin there 
was a general response throughout all Greece. The spirit 
of Miltiades and Leonidas possessed them. The uprising 
became so serious that the Turks resorted to the most 
extreme cruelties in their defence; churches were pillaged 
and hundreds of priests slain, while men, women and 
children were massacred, and towns ruined and given to 
the flames ; the monuments of Grecian glor^^ were trampled 
beneath the feet of the merciless Moslem. Our people were 
anxious to assist in relieving such sufferings, and devised 
a plan for a Greek Ball, for Avhicli the price of tickets w^as 
to be three dollars and the balance above expenses should 
be given to the Greeks. A meeting was called and the 
accompanying minutes prepared : 

At a meeting of the Officers of the 32d Brigade of Infantry, and 16th 

Regiment of Artillery, held at the Hotel of E. Clark, in the village 

of Oxford, on Saturday the 20th day of December, 1823, Brigadier 

Gen. Ransom Rathbone was called to the chair, and Lieut. Col. S. G. 

Throop, of the 16th Reg. of Artillery, appointed Secretary. 

Resolved, That we view with painful anxiety the glorious struggle 

now making by the Greeks, to emancipate themselves from Ottoman 

Oppression, and once more gain a footing among the nations of the 

earth. With a view to aid them in their Patriotick Struggle, and at 

the same commemorate an event no less honourable to American arms, 

than interesting to the Nation — 

Resolved, That a MILITARY BALL be given on the evening of the 
Sth of .January next, at the hotel of Ethan Clark, in the village of 
Oxford, in commemoration of the glorious victorj^ obtained by the gal- 
lant Gen. AndreiD Jackson and the Militia under his command, in his 
defence of New-Orleans ; and that the surplus funds arising from said 
Ball, be appropriated for the benefit of the Greeks. 



390 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

Resolved, That a committee of arrangement be appointed, including 
the Chairman and Secretary. 

Resolved, That Gen. R. Rathbone be appointed Treasurer. 

COMMITTEE OF ARRANGEMENT. 

Ransom Rathbone, Brig. General 32d brigade Infantry. 

S. G. Throop, Lieut. Col. 16th Reg. Artillery of St. N. Y. 

A. C. Welch, Col. of the 190th Reg. Infantry. 

John Noyes, Jr. Col. of the 105th Reg. Infantry. 

Elijah Rathbone, Col. of 133d do. 

Joseph Juliand, Lt. Col. do. do. 

Robert Monell, Brigade Maj. 32d Brigade Infantry. 

R. VanWagenen, Brigade 2d Major do do. 

A. C. Griswold, Aidecamp. 

George Farnham, Adjutant. 

S. G. Throop, Se&y. 

The youth and beaiitT of the town and country about 
assembled in force, under the auspices of the distinguished 
array of names which formed the military committee, full 
of enthusiasm in view of combining the intrinsic delights 
of the hop with the furtherance of the cause which ap- 
pealed to their generous sympathies and sense of justice. 
— Men and maidens, in Roman togas and Grecian gowns, 
swept the floors of the hotel, even to the small hours, at 
least to their own intense enjoyment, (except in the case 
of Judge Robert Monell of Greene, who sundered his heel 
cord for the sake of Grecian patriots), although it must 
be confessed that, had it depended on the unwitting Greeks 
to settle the deficit in Ball expenses versus receipts, they 
would have been mulcted in the sum of ten dollars. 



He had kept 
The whiteness of his soul, and thus men o'er him wept. 

— Byron. 



Samuel Ross. 



When the village of Oxford had been settled for about 
twenty years, Samuel Ross, a graduate of Princeton Col- 
lege and a contemporary of Theodore Frelinghuysen and 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 



.-»v 



N. S. Prime, the father of Ireneus Prime of the New York 
Observer, came from the eity of New York to make his 
future home with his wife, who was ^Margaret Shepard 
Revel from the eastern shore of Virj^inia. His father, 
Andrew Koss, was a descendant of John Ross of Scothmd, 
who was one of the first settlers of New Jersey. Samuel 
Ross and wife came here in the year 1815, and ^Irs. Ross 
died the followinji;" year. 3Ir. Ross at one time resided on 
the Nathan Pendleton farm, and also had a home on Clin- 
ton street. While at the latter place his grounds extended 
to the top of the hill west of the street and running paral- 
lel with Columbia street. Upon this hill Mr. Ross located 
a private burying ground enclosed in brick walls and pro- 
tected b}^ a right of way to and from the same against 
future owners of the adjoining grounds. Several burials 
were made therein, but after the lapse of some seventy-five 
years, the only vestige of it now remaining is a headstone 
to the memory of Margaret Shepard Ross. Mr. and Mrs, 
Ross were among the first members of St. Paul's church, 
and at the first celebration of the Holy Communion they 
were of the seven members who communicated. Mr. Ross 
was elected warden in 1816 and continued a warden or 
vestryman for several years. His associates at that time 
were Hon. John Tracy, Uri Tracy, James Clapp, Simon G. 
Throop, Jr., Stephen O. Runyan, Ransom Rathbone and 
Erastus Perkins. Mrs. Ross died at the home of Rev. Wm. 
B. Lacey and the subsequent marriage of Mr. Ross to Mrs. 
Maria Stephens is recorded. She was the widow of Alvan 
Stephens and the daughter of Robert Randall of Brook- 
field, Madison county. Mr. Stephens died in the first year 
of his marriage and thus she became a bride, a mother, 
and a widow in the one brief year of her marriage. In 
her marriage to Mr. Ross six children w^re born to them, 
Samuel R., George, Margaret, Mary E. and Martha, twins ; 



392 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

and Elizabeth Ann. All of whom have passed awaj except 
their eldest son, Samuel Eandall Ross. Mary E., married 
Elijah Jones; died June 5, 1895, in Auburndale, Mass. 
Early in her married life she went to Paris and studied 
art, leaving her husband and infant child for a year or so. 
She became quite noted as an artist in oil. Elizabeth Ann 
died July 8, 1894, in Andover, Mass., married Rev. J. E. 
Latimer, a Methodist minister, who afterwards became a 
professor in the Boston University ; George went to Ports- 
mouth, Ohio, and became a commercial traveler for his 
brother Samuel. He was drowned in Kentucky while 
attempting to ford Big Sandy river. Upon the marriage 
of their daughters, Mary and Elizabeth, Mr. and Mrs. Ross 
removed from Oxford to Elmira to enjoy their society, 
where he died in 1861. When the Rev. J. E. Latimer and 
wife removed to Boston, Mrs. Ross accompanied them and 
died there in 1875. They are buried in Elmira. Those who 
lived in Oxford in the early years of its history recalled 
his blameless life and integrity, and it was a great satis- 
faction to them to know that to the period of his death, 
his sunset of life was serene and happy, with the capacit^^ 
to enjoy the society of friends and his favorite authors 
until his brief illness of a week which terminated his life. 
His death was that of the exultant Christian, and with 
looks of love and words of tender sympathy to those around 
him, it was evident that his eyes were turned rapturously 
to the bright shore which gleamed upon his dying vision 
from the other side of the dark river of death, and to the 
very last he spoke of the dear old Oxford friends, and he 
spoke of them with deep emotion. 

Samuel Randall Ross was born April 8, 1819, in this 
village. He was educated at Oxford Academy, and at the 
age of 24 located in Portsmouth, Ohio, where he has since 
resided. He engaged in the wholesale grocery business, 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 393 

which he continued until 1857, when he retired from busi- 
ness until ISGl. He then entered the wholesale tobacco 
business in Cincinnati, under the lirni name of Kercheval 
& Eoss, from ^^•hich he retired in 1873. 

His wife was Miss Elizabeth Kinney of Portsmouth, 
whom he married September 7, 1847. Mrs. Ross died 
October 28, 1897. The survivinji: children are: INIiss Anna 
Ross, George Kinney Ross, of Portsmouth ; Thomas Waller 
Ross, of Cleveland, O. 

Mr. Ross is the only remaining old time merchant of 
Portsmouth, and a strong church man, having been con- 
nected with the Episcopal church ever since he has lived 
in that city. His hospitality is well known and he has 
entertained more distinguished people than any other per- 
son in the place of his adoption. Mr. Ross has passed his 
87th year, and enjoys excellent health and is in the pos- 
session of all his faculties. His society and companion- 
ship are much sought after and highly appreciated. 



Whoe'er amidst the sons 
Of reason, valour, liberty, and virtue, 
Displays distinguish'd merit, is a noble 
Of Nature's own creating. 

— Thomson. 



Henry VanDerLyn, Esq 



Henry Van Der Lyn, Esq., was born on the 24th day of 
April, 1784, at Kingston, N. Y. He was a son of Peter 
Van Der Lyn, a worthy and skillful surgeon during the 
Revolutionary war, and a nepfeew of John Van Der Lyn, q^^'U 
who was considered in his day one of the world's most 
famous artists. After pursuing his studies in Kingston 



394 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

Academy, he entered Union college at the age of 16, grad- 
uating with the honors of the valedictory in 1802, and soon 
thereafter commenced the study of law with the distin- 
guished and able lawyer, Hon. Ogden Edwards in New 
York, in whose office he acquired those habits of close 
study and discrimination which distinguished him through 
life, and that knowledge of law which secured him an ad- 
mission to the Bar in 1806. 






Mr. Van Der Lj^n early in life formed the habit of dail}^ 
writing in a journal commentaries on the works he read, 
'^f^' making extracts and noting down the events of his life and 
^"^^ of society around him. We make the following extracts: 

(j^ While at college I got a coat altered and made with a single row of 

buttons and buttonholes in front. This harmless freak caused the 
nickname of Count Ramford to be fixed on me, and which has followed 
to this day. 

At this time barbers were in the height of their usefulness and 
prosperity, when curling tongs and powder were applied to the head 
of every fashionable, and many torturing twinges have I endured dur- 
ing the tedious operations of head dressing. 

In the winter of 180G I made a visit to Albany to consult some mem- 
bers of the Legislature on the subject of my removal to the western 
part of the State, but without effect. I called on P'rederic A; De Long, 
who was to remove in the spring to Jericho (Bainbridge), in Chenango 
county, for information about the best place of my settlement, and he 
mentioned Oxford about 15 miles from Jericho. I yielded to his advice 
and made my arrangements to bid a final adieu to my native place. Kinijs: 
In April, 1806, I went to New York to purchase the residue of my law 
library, which was small but large enough for me at that time. In the 
latter end of May I put my books, paper case and trunk on board a 
wagon, and accompanied by my Uncle Philip Xewkirk, began my journey 
to Oxford, and separated from the friends of my youth, from my 
mother, brothei*s, and relatives in search of professional fame and the 
means of support. I was then in my 22d year and felt a sensation of 
apprehension and distrust in going among strangers to a distant place 
to commence the novel business of instructing others and managing 
their legal concerns. My Uncle Philip and I arrived at Oxford in the 
afternoon on Saturday. I was somewhat disappointed on my first view 
of the place, it was small with only two painted houses in it and the 
stumps in the adjoining fields showed that it was a young settlement. 
We lodged at the hotel of Erastus Perkins, The next day was Sunday 
and the young people of the village assembled in the ball room of Mr. 
Perkin's to sing psalms. I took my Heat in the hall to see them as 
they went up stairs. There was no church nor regular divine service 
in the village. I went to board with Major Dan Throop, who had a 
number of boarders. Ransom Rnthbone, a merchant; Roswell Randall. 
a student in the office of Stephen O. Runyan ; .John Kinsey, an old 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 395 

bachelor ; and two Miss Bepacs from Iludson. formed the jjroiii) tliat 
daily assemhled at tlR' table of Major Dan. 

The last of January. ISl."), Garry went »)Ut with Daniel Perry in a 
sleil to Kingston to remove mother to Oxford. Aunt Ann Master and 
Thomas G. Newkirk returned with him. Sinee this time I have been a 
housekeeper. 

Mr. Van Dor Lyu, finding in the phiee of his settlement 
an institution of learning, gave early attention to its wel- 
fare, and was for many years its zealous friend, trustee, 
and supporter. He never wearied in doing well for that 
institution, and Oxford Academy owes to him and a few 
other early supporters much of its high standing and use- 
fulness. He was also a liberal contributor to St. Paul's 
church, and interested himself in the circulation of a sub- 
scription to procure a suitable place of worship. 

Mr. Van Der Lyn died October 1, 18()5, in the S2d year 
of his age, after a life of activity and labor of more than 
fifty-nine years, and amid scenes so changed, beholding the 
growth of a prosperous village and the country about him 
changed from a wilderness to bright fields. 

The term '' Count " clung to him through life from his 
great suavit}^ and gentlemanl}- manners. He was a con- 
firmed bachelor, possessing many genial peculiarities of 
character, which rendered him a great favorite in the 
social reunions of the bench and bar during term time. 
Numerous legends are current of his tact and readiness 
in extricating himself from occasional faux pas, induced 
b}^ his excessive courtliness and desire to render himself 
agreeable to those with whom at the time he happened to 
be conversing. 

The story is told that Mr. Van Der Lyn once owned a 
dog that robbed the meat market of a roast of beef and 
escaped. The proprietor reasoned that if he went to the 
owner and told him his dog had stolen the meat, that it 
would be denied, so he adopted another plan. Entering 
the " Count's '' office, he told of the robbery committed and 



396 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

asked what he should do about it. He was advised to 
make out a bill and present it to the owner. The butcher 
promptly prepared the bill and found it amounted to five 
dollars, which he presented to the " Count/' saying it was 
his dog that was the thief. "All right," was the reply, 
and the bill was paid. As the butcher was leaving the 
" Count " called and reminded him of a " strange coinci- 
dence." He said that five dollars was just the amount of 
his bill for advice. The butcher returned the five dollars 
he had just collected and retired without another word. 
He was rendered speechless. 



ENSUS OF 1825.- Following is the census of the town 
in 1825, copied verbatim from the Oxford Gazette : 

450 heads of families ; 
1,410 males ; 
1,391 females; Total 2.801. 

283 subject to militia duty. 

532 voters. 
19 aliens. 

1 coloured persons not taxed. 

2 do do taxed. 

1 do taxed and qualified to vote. 
333 married females under 45 years of age. 
2.53 unmarried females between 16 & 45. 
937 do under 16 years of age. 

21 marriages — 62 male births — 46 female births — 24 male deaths — 
25 female deaths, within the past year. 
14,184 acres of improved lands. 
3,506 head of neat cattle. 

537 horses. 
12,317 sheep. 
1,923 hogs. 

6,725 yards of fulled cloth : 
10,423 do of flannel; and 
15,872 do of linen, manufactured within the past year. 

3 Grist-mills— 14 Saw-mills— 1 Oil-mill— 3 Fulling-mills— 3 Card- 
ing machines — 1 Woolen factory — 1 Trip hammer — 3 Distilleries 
— 3 Asheries. 

CENSUS OF OXFORD VILLAGE. 

112 heads of Families— 378 males— 363 females.— Total 741. 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 397 



An honest man, close button'd to the chin, 
Broadelotli without, and a warm heart within. 

— COWPEB. 



Austin Hyde. 



Judge Austin Hyde, son of Benjamin Hyde, was born 
in Franklin, Conn., January 21, 1789, his father having 
been a soldier and afterwards a pensioner of the Revolu- 
tion. He came to this village when it was comparatively 
new and was the second of six brothers and two sisters, all 
of whom settled in this State, and the eldest, Bela B., was 
the first collector appointed for the Erie canal at the 
present city of Rome. Uri Tracy then was county clerk 
and Mr. Hyde became his deputy. Soon thereafter the 
office was removed to Norwich, where he went and re- 
mained several years, but returned and became a member 
of the mercantile firm of Mygatt & Hyde, doing business 
at the old store now removed, w^hich stood in the corner 
near the residence of Joseph E. Packard. 

Mr. Hyde was Supervisor of the town many years ; twice 
a member of the State Legislature, in 1823 and 1833; the 
first collector appointed at this place for the Chenango 
canal in 1838 ; was soon after a judge of the Court of Com- 
mon Pleas of the county; a trustee of Oxford Academy, 
and a long time its secretary and treasurer; a warden of 
St. Paul's church; appointed receiver to close up the 
affairs of the Chenango County Mutual Insurance Com- 
pany, and discharged other important trusts, public and 
private. Mr. Hyde, on his return from Albany after the 
passage of the Chenango canal bill, was met by a delega- 
tion of townsmen, who had procured a boat, placed it on 
wheels, and in this he was escorted to his residence, which 



3q8 annals of oxford 

is now occupied by A. D. Harrington. The town was 
illuminated and Mr. Hyde entertained a large company 
that evening. A severe thunderstorm came up and many 
were detained at the house till a late hour, and were finally 
carried home in a lumber wagon on account of the heavy 
downpour and condition of the streets. 

Mr. Hyde married in October, 1819, at New Milford, 
Conn., Elizabeth, a sister of Henry and William Mygatt, 
and died at his home in this village, now the residence of 
A. D. Harrington, February 25, 1850, leaving his widow, 
who died June 19, 1882, and four children, Caroline E., 
William H., Minerva H., who married Clark I. Hayes of 
Unadilla, Otsego county, and died January 9, 1904, and 
Mary E. The Misses Hyde are the last of the family, and 
still reside in Oxford. 

William H. Hyde, son of Austin and Elizabeth (Mygatt) 
Hyde, was born in this village September 4, 1826. His 
early education was obtained at Oxford Academy, where 
he prepared for Yale College, but not finding student life 
there to his liking withdrew and entered Hobart College 
at Geneva, N. Y., graduating in 1848. Returning home he 
taught in the Academy for several terms and read law with 
Henry R. Mygatt. Admitted to the bar in 1854, he was 
for a short time a partner of James W. Glover. In 1857 
he represented Chenango county in the Legislature. 

June 16, 1859, Mr. Hyde married Miss Myra Bates 
Graves at Northampton, Mass., and soon after removed to 
Oconomowoc, Wis., where he practiced law. On the break- 
ing out of the Civil war, Mr. Hyde returned to Oxford, 
where he remained until his death, which occurred May 
5, 1902. 

In 1865 Mr. Hyde was elected Special County Judge, 
serving three years, and was Supervisor of the town for 
four years. In the year 1857 he was elected a trustee of 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 399 

Oxford Academy, resigned that year, was re-elected in 
1873, made vice-president of the board in 1878 and presi- 
dent in 1881, an office he held up to the uniting of the 
Academy Avitli the Union school district. He was thor- 
oughl}' conversant with the history of the institution, hav- 
ing prepared the historical addi*ess for the jubilee celebra- 
tion in 1854. Mr. Hyde Avas a warm friend of the Academy, 
did a great deal for its advancement, and his pen was ever 
ready to perpetuate its long and brilliant career. For 
several years, previous to and during the Civil war, he did 
the editorial work on The Oxford Times. His work was 
that of a scholar and polished writer. 

Mr. Hyde was a communicant of St. Paul's church, hav- 
ing been confirmed May 23, 1848, by Bishop DeLancy, and 
for many years a member of the vestry, and at his death a 
warden of the church. 

Mrs. Hyde and only child, Elizabeth Mygatt Hyde, are 
vet residents of Oxford. 



The next best thing to being witty one's-self, is to be able to 
quote another's wit. 

■ — Bo^t:e. 



Practical Jokes. 



Among the practical jokers of the early days in the 
town's history Avere Ira and Luman McNeil, honest and 
industrious men, but fond of a joke. Not far behind them 
w^ere William Moore, Lyman Hunnewell, Mark Sherwood, 
Noble Betts, and several others. They were a jolly set 
and enjoyed fun no matter at whose expense. About 1820 
their fame as practical jokers became widely known 
throughout the surrounding country, and frequently trav- 
elers who came to Oxford spoke of the fact, and then were 



400 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

quite apt to experience some of their pranks. An old 
citizen used to relate that when a resident of Cooperstown 
he strayed into this vicinity while hunting and came to the 
top of the east hill, looked down on the village, but dared 
not enter; having heard of the jokes played on unsuspect- 
ing strangers. 

One day a traveler stopping at the Stage house casually 
remarked to the landlord that he had heard of the sells 
and jokes that the villagers were noted for, and hinted 
that it would take a pretty smart man to get the start of 
him. At this one of the inmates left the barroom and the 
landlord replied evasively to the stranger's remarks. Soon 
after a man came rushing in and excitedly asked the land- 
lord for his crowbar and chain, as '^ a huge turtle had got 
wedged in the flume over at the mill and stopped the 
wheel." The mill stood on the site of Harrington's block, 
and the unsuspecting traveler, now greatly excited, fol- 
lowed the man and tools over to see the wonderful sight, 
but was soon back with dripping clothes, as the jokers had 
succeeded in getting him completely submerged in the 
water. He acknowledged the sell, and tradition relates 
that the receipts at the bar for the remainder of the day, 
owing to the liberality of the stranger, were very satisfac- 
tory to the landlord. 

The dull season in town was alleviated by the practical 
jokes perpetrated on country customers, who were sent to 
Mygatt's tannery to see the big eel caught in the river. 
Their curiosity was usually satisfied, for a plank was so 
arranged that the victim in attempting to look into a vat 
would fall in, and on extricating himself would usually 
swear vengeance on the perpetrator. 

Men who had music in their souls were sent to the Epis- 
copal rectory to borrow the rector's fiddle or drum; and 
the patience of the Rev. Leverett Bush was sorely tried in 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 401 

explaining to the numerous victims that it was meant for 
a practical joke, as he had no musical instruments of any 
kind. 

Sometimes the jokes were returned by subjects who were 
not so green as they appeared to be. In those days there 
were what was called " tramping jours," journeymen seek- 
ing work. On a summer's morning there came to the 
Stage house an innocent looking young man, who in- 
timated that he was a blacksmith looking for work, and in 
the course of the forenoon called at McNeil's shop. He 
stated his business, and the shop hands, thinking him a 
good subject to practice upon, began plying him with ques- 
tions, among others whether he thought he could weld four 
pieces of iron together at one heat. He was not so sure 
about that and thought it a little difficult. When the noon 
hour arrived they left him alone in the shop instead of 
inviting him to dinner, and on their return found he had 
left practical proof of his skill as a blacksmith. He had 
taken two pairs of valuable tongs, placed their jaws into 
each other, welded them very firmly and departed to seek 
employment elsewhere. 

On another occasion a man was hired to tear down a 
fence in front of the residence of Jonathan Baldwin, who 
then lived in a house on the premises now occupied by F. 
G. Clarke, with a tumbledown fence surrounding it. Wil- 
liam Moore was the bartender in the hotel on the opposite 
corner, and one day he stepped out, leaving Lyman Hunne- 
well in the barroom alone. A stranger came in looking for 
a job, and taking him for the landlord inquired if he 
wanted to hire a man. Lyman, who was quick-witted, 
thought he would have some fun with the '' deacon," re- 
plied that he did, and going to the door pointed to Mr. 
Baldwin's house, saying : '' I am going to tear that old 
house down and put up new buildings, and you may begin 



402 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

with the fence. An old crazy man lives, or stays, there 
wlio may object to your working, but pay no attention to 
him as he is of no account." Lyman then took the man 
into dinner, after which he gave him an ax, hammer, and 
a pan, charging him to save all the nails. The man w^ent 
to w^ork in earnest and soon had the fence knocked to 
pieces. Mr. Baldwin, hearing the noise, went out to see 
w^hat it was about, and on his discovery of the destruction 
of his fence, rushed out and exclaimed : " What in h — 1 
and d — n are you tearing that dow^n for? " The man paid 
no attention to him until Mr. Baldwin seized a handspike 
from the woodpile and threatened to spill his brains out; 
then he quit and w^ent to the hotel, inquiring for the land- 
lord. Moore told him he w^as out, but Lyman was upstairs 
wdth a few of his cronies looking out of a window enjoying 
the sport. The landlord did not return, and finally the 
bartender put on a sober face and told the stranger that 
the crazy old fellow w^as after a warrant for his arrest, and 
the stranger hurriedly left town, never to return. 

At another time the player of the joke had the tables 
turned on him. Bradford Church, a brother-in-law of 
Luman McNeil, who was noted as being quite dry in his 
jokes, but not so practical, was fatting a very large porker 
that became quite celebrated as the largest hog in the 
village. After it was killed one of the hams was hung in 
a smokehouse to make it the more palatable for table use. 
It was the town talk and the time for cutting the ^^ big 
ham " was an event in the near future. When the time at 
last arrived Mr. Church went for the ham, but someone 
had been before him, and it was gone, creating considerable 
excitement, and all of the " west side " neighbors were very 
anxious to know what had become of it. Finally a search 
warrant was obtained, and Charles A. Hunt, the constable 
of twenty years service, employed to find the missing ham. 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 403 

A crowd soon gathered with all the habitual curiosity to 
see the outcome of the affair; but there was one among 
them who was becoming uncomfortable; he knew more 
about the ham than he wished he did, and matters were 
getting quite serious. Ira McNeil had removed the ham 
for a joke, and the question was how to get it back. After 
a while he saw the opportunity to edge away from the 
crowd, which were following the constable to search sus- 
pected premises, and getting the ham into a cornbasket 
attempted to return it unseen, but had scarcely reached 
the street when he was confronted by the officer and his 
solicitous followers. He stood convicted. The ham was 
found in the basket on his back ; what better proof of guilt? 
The affair had become a little too serious for a joke and 
too ludicrous for a crime, and the quickest and most satis- 
factory way in which to end the matter was to adjourn the 
crowd to the tavern and liquidate the constable's fees, 
which owing, to his several deputies present, were not 
light. 



Life is labour and death is rest. 

— Archias. 



Havens Family. 



John Havens, a distiller by trade, came to Oxford as 
early as 1806. For a few months he found employment in 
a distillery in the village and then purchased and moved 
upon the land east of the village, which in the course of a 
few years he developed into a fine farm. He was the only 
child of his parents, and when but eight months old his 
mother died. His father was a patriot of 1776 and endured 



404 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

with others the hardships of Continental army life. Mr. 
Havens had very few advantages in early youth, and his 
first term in school was while in his eighteenth year. He 
always felt the lack of early schooling and gave his chil- 
dren the education which was denied him. 

Mr. Havens was born January 18, 1784, in Hinsdale, 
Columbia county, N. Y., and died June 10, 1862, in Ox- 
ford. He married Novemblpr 9, 1806, Sally Newcomb, 
who was a school teacher in Oxford. She was born May 
30, 1778, in Lebanon, Conn., and died December 5, 1858, 
in Oxford. They were the parents of eleven children, all 
born in Oxford, three of whom died in infancy. Those 
who grew to maturity were : 

George N., born October 16, 1809; died January 21, 
1887, in Oxford; married February 21, 1836, in Oxford, 
Lucretia Willoughby, daughter of Bliss and Fanny (Pat- 
tan) Willoughby. Children: Ann Lee, married Peter J. 
Conover of Oxford; (adopted child, Lily Belle, married 
Walton Bennett and resides in Columbus, O.). John K., 
born April 6, 1839, in Oxford ; died March 3, 1887, in Guil- 
ford; married September 24, 1860, Julia A. Burton of 
Oxford; (children, Minnie Lee, born in Oxford, married 
Edgar B. Stansell of Syracuse, who died November 7, 
1888; George B.. born in Coventrj^, married Belle Burton 
and resides in Guilford; Leroy N., born in Guilford, mar- 
ried Grace M. Murray and resides in Syracuse). Mar- 
garet, married William Manning, deceased; (child, Fanny, 
married Rev. A. W. Burke). Fanny, born in 1844, died in 
1861, married Andrew Burton; (child, Orrie, resides in 
Newark, N. J.). 

Salome B., born June 13, 1811 ; died February 28, 1890 ; 
married December 27, 1840, Garner Wade. Children : 
Clarence, Harris, died in Illinois. 

Bradford, born September 24, 1815 ; died July 25, 1898, 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 405 

in Guilford ; married Salh' Ann Harrington. Children : 
Leroy N., enlisted during Civil war in Co. A, 114tli Regt. 
N. Y. S. V. ; shot in temple and instantly killed at battle 
of Cedar Creek, October 19, 1864. Sarah C, married 
Cornelius Whitcomb of Guilford. 

Abigail, born June 7, 1817 ; married December 15, 1836; 
Solomon C. Mowrj. , 

Theoda, born May 23, 1819; died August 15, 1882, in 
Oxford; married October 7, 1846, Gilbert Bowers, born 
February 12, 1820, in Scipio, Cayuga county, N. Y. ; died 
December 15, 1886, in Oxford ; enlisted during Civil war in 
Co. E, 89th N. Y. S. V. Children : Worthington N., mar- 
ried Lizzie Wackford. Luther E., married Cora Collyer. 
Ann Marie, died in infancy. James E., born September 
10, 1853 ; died January 14, 1876. Mary S., born June 15, 
1856; died April 12, 1861. John H., died in infancy. 

Mary B., born April 24, 1821; died January 15, 1902, 
in Oxford: unmarried. 



MoRiLLA E., born August 10, 1823; died February 5, 
1855, in Bainbridge ; married Hiram Davis. 

Cornelia R., born June 26, 1825; married James Hart- 
well, who died October 23, 1884, in Oxford. Children: 
Sarah C, married Delos R. Eells; (children, Mabel C, 
Marion A., married Clarence Hitt ; Juliette, married Ches- 
ter Bartle; Ruby C). Morilla, married (1) George 
Hovey; married (2) Hiram Hovey; married (3) David B. 
Gordon; (children by first husband, Luella, married 
Homer Padgett; Frank, married Bertha Gilbert; Ethel M., 
married Alvin Stead of Guilford). Albert L., unmarried. 



4o6 ANNALS OF OXFORD 



Here shall the Press the People's rights maintain, 
Unawed by influence and unbribed by gain ; 
Here patriot Truth her glorious precepts draw, 
Pledged to Religion, Liberty and Law. 

— Story. 



Journals of Oxford. 



During the past ninety-nine years Oxford has had seven 
distinct journals or newspapers published within its bor- 
ders. Many made heroic efforts to live, but died in in- 
fancy; two or three were merged into other papers and 
have thus lost their identity. 

But one now remains, The Oxford Times, which in its 
seventieth year, has nothing of senility in its appearance, 
but like old wine improves with age. A large increasing 
circulation proves this to be a positive fact, and its success 
comes simply because it has reflected the happenings and 
championed the interests of Oxford and the county of 
Chenango. As a writer states : ^' The scrupulousness with 
which The Times has adhered to the cause of local in- 
terests has not always been to its immediate pecuniary 
advantage, but its publishers have the satisfaction of 
knowing that its stand is approved by its home advertisers 
and that it is therein strengthening its foundations for 
future permanency.'' 

The first journalistic enterprise launclied in Oxford saw 
the light of day in the month of October, 1807. It was 
owned and edited by John B. Johnson and bore the name 
of The Chenango Patriot. It existed but three or four 
years, and then died a natural death. The issue of October 
17, of that year, contained extracts from the New York 
Gazette of October 4 and 7. Among other interesting 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 407 

items were : " By the arrival of the British brig ^ Tom 
Barry/ in the short passage of 36 clays from Scotland, the 
editors of the New York Gazette have received London 
and Glasgow papers to the 27th of August.'' 

" Pope Pius YII., by the authority of Almighty God, 
and of the Saints Peter and Paul, has executed sentence 
of excommunication against the Emperor Napoleon, for 
want of due reverence to his majesty, and other acts of 
usurpation and violence." 

But notwithstanding all this the village of Oxford was 
moving on in the full tide of successful settlement. The 
age of pot and pearl ashes, and black salts, had arrived; 
and the columns of the President, a village journal that 
appeared shortly after the Patriot, and soon went hence, 
published by Theophilus Eaton, announced : 

^' The trustees of the Associated Presbyterian Society, 
Uri Trac}^, Stephen O. Eun3^an, and Amos A. Franklin, 
notwithstanding the rumors of war, and the excommunica- 
tion of the emperor, will receive subscriptions to the new 
church, without further delay." 

The Oxford Gazette was started in 1814 by Chauncey 
Morgan, who published it until March 5, 1823, when 
George Hunt became proprietor. June 23, 1824, Ebenezer 
Noyes became associated with Mr. Hunt in its publication. 
In February, 1825, it Avas sold to Howard & Carlisle, and 
shortly after Mr. Morgan again became proprietor, who 
sold to William G. Hyer, in 1826. In September, 1826, 
Benjamin Corry came into town, from some place south, 
astride a pair of saddle-bags and riding a very fine gray 
horse. He was emphatically a business man, and pur- 
chased the Gazette, editing it very acceptably for a few 
years, when the publication was discontinued. Mr. Corry 
married Leafa Balcom, daughter of Francis Balcom, and 



4o8 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

soon after moved to Watertown, N. Y., where lie continued 
his editorial career for several jears. 

The Chenango Republican was started in 1826 by Benj. 
Corry, who sold to Daniel Mack and Wm. E. Chapman 
Dec. 10, 1828, and on Sept. 22, 1830, Daniel Mack became 
sole proprietor. March 3, 1831, Wm. E. Chapman and 
T. T. Flagler commenced a new series, and soon after 
changed its name to the Oxford Republican. In 1838, 
Mr. Chapman became sole proprietor. During the next 
few years it was successively published by J. Taylor Bradt, 
Benj. Welch, Jr., and R. A. Leal. In January, 1843, 
Charles E. Chamberlain became associated proprietor with 
Mr. Leal, and in August of the same year Mr. Leal again 
becaiue editor and proprietor, Wm. M. Lewis doing the 
printing. R. A. Leal died in January, 1844, and his brother 
LaFayette became proprietor. In 1847 it was merged with 
the Norwich Journal, and published as the Chenango 
LTnion. 

The Chenango Whig was published a short time in 1835, 
by Denison Smith Clark. 

The Miniature, a small monthly, was issued from the 
same office. 

The Oxford Times was founded in the fall of 1836 
b3^ a joint stock company, and was for some time con- 
ducted by H. H. Cook, a lifetime resident of Oxford. In 
1841 it passed into the hands of E. H. Purdy and C. D. 
Brigham, from Avlioni it was in turn transferred to Waldo 
M. Potter, in 1844. The following year Judson B. Galpin 
became associated proprietor with Mr. Potter. In 1848 
Mr. Galpin assumed entire control of the paper and con- 
tinued its publication till his death, February 20, 1893, 
marking a continuous connection of forty-eight years with 
The Times. The paper then passed into the hands of his 
eldest son, Theodore B. Galj)in, who has been connected 




THEODORE B. GALPIN 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 409 

with the establishment from early youth. In January, 
1894, Mr. Galpin disposed of one-half interest to Welling- 
ton Alexander, who retired from the firm in September, 
1899, and commenced the publication of the Oxford Press. 
July 1, 1906, C. Edward Snell, foreman of The Times, 
purchased the Press and merged it with The Times, under 
the firm name of Galpin & Snell. The Times was then 
enlarged to an eight page journal and many improvements 
made in its make up. 

The Oxford Transcript, commenced in 1853 by George 
N. Carhart, was published about six months. 

The Chenango Democrat was commenced November 19, 
1863, and published but a short time. 



HTHE P^ORT hill house, a noble looking three- 
^ story structure, with large columns in front, and one 
that would now do credit to any city, which stood on the 
site of the residence of William M. Miller; together with 
the store of Rufus Baldwin, hat store of Peleg Glover and 
cabinet shop of John Y. Washburn, extending nearly to 
the river, burned on the morning of May 13, 1839, making 
the largest fire Oxford ever experienced. Charles H. Cur- 
tis was proprietor of the house and shortly after the fire 
went west, finally settling in Chicago at a time when he 
could count every man in that city. He accumulated a for- 
tune which at one time was estimated at |3,000,000. Dur- 
ing the summer of 1885 he lost heavily in speculation, and 
on January 12, 1886, his lifeless body was found in the 
lake, and it is supposed that he committed suicide. 



410 ANNALS OF OXFORD 



The storm is past, but it liatli left beliind it 
Ruin and desolation. 

— Longfellow. 



Severe Storms. 



On Saturday evening, September 17, 1853, a thunder- 
storm broke upon this part of the Chenango valley. The 
rain commenced falling at 10 o'clock and poured without 
cessation until 3 a. m. Sunday morning the river was 
raised over its banks and swept along, a turbid flood at 
average high water mark. A good many crops of corn on 
the low flats were flooded or carried off. Clarke's creek 
overflowed its banks, filling the Chenango house cellar, 
and discharged its surplus over LaFayette square into the 
canal. It put the Maine law in force in Landlord Hamil- 
ton's cellar, emptying sundry barrels of liquor and mixing 
it with rather dirty water. The canal bank gave way near 
the aqueduct above the village. The Fly Meadow brook, 
running into the river from the west, near Clarence 
Miner's, was so high and rapid as to carry off all the 
bridges above the plank road, and the plank road bridge 
was so much undermined as to be impassable. All the 
dams on this creek, except Sheldon's, were swept out as 
far up as Lewis's in Preston. The shop at Wait & Guern- 
sey's upper dam was carried away, and the dye house at 
their factory. The Lyon brook carried away all the bridges 
above the river road, and cut out Bemis's dam. His mill 
was also injured, and logs and lumber floated off. The 
Padgett brook swept off Charles Padgett's dam and saw- 
mill, and four bridges, as well as crops and fences. 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 411 



And him who, with the steady sledge, 
Smites the shrill anvil all day long. 

— Bryant. 



William Dunne. 



William Dunne, born November 2, 1815, in Kings 
county, Ireland; died March 6, 1895, in Oxford; married 
(1), in Ireland, Catherine Pierce, who died Februarj^ 15, 
1850, in Oxford; married (2), in Oxford, Sarah Flanagan, 
sister of James Flanagan, born March 15, 1822, in Kings 
county, Ireland ; died in 1890, in Oxford. 

Mr. Dunne came to New York city in 1847, and the fol- 
lowing year to Oxford. Having perfectly learned the trade 
of a blacksmith, he had no difficulty in finding a 'position 
open in the shop of Charles and Fred B. McNeil, where, 
by honest toil and strict integrity, he remained a number 
of years. Then desiring a shop of his own he, with his 
family, moved to South Oxford, where, having hired a shop 
of Powers & Smith, carriage makers, he did their work and 
a general blacksmith business besides. In 1857 he pur- 
chased a farm in the McNeil neighborhood, where he passed 
the remainder of his days. Mr. Dunne was a man of in- 
domitable industry and perseverance; a man of thrift, 
whatever he did was well done. Children by first wife : 

Mary, born in Kings county, Ireland; married James 
Bolger and resides in Norwich. Children : Catherine, 
William J., James, Henry. 

Michael P., born in Kings county, Ireland; married 
Mary A. Moore in Oxford, whose death occurred February 
25, 1906. Followed the trade of his father and success- 
fully conducted business in Tyner and later in Oxford. 
Now retired and living in the village. In 1903 visited his 



412 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

birthplace in Ireland and returned with many a rare curio, 
which, added to the relics and collection of coins already 
in his possession, makes an interesting exhibit. Children : 
Sarah E., teaching in New York city; ^Yilliam H., a prom- 
inent business man of NorT\dch; James E., married Alice 
Flanagan of Smithville Flats and has two children, Dr. 
Charles M., successfully practicing dentistry in Norwich, 
and Mary A., engaged for a number of years teaching in 
Brooklyn, married January 1, 1906, Benjamin W. Moore 
of Brooklyn. 

Patrick H., born in Kings count}^, Ireland; married 
Miss Callahan in Detroit, Mich., where he now resides. 
Has five children. 

Children by second wife, all born in Oxford : 
Martin J., married in Detroit, where his family resides. 
Now veterinary surgeon in the Philippines in the employ 
of the U. S. government. Has three children. 

Margaret, married Michael Powers and resides in Ox- 
ford. Children : William, married Helen Hogan and has 
two children; John, Sarah, Martin, Clara, Clarence, Ed- 
ward, and Nellie. 

Agnes, married in Oxford Kobert Kalil; born in Ger- 
many; died September 29, 1889, in Oxford. Children: 
Robert and Martin. 

Nellie, resides in Oxford. Unmarried. 

Catherine, married in Oxford, Joseph Gallagher. Chil- 
dren: William, Thomas Duane, died February 12, 1906, 
aged 20, Nellie, Theresa, Joseph, and Catherine. 

Theresa, married in Oxford, Francis Cullen ; died in 
Preston. 

Anna, resided a number of years in New York, now liv- 
ing in Oxford. Unmarried. 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 413 



The life given us by nature is short ; but the memory of a well- 
spent life is eternal. 

CiCEBO. 



Myron Powers. 



Myrou Powers, a native of Dutchess county, was a 
miller in Norwich for several years, until 1843, when he 
moved to Greene and purchased a farm of 125 acres. After 
remaining there a term of years he bought a farm in South 
Oxford, upon which he passed the remainder of his days. 
Early in life he married Gertrude Willson, and of their 
nine children six grew to maturity, among whom was 
Alanson W., a resident of South Oxford. 

Alanson W. Powers obtained his mental training in the 
public schools of Greene and Norwich, and then learned 
the trade of a wagon maker, and has followed it since. 
In 1849 he located in Soiith Oxford and began the manu- 
facture of wagons, sleighs and carriages, and in the ex- 
cellency of his work he soon became well known through- 
out a large territory of the surrounding country. Mr. 
Powers has served in official capacities as postmaster, ex- 
cise commissioner and inspector of election, and advocates 
the Eepublican principles of government. In religious be- 
lief he is a member of the Baptist church, and is also a 
member of Oxford Lodge, No. 176, F. & A. M. He mar- 
ried in 1850, Miss Emily Bartoo, daughter of Hiram Bar- 
too of Greene. Children : 

Myron E., born February 1, 1861, in South Oxford; 
died November 15, 1900, in Oxford; married Jessie Shel- 
don of Oxford. Children : Percival S., Kathryn A., Ken- 
neth W. Two children died in infancy. 

Minnie M., resides at Richmond Hill, N. Y. Unmarried. 



414 ANNALS OF OXFORD 



Method is the hinge of business and there is no 
method without order and punctuality. 

— Hannah Moore. 



Robinson Family 



William Kobinson came to this country about 1636 and 
settled at Dorchester, Mass. 

His son, Samuel Robinson, married Mary Baker. His 
son. Rev. John Robinson, graduated at Harvard College 
in 1695, and was a minister of the church at Duxbury, 
Mass. He removed to Lebanon, Conn., where he died Nov- 
ember 14, 1745. His wife was Hannah Wiswell. Their 
son, John Robinson, was born April 16, 1715. Died at 
Bozrah, Ct., August 21, 1784. His wife was Thankful 
Hinkley. Their son, Samuel Robinson, born June 7, 1752, 
in Lebanon, Ct., died March 2, 1815, in South Oxford; 
married * Priscilla Metcalf of Lebanon, Ct., born July 29, 
1759; died May 20, 1850, in South Oxford. They first 
settled at Bozrah, Ct., and removed to Oxford in 1800. 
Mr. Robinson was a direct descendant of one of the Pil- 
grim Fathers. On his arrival in Oxford he engaged in 
farming and milling and became known as a most pros- 
perous farmer. Their children, all born in Lebanon, Ct. : 

John Wallace, born April 5, 1779; lived at Wilkes- 
barre, Pa. 

Faith, born July 23, 1781 ; died March 1, 1863, in Ox- 
ford. Unmarried. 

Jabez, born April 9, 1783. 

Andrew, born January 20, 1788 ; probably died in Texas. 

Dan Hyde, born October 11, 1795. 



* Ancestors of Priscilla Metcalf, who was the wife of Samuel Robin- 
son of Oxford. N. Y. 

Michael Metcalf, born in Tatterford, County of Norfolk, Englana, 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 415 

Jabez Kobinson, son of Samuel and Priscilla (Metcalf) 
Robinson, removed to South Oxford in 1808. Born of 
Revolutionary ancestors and in the same j^ear in which 
was consummated the independence of his country and 
which saw her take her place among the nations of the 
earth a recognized power; bred in the stern school of 
economy which the great struggle had necessitated, and 
his youthful mind filled with those sterling tales of pa- 
triotism which fell from the lips of the heroes who had so 
lately offered their all upon the altar of their country, he 
was well prepared fox the subsequent scenes and trials of 
life, as a pioneer in a new and sparsely settled country. In 
the second great struggle of the then infant country to 
preserve and to perpetuate the liberties won in the Revo- 
lution, he entered the sendee of his country in the forces 
raised by his adopted State, was promoted to the rank of 
brevet Major, and remained until the close of the war. 

In 1834 Mr. Robinson was elected sheriff of this county, 
and in all the various stations which he was called upon 
to fill from time to time, was faithful, deserving and fully 
adhering to the tenents of his early education. His farm 
lay on both sides of the Chenango river, and in the course 
of time he erected a grist and saw mill. He furnished 



being persecuted by Bisbop Wren, on account of bis religion, emigrated 
witb bis wife and nine cbildren, in April, 1037, and settled at Dedbam, 
Mass., in July of tbat year. 

His eldest son, Micbael Metcalf, 2d, married Mary Fairbanks of 
Dedbam. 

Tbeir second son, Jonatban Metcalf, married Hannab Kenris of 
Dedbam. 

Tbeir tbird son, Ebenezer Metcalf, of Lebanon, Conn., married Han- 
nab Able. 

Tbeir second son, Benjamin Metcalf, man*ied Sarab Able. 

Tbeir fourtb son, Dr. Andrew Metcalf, was born at Lebanon, Decem- 
ber 5, 173G. He married Zerviab Hyde, September 20, 1758. 

Tbree of tbeir cbildren became residents of Oxford ; namely : Pris- 
cilla, tbe wife of Samuel Robinson. Jabez H., born at Lebanon, August 
26, 1761. Married Violata Tbomas and died at Oxford. Luke, born at 

Lebanon, May 4, 1764, married Frink and died November 26, 

1856, in Oxford. 



4i6 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

employment for the poor, took honest toll, and left a 
record that was unblemished. His death occurred Feb- 
ruary 25, 1804, at the age of 81 years. Mr. Robinson mar- 
ried (1) July 10, 1810, Maria Ten Broeck of South Oxford, 
died April 1, 1818; aged 29 years. Married (2) February 

7, 1819, Ann Ten Broeck, sister of first wife; died June 

8, 1873, aged 75 years. Children by first wife: 
Frances, born October 28, 1812, in South Oxford ; died 

October 19, 1859, in Houston, Texas; married Alvin S. 
Perkins. Child: Sarah Maria, married Rev. I. W. Tays 
of El Paso, Texas. 

Sarah, born June 15, 1814, in South Oxford; died Au- 
gust 9, 1836, in Norwich. Unmarried. 

Mary, born April 28, 1816, in South Oxford ; died March 
4, 1895, in Salida, Colo. ; married June 16, 1832, Calvin 
Wheelock of New York city. Child : Anna J., married 
October 18, 1882, Eli W. Ten Broeck, and resides at Salida, 
Col. Children by second wife: 

Samuel M.,born April 25, 1821, in South Oxford. 

John W., born March 12, 1823, in South Oxford; died 
April 27, 1881, in Jackson, Mich. ; married Mary Jane 
Bradford of Huntsville, Ala. 

Maria A., born January 14, 1825, in South Oxford; 
married George Stratton, and resides in South Oxford. 

Rev. James A., born March 26, 1827, in South Oxford; 
died December 17, 1897, in Cortland, N. Y., where he had 
been for ten years rector of Grace Episcopal church. Was 
also chaplain of 32d N. Y. S. Y. regiment during Civil 
war. Married Sarah T. Hale of Homellsville, N. Y. 

Perez Packer, born August 5, 1832, in South Oxford ; 
died June 2, 1854, in Jackson, Miss. Unmarried. 

Jennie A., born December 13, 1834, in South Oxford; 
died November 26, 1896, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. ; married Tip- 
ton Bradford. 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 417 

Charles L., born May 6, 1837, in Norwich; married 
Virginia Watkins of Huntsville, Ala. Resides in Louis- 
ville, Ky. 

Dan Hyde Robinson, son of Samuel and Priscilla (Met- 
calf ) Robinson, born October 11, 1798, in Lebanon, Conn., 
died May 21, 1871, in South Oxford; married Alvira 
Looniis of Oxford, who died March 21, 1861, in South 
Oxford. Children : 

Maryette, died April 6, 1865, in South Oxford ; married 
January 8, 1845, George Stratton of South Oxford. 

Harriet, born December 4, 1825; died March 9, 1893. 
Married May 16, 1855, Erastus Hill, born January 2, 1826, 
in Smithville; died February 24, 1885, in South Oxford, 
Children : Chauncey, married Elizabeth Smith ; Nancy, 
married William Mason; Alvin, married Mary Murdock; 
Hattie L., died December 4, 1876, aged 15. 

Luke M., born October 10, 1830 ; died February 9, 1895, 
in Neenah, Wis.; married September 30, 1858, Maria L. 
Fish of Oxford. Children : Amy E., born July 30, 1864 
in South Oxford ; died October 2, 1900, in Neenah, Wis. ; 
Dan A., born April 15, 1866. Residence Menasha, Wis. 

Alvin P., died November 16, 1859, of yellow fever in 
Houston, Texas, aged 22, unmarried. 

Frances, born February 15, 1844; died March 4, 1896, 
in Homer, N. Y. ; married September 16, 1868, John A. 
Flagg. Children: Mary A., married Manley H. Daniels 
of Homer; Nettie, married Fred Newcomb, of Homer. 

Samuel M. Robinson, son of Jabez and Ann (Ten 
Broeck) Robinson, born April 25, 1821, in South Oxford; 
died December 15, 1896, in South Oxford; married Feb- 
ruary 22, 1848, Sarah A. Brown of New Berlin, who died 
December 7, 1904, in South Oxford. Mr. Robinson re- 
ceived his education in Oxford Academy, and after leaving 
that institution returned to the home farm where he spent 



4i8 ■ ANNALS OF OXFORD 

his entire life. He engaged in agricultural pursuits and 
also conducted a saw and grist mill. He was an honest 
man of sterling integrity, highly respected by his towns- 
men, and had held many public offices of trust, among 
which were supervisor. Justice of the Pe^ce, and highway 
commissioner. Children : 

Emogene, married Dr. Warren Scott of Cromwell, Ind. ; 
died August 7, 1891, in South Oxford. 

Margaret W., died December 25, 1862, aged 12. 

Mary J., married Albert Tremaine, resides in Greene. 

Sarah L., twin to above, married Dr. DeWitt Hitch- 
cock; died February 11, 1897, in Long Island City, N. Y. 

Frances A., married Edward Robinson of Greene; died 
September 13, 1880. 

Archer, adopted son, married Clara Ives of Afton. Re- 
sides on the old homestead. 



CENSUS 1834.— ^ We copy from a sheet, soiled by age, 
upon which was taken the " Census of the village of 
Oxford, on the first day of January, 1834," by Henry R. 
Mygatt, Esq., and Judge Samuel McKoon : 

Forty-four families on the East side of the river containing 469 in- 
habitants, 221 males, 248 females. 

Sixty-six families on the West side of the river containing 441 in- 
habitants, 234 males, 207 females. 

One hundred and ten families, 910 inhabitants, 455 males, 455 
females. 

Twenty-eight more inhabitants on the East than on the West side 
of the river. 

Statistics of the town of Oxford. — Five ministers of the gospel : Rev. 
Leverett Bush, Episcopalian ; Rev. James Abell, Presbyterian ; Revs. 
Washington Kingsley and Elisha B. Spaarks, Baptist; Rev. Henry Hal- 
stead, Methodist. 

Att'ys at Law. — Henry VanDerLyn, Henry Mygatt, James Clapp, 
Samuel McKoon. 

M. G. McKoon, Principal of Oxford Academy, Elizabeth C. Merwin, 
Preceptress. 

One oil mill, 1 woolen factory, 12 saw-mills, 3 grist-mills, 1 iron 
foundry, 3 tanneries. 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 419 



He strove among God's suffering poor 
One gleam of brotherhood to send. 

LOWELX. 



James Flanagan. 



James Flanagan was born in the year 1816 in Armath, 
Ireland, and came to Oxford in 1848 with his young wife, 
Anne Troy, and infant daughter, Mary. He soon found 
employment in the blacksmith shop of Wilmot Roberts, 
where he remained several years, and then entered into 
business for himself, having a shop near his residence on 
Greene street. Mr. Flanagan was the first Irishman who 
came to Oxford to reside, and Father James Hourigan, 
of Binghamton, once said of him that he was the corner 
stone of Catholicism in Chenango county. Previous to the 
erection of St. Joseph's church services were held at his 
residence, where the first mass in town was celebrated. 
Mr. Flanagan was a friend in need to many of his country- 
men on their arrival in town, who usually came in by 
canal and landed here perfect strangers. Often he took 
them, sometimes an entire family, to his home where they 
remained until he found employment for them in the com- 
munity. In 1871 Mr. Flanagan became a contractor at 
the time of the construction of the O. & W. railroad, then 
called the Midland, but the venture proved disastrous and 
he lost heavily. About twenty years previous to his death 
Mr. Flanagan lost his eyesight, but his cheerful heart and 
disposition were unchanged, and uncomplaining he groped 
his way about the streets of the village having a pleasant 
greeting for all. Mr. Flanagan died June 11, 1891, and 
his faithful and loving wife followed him to the better 



420 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

land six months later, her death occurring January 2, 
1892. Children : 

Mary, married Daniel Duggan, and resides in Newark, 
N. J. 

Ellen, unmarried, resides in Cleveland, Ohio. 

Catherine, married Edward Dockery, and resides in 
Orange, N. J. 

Theresa, married John Porn, and is the only member 
of the family residing in Oxford. 

Anna, married Patrick Byrne of Norwich. 

Margaret, married Thomas Dugan, and resides in 
Orange, N. J. 

John J., married Anna Byrne, and resides in Norwich. 



BUSINESS FIRMS IN 1835,— Among those who were 
doing business in this town during the year 1835 we 
find the following list in the '' Chenango Whig, and Mis- 
cellaneous Journal," published in this village by Denison 
Smith Clark, dated March 6. It reads, " Synopsis of the 
Yearly Advertisers to the Whig " : 

Elisha Bishop, Dry Goods, Groceries, &c. Fort Hill Buildings. 

Benjamin Butler, President of Agricultural Society. East side of 
the river. 

J. S. & F. R. Clark, Variety Store. Fort Hill Buildings. 

Clark and Balcom, Dry Goods, Groceries, &c. Adjoining Clarke's 
Hotel. 

Joel Chapin, Cabinet maker. East side of the River, 

Horace Dresser, Law Office. 4 Fort Hill Buildings. 

James Durham, Coach Maker. On the West side of the River. 

A. A. Franklin & Co., Chenango Foundry. East side of the River. 

Seth H. Fisk, W. I. Goods Store. Checkered Building v,est side of 
the River. 

Dr. DeForest, Physician and Surgeon. Fort Hill Buildings. 

V>'illiam Gile, Clothing Emporium. East side of the River. 

William Mygatt, Leather Store. East side of the River. 

Newkirk & r^Iiller, Dry Goods, Groceries, &c. Exchange Buildings. 

Perkins & VanWagenen, Dry Goods, Groceries, Drugs, &c. East side 
of the River. 

Rouse & Perkins, Druggists, &c. Exchange Buildings. 

Charles Perkins, Tailoring store. West side of the River, 

Gardner Stratton, Hat Store. Fort Hill Buildings. 

J. Y. Washburn & Co., Chair manufacturers. East side of the River. 

Ira W^ilcox, Dry Goods, Groceries, &c. Fort Hill Buildings. 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 421 



Everyone is the son of his own works. 

CEBVANTE6. 



Cyrus M. Gray. 



Cyrus M. Gray, bom in McDonough, June 7, 1826, re- 
moved to Oxford, April, 1828. Married November 22, 
1850, Derinda Lincoln of Horseheads, N. Y., born Feb- 
ruary 6, 1829, and died April 7, 1896, in Oxford. Two 
children, Ella L., married Eev. Edwin J. Brownson Au- 
gust 7, 1879. Edward Cyrus, died October 20, 1896, mar- 
ried Maude Potter of Cooperstown. 

Cyrus M. Gray attended school at Oxford Academy, and 
when 19 taught in what was known as the Stone school- 
house, receiving $10 a month and boarding around — two 
nights to a scholar. This was before the time of steel 
pens. Part of the work of the teacher was to make the 
quill pens for seventy scholars. On September 20, 1846, 
he began clerking for Cyrus Tuttle, remained with him 
for four years, when on April 1, 1850, with Derick Race, 
he went into the grocery busine&s in the Corner Store, at 
that time owned by Joshua Root. After six months he sold 
out to Mr. Race and bought the Packer drug store. In 
1851 he went into business at Cannonsville, N. Y., where he 
remained until 1855, and then returned to Oxford and 
bought what is known as the Tower farm, and farmed it 
for four years. In 1860, with William B. Race, he bought 
the Comer Store, now occupied by Baldwin & Mead, and 
opened a dry goods and grocer}^ business. After one 



432 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

year John R. Wheeler bought out Mr. Race and for ten 
years the business was successfully carried on under the 
name of Gray & Wheeler. In 1871 they sold the goods 
and leased the store to Tower & Morley, and for two years 
carried on business across the street, in the store now 
occupied by Rector Youmans as a meat market; when Mr. 
Wheeler removed to Chicago and failing health led Mr. 
Gray to purchase and build what has been since 1874 the 
homestead. After a rest he clerked two years for Clarke 
Bros, and five years for Skinner Bros, in the Corner Store. 
In 1877 Mr. Gray bought out Skinner Bros, and again took 
up business at the old stand, where he continued until 1891, 
and then retired to his homestead. Politically Mr. Gray is 
a staunch Republican, and voted for the first time for Presi- 
dent in 1848 for Van Buren, and voted for the first Re- 
publican President when tlie party was started and at 
every presidential election until the last, when he was out 
of the Stat^, making thirteen presidents. Religiously he is 
a Baptist, uniting with the church when fifteen years of 
age, and ever since has been identified with every depart- 
ment of the work. Mr. Gray is now residing with his 
daughter, Mrs. Brownson, in Centralia, 111. 



And the maize-field grew and ripened, 
Till it stood in all the splendor 
Of its garments green and yellow. 

— Longfellow 

Benjamin Butler. 



Benjamin Butler, who owned the farm on State street 
known as the Corn Hill farm, now the property of George 
B. Fletcher, was a son of Dr. Benjamin and Diadama 
(Hyde) Butler of Norwich, Conn., where he was bom 
January 30, 1764. He married Hannah Avery of Groton. 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 423 

They settled at New London, Conn., and aftenvards re- 
moved to New York city, Avhere he carried on the business 
of a broker for many years. In 1806 they came to Oxford. 
Mr. Butler was one of the founders of St. PauPs Epis- 
copal church in this village, and occupied a house on the 
site of the present church edifice in 1807-8. Later he occu- 
pied a residence on Merchant street, and then for a year 
or so the old mansion, later known as the McKoon house. 
From here he removed to the farm above mentioned, and 
became extensively engaged in sheep raising, and buying 
and selling land. At his death, which occurred January 
15, 1839, the hills surrounding the village were covered 
with sheep owned by him and let out to various parties to 
keep. Having large landed possessions, a great many peo- 
ple were in his employ. Mr. Butler read medicine and 
practiced for a short time. He was called to see a man, 
but his treatment of tlie case was so unsuccessful that the 
patient nearly died, and Dr. Butler then and there gave 
up the profession. Hannah Avery Butler, his wife, died 
August 1, 1829, aged 58. Children : 

Benjamin, who died in infancy. 

Julia H.. born at New London, Conn., June 13, 1794; 
married James Clapp; died November 17, 1832. 

Mary D., born at New^ London, Conn., January 8, 1797 ; 
died December 12, 1881, in Utica ; married Nicholas Dever- 
eaux of Utica. They had six children, the eldest daughter, 
Hannah, married Hon. Francis Kernan of that city. 

Elizabeth, third daughter, died in infancy. 

Cornelia Ann, born at New York, March 1, 1806 ; mar- 
ried William C. Pierpont of Pierpont Manor, N. Y. They 
had six children. 

Elizabeth Hannah, youngest daughter, born at New 
York, February 19, 1813. She was unmarried, and lived 



424 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

many years, until her death, March 18, 1883, upon the old 
farm with Mr. Warren Eaton, as manager. 

Mr. Butler was a very dark skinned man, though of a 
fine commanding presence. He owned a colored boy as a 
part of his personal property, as in those days New York 
was a slave state. One da^^ he sent the boy to a store for 
a corn basket he had bought, and told him to have it 
marked with his initials, " B. B." The basket was brought 
home unmarked, the boy had played on the way and for- 
gotten that part of his errand, so he Avas sent l)ack and 
cautioned not to return until he brouglit it duly marked 
with his master's initials. When in the course of an hour 
he returned there were seven Bs conspicuously displayed 
on the basket. His master discovering the surplus initials 
exclaimed : 

" You black rascal, what did you have so many for? " 

The boy, with a broad grin, answered : " Massa, it 

means ^ Black Ben Butler's Black Boy's Bushel Basket ! ' '^ 



No legacy is so rich as honesty. 

James Walker, 



-Shakespeare. 



Among the heroic men who came to this town at an 
early date, and v\'ho witnessed its development, enduring 
toil and hardships without murmur or complaint, and suc- 
ceeding, were able to pass the sunset of life in peace and 
quiet, was James Walker. He was born May 30, 1788. 
and died January 17, 18G4. He married April 3, 1806, 
Jane Padgett, whose parents came from England. She 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 425 

was born July 8, 1790, and died April 16, 1872. Children : 

Jane, born June 28, 1807 ; died May 21, 1881. 

LoviSA, born August 0, 1809; died May 24, 1899; mar- 
ried (1) Porter Bingham; married (2) Nathan Bailey, a 
veteran of the Mexican war. 

Nicholas, born July 11, 1811; died October 2, 1893; 
married May 5, 1836, Lydia Mowry, of Oxford. Lived and 
died on the farm where he was born. 

James, born June 5, 1814; died October 4, 1853; mar- 
ried Phoebe Carhart. 

William, born December 27, 1816; died April 1, 1871; 
married Zeurah ]Mowry. 

Sarah, born April 15, 1819; died April 13, 1885; mar- 
ried William Beardsley. 

Hannah, born December 29, 1821 ; living in Iowa ; mar- 
ried Helam Barstow. 

Willis, born April 19, 1824; died June 4, 1892; married 
Mary Ann Bowers. 

Daniel, born April 12, 1827; died December 13, 1903; 
married (1) Frances Adelia Main; died February 19, 
1864; married (2) Eliza Parker. 

Julia, born August 14, 1829 ; died March 30, 1887 ; mar- 
ried George Lamphere. 

WiLLARD, born March 5, 1832; died June 26, 1893; mar- 
ried Hannah Mary Main, born August 24, 1834 ; died Jan- 
uary 12, 1904. 



My voice is stiil for war. 
Gods! can a Roman senate long debate 
Which of the two to choose, slavery or death? 

— Addison. 



Throop Family 



Major Dan Throop, a native of Connecticut, and for 
many years a resident of Hudson, N. Y., came to Oxford 



42b ANNALS OF OXFORD 

in 1800. He was for a time proprietor of the hotel, now 
known as the Hotchkiss House, and for many years a mer- 
chant in this village. When in possession of his health 
and vigor he was a useful citizen and an active officer in 
his civil and military capacity. The disease which termin- 
ated his life was of several months standing, in which 
period he was a great sufferer. A soldier of the Revolu- 
tion, he met sickness and death with characteristic firm- 
ness and resignation. He died at his residence on Fort 
Hill, May 19, 1824, and was buried in the old cemetery on 
State street. Mary, his widoAV, also a native of Connecti- 
cut, died at Nineveh, N. Y., October 13, 1843. 

Simon Gager Throop, born at Kinderhook, N. Y., Jan- 
uary 4, 1790, came from Hudson with his father. Major 
Dan Throop, in 1800. He was for a time a student, after- 
wards a partner, of Henry Van Der Lyn, Esq., and was 
the first lawyer that practiced in Bainbridge. For several 
years he was a member in the family of Martin Van Buren, 
with whom he also studied law, and became quite a suc- 
cessful criminal lawyer. 

A member of " the Unadilla Hunt, or Oxford Chase," 
he became very popular with the masses. He married 
September 4, 1814, Asenath Burr, daughter of Theodore 
Burr, the famous bridge builder, who died in Scranton, 
Pa., October 18, 1877, aged 85. Mr. Throop had a resi- 
dence on Fort Hill, near the site of the Memorial library, 
with an office near by, which was the headquarters for the 
citizens on particular occasions to discuss politics and on 
Saturday evenings to amuse themselves with cards and 
dice. Chauncey Morgan, Gen. Peter Sken Smith, and 
many others took part in these convivial sessions. 

Mr. Throop's social qualities were of the most bril- 
liant and genial order. Unrivalled in wit, humor and 
caricature, he was the life and soul of the social circle, 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 427 

and ^' kept the table in a roar " wherever his mobile and 
expressive countenance appeared. When the strife be- 
tween Oxford and Norwich over the county seat was in 
progress he was sent to Albany as a lobby member in the 
interest of Oxford. When he returned the citizens gave 
him a reception, which was held in the afternoon and even- 
ing at the residence of Chauncey Morgan. A numerous 
company of ladies and gentlemen assembled, and among 
the good things prepared for the feast was a large turkey^ 
and in some way it fell to ]Mr. Throop to do the carving. 
Taking off his coat and rolling up his sleeves he seized the 
carving knife and fork and went to work, at the same time 
keeping the company in good humor by his witty jokes. 
The carving finished, he wiped his fingers with a napkin, 
put on his coat and striking a parliamentary attitude, 
said : " Gentlemen and ladies, I submit this subject to 
your immediate consideration," which was received with 
great laughter and applause. 

Mrs. Chauncfey Morgan, assisted by her sister, Mrs. 
Samuel S. Sherwood and Miss Harriet Bessac, of French 
descent, and Mrs. Throop, a lady of splendid appearance, 
richly dressed and wearing a profusion of jewelry, did the 
honors and lent their vivacity to the pleasures of the even- 
ing. At a late hour the reception came to a close. 

Under the first constitution of our State, in 1818, Mr. 
Throop w^as member of Assembly from Chenango county. 
His associates in that assembly w^ere Tilly Linde, then of 
Sherburne, and Perez Randall of Norwich, for many years 
a popular county clerk. From June, 1818, to April, 1822, 
Mr. Throop was district attorney of the county. The early 
records of St. Paul's church for more than ten years from 
1816 are inscribed by him as secretary. In 1832 he left 
Oxford, and in 1871, at the age of 82, was appointed As- 
sociate Judge of Monroe county, Pennsylvania. He died 



428 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

in Stroudsburg, that State, February 17, 1877. Mrs. 
Throop died in Scranton, October 18, 1877, aged 85. Mary 
Gager, their only daughter, married Edward L. Wolf of 
Honesdale, Pa. 

Col. Benjamin Throop, with wife and daughter, came 
to Oxford from Kinderhook, N. Y., in 1818, at the urgent 
request of his son, Major Throop, to spend the remainder 
of his days among relatives. His health was poorly and 
mind impaired, and at the age of 80 years his death oc- 
curred at the home of his grandson on Fort Hill, May 16, 
1822. In 1776, he led a hundred warriors of the Mohigan 
tribe to Canada, who chiefly fell in that unfortunate cam- 
paign victims to the enemy and smallpox. Subsequently 
he received a commission of captain in the line and was 
eventually promoted to the rank of lieutenant-colonel of 
the Fourth Connecticut regiment. He was ordered by 
Washington to protect New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and 
served under Sullivan and Putnam through the war until 
peace prevailed. He was present and fought in the battles 
of Long Island, White Plains, Saratoga and Monmouth, 
and also in many severe conflicts with the Indians. The 
name of Washington never failed to lighten a smile on 
his cheek and his eye for a moment would resume its origi- 
nal brightness. Col. Throop was buried with honors due 
to his rank and service, it being the first military funeral 
in the county. An appropriate sermon was preached by 
Rev. Leverett Bush, D. D., rector of St. Paul's church. 
The body was escorted to the grave by Capt. Wheeler's 
company of artillery, Capt. Smith's militia, soldiers of 
the Revolution, many in the uniform of officers, and a 
large concourse of citizens of Oxford and from every town 
in the county. The procession was headed by muffled 
drums with solemn music, and a horse with military saddle 
and bear skin holsters, and spurred boots fastened to the 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 429 

stirrups, led by a colored man. During the march to the 
old cemetery on State street minute guns were fired by the 
artillery. After the commitment service had been read 
the militia fired six volleys over the grave. Leaving the 
cemetery the dead march was changed to the familiar 
strains of Yankee Doodle, to which air the procession 
quickened its pace and made a much quicker trip back to 
the house on Fort Hill. 

Dr. Benjamin Throop, son of Major Dan Throop, was 
born November 9, 1811, in Oxford. Educated at the 
Academy he was a student with Horatio Seymour, Ward 
Hunt, Charlemagne Tower, Henry R. Mygatt, and many 
others who in later life became noted throughout the 
State and country. Dr. Throop went to Scranton in the 
early days of that city, and investing in coal lands he be- 
came wealthy and was prominently identified with the 
city's growth and interests. He became president of the 
Scranton City Bank, and also of the Scranton Illumina- 
ting, Heat and Power Company. His death occurred in 
that city June 26, 1897. He married in 1842 Miss A, F. 
McKinney of Schuylkill, Pa. Children: 

Mary Eliza. Residence, Scranton. 

Eugene Romayne, died in 1852. 

Benjamin Henry, died in 1851. 

William Bigler, died in 1852. 

George Scranton, died in 1894. 



Greater than genius, greater than power, greater than riches, 
is the ability to pour out one's life for the uplifting of others. 

— Clayton S. Coopeb. 



Henry Mygatt. 



Henry Mygatt, son of Noadiah and Clarissa (Lynde) 
Mygatt of New Mil ford, Conn., came to Oxford in 1806, 



430 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

pursuing for a few years the occupation of a saddler. 
Afterwards he engaged in mercantile business for several 
years in company a portion of the time with his brother 
William, and brother-in-law, Austin Hyde. He finally 
transferred the business to his son-in- law, John Donnelly, 
who continued it till failing health compelled him to re- 
linguish an active life. The firm occupied a building which 
stood on the corner south of Washington Park. It then 
adjoined the residence of Joseph E. Packard, and was used 
many years by Dr. William G. Sands as an office. Mr. 
Mygatt was born November 7, 1783, in New Milford, Conn., 
and died May 5, 1835, in Oxford. He married (1) in 1809, 
Sarah S. Washburn of Oxford, who died September 26, 
1818, in Meredith, N. Y. Married (2) Mrs. Susan Hosmer 
of Connecticut. Children by first wife : 

Henry R., born April 10, 1810, in Oxford; died March 
31, 1875, in Oxford. 

Orlando N., born August 21, 1812, in Oxford ; died Au- 
gust 17, 1827, in Oxford. 

Clarissa A., married (1) John Donnelly, who died Oc- 
tober 30, 1838; married (2) Frederick A. Sands; died Au- 
gust 16, 1886, in Unadilla. 

Sarah E., married Dr. William G. Sands. 

Mr. Mygatt had three children by his second wife, all 
of whom died in infancy. 

Henry R. Mygatt, son of Henry and Sarah (Washburn) 
Mygatt, prepared for college at Oxford Academy, then 
in charge of David L. Prentice, and graduated at Union 
College in 1830. Soon thereafter he commenced the study 
of law in the office of James Clapp, and was admitted at 
Albany in 1833. His professional toils and successes cov- 
ered a long term of practice in all the courts of this State, 
as well as in the Supreme Court of the United States. 
He was greatly beloved and respected for his excellence of 



^^^^^^^^m^QJ^^^^M^^^^Hk' 










J 




ANNALS OF OXFORD 431 

character, Avas highly benevolent, his heart and hand were 
always open to whatever concerned the welfare of the 
community. Great as were his benefactions they were not 
bounded by the limits of his own town. He was not an 
aspirant for public office, and invariably declined all 
nominations therefor. He held successively the office of 
secretary, vice-president, and president of Oxford Acad- 
emy for a number of years. During that time he strength- 
ened it with his counsels, his labors, and with repeated 
and munificent gifts, placing during a portion of the time 
at its disposal free tuitions for worthy and needy scholars. 
To St, Paul's church he was also a bountiful benefactor, 
to which its records bear testimony. Mr. Mygatt received 
from Hobart College the honorary degree of Doctor of 
Laws, a designation well and worthily bestowed, and was 
one of the corporators named in the act of Congress which 
created the Centennial Board of Finance for the Inter- 
national celebration of the hundredth anniversary of 
American Independence. Mr. Mygatt married December 
2, 1835, Esther Maria Tracy, daughter of Hon. John Tracy, 
who died June 25, 1895, in New York city, Children : 

John Tracy, born November 29, 1836 ; married August 
28, 1861, Mary Stevens, daughter of Hon. Daniel S. Dick- 
inson, of Binghamton. After passing his Freshman year 
at Hamilton College, Mr. Mygatt, second term Sophomore, 
entered Union, from which he was graduated in class of 
'58, being one of the Commencement speakers. While in 
Union he was a member of the Adelphi Literary Society, 
and held the office of President. He was admitted to the 
Bar in 1861, and located in Binghamton; but after a few 
years' practice, finding this occupation too sedentary, 
abandoned it for the paper trade, and for many years was 
established in Duane street. New York city. He held at 
one time the office of President of the Binghamton Council 



433 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

of the Union League of America ; was also District Deputy, 
founded several councils of the organization, and was 
secretary of a large and important meeting of the League 
held soon af 31 the draft riots of 1863 in New York. Mr. 
Mygatt is a Son of the Revolution, a Free Mason, and also 
a member of the Psi Upsilon fraternity. He is a graceful 
and earnest speaker and wields the pen of a ready writer. 

Child : D. S. Dickinson, born May 9, 1864, in Bingham- 
ton; died February 3, 1888, in New York city. Married 
Minnie H., daughter of Nicholas D. Clapp of New York 
city. (Children: daughter, Tracy Dickinson; son, Henry 
R.). 

Henry, died May 29, 1812, aged one year. 

William R., born April 20, 1851 ; married September 6, 
1876, Agnes P., daughter of Andrew J. Hull of Oxford. 
Now residing at Chicago. 

Mai, married September 27, 1881, James A. Brown. 
Residence, Fergus Falls, Minn. 



Along the cool sequester'd vale of life, 
They kept the noiseless tenor of their way. 

— Gray. 

Whittenhall Family. 



William Whittenhall, formerly spelled Wettenhall, an 
Englisman and a tailor by trade, came from Albany and 
built a frame house below the village in which he kept tav- 
ern for many years. The building is still standing and is 
the one next below the farm house of O. M. Westover. Mr. 
Whittenhall moved in 1808 to Smithville and subsequently 
to McDonough, where he died April 2, 1818, aged 89. He 
had three sons, all born in Oxford : 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 433 

Uri, born in 1805, conducted a bakery in Oxford in 1829. 
He removed to Greene previous to 1850 and purchased 
the Chenango House in that village, which he conducted 
for a long term of years, and became personally known to 
the traveling public from the days of the stage coach to 
those of the railway car. Mr. Whittenhall died December 
29, 1887, in Greene. Harriet, his wife died March 8, 1879, 
aged 71. Children : 

Sarah Jane, married (1) James E. Thurber; married 
(2) John G. Brown of Utica, where she now resides. 

Henry F., married August 30, 1860, Arabella J. Race 
of Greene. 

Otis, married Eliza Kathan, and had many descendants 
in Steuben county. 

Elihu, born in 1808, was interested in the bakery with 
his brother Uri. He died at Sabetha, Kan., December 1, 
1881. Married Eliza A. Shumway, who died August 23, 
1866, at Albany, Kan., aged 57. Their eldest son. Captain 
Daniel S. Whittenhall, died at the Soldiers' Home in Dan- 
ville, 111., November 27, 1904. He was born in Oxford, 
June 12, 1829, where his boyhood days were spent and his 
education obtained in the Academy. In early manhood 
he went West and at the breaking out of the war of the 
Rebellion, enlisted April 19, 1861, claiming the distinction 
of being the first volunteer to be sworn into the service, a 
claim that was well borne out by a documentary letter 
that appeared in the Topeka, Kansas, Mail, December 11, 
1901. Captain Whittenhall served three months with the 
First Illinois Cavalry and was captured with Col. Mulli- 
gan's men at Lexington, Mo., in September, 1861. Later 
he was made Captain of Co. E, Second Kansas Cavalry, 
and served until January 1, 1863, when he was discharged 
for disability. 



434 ANNALS OF OXFORD 



I can't but say it is an awliward sight 
To see one's native land receding through 
The growing waters. 

— Byron. 



Freshet of 1842, 



We copy a description of the freshet of February 5, 1842, 
contributed to the " Mirror/^ a paper read before the 
Ladies' Conversational Society at that time. The water 
gods are supposed to have played many mad pranks with 
buildings and vegetables, also floating off a slaughter- 
house. 

Such a sight as greeted the vision on last Friday morning seldom 
meets the ken of habitants resident within our little vale. From, hill 
to hill, with the exception of a few favored spots> occupied by some, 
who, more fortunate than their neighbors, had become somewhat ele- 
vated in the world, one vast sheet of water met the eye. Its surface 
covered with masses of floating ice and timber, with here and there a 
boat endeavoring to rescue from the embracing flood some portion of 
its spoils. Old Neptune had taken possession of the valley ; the water 
gods were holding a jubilee and, 'mid their revelry, strange pranks they 
played us poor mortals. One of their mad freaks was to gift with 
power of locomotion fields of ice, miles of fences, scores of barns, bridges, 
and things inanimate, too numerous to mention, and these latter, ap- 
parently right well pleased, eagerly sought to exercise their newly 
acquired faculties, without regard to the care and attention which had 
been bestowed upon them by those to whom they had heretofore been 
faithful servants ; indeed, several barns were guilty of a breach of 
trust and Swartouted * with the people's deposits to parts unknown. 
One, also, of which a better example might have been expected, it hav- 
ing been located within a stone's throw of a sanctuary, lias committed 
a grievous act of trespass by occupying, without license, a portion of 
an adjoining meadow. These same mischievous personages have had 
the bare-facedness to enter in a sly way the cellars of some of our most 
potable house-wives, and, without regard to the loss and inconvenience 
occasioned thereby, have upset pork barrels and pickle tubs, made beef 



* Swartout was one of the earliest New York defaulters and ab- 
sconders. 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 435 

fresh, which once was salted, set ashes to leaching, before the old ladies 
had dreamed of making soap, used the latter article by the barrel, 
whenever they had occasion to wash their hands, prepared a cold bath 
for the old gentleman who was in the nightly habit of drawing the 
spiggot from the cider barrel, and, as for pumpkins and onions, boxes 
and casks, these fresh water imps turned their Jieads completely. They 
were all in motion, elbowing this one, nodding to that, cross over here, 
right and left there. It was a most hetrogeneous assemblage. Here 
might be seen a spruce squash offering his crook to a matronly pump- 
kin ; there an onion endeavoring to draw tears from the already pink 
eyes of a potato; here a cabbage with head downcast and countenance 
suffused with tears ; and still another with head erect viewing with 
dismay the riotous acts of his sauce-y brethren. Apples wuth blushing 
cheeks, beets that looked as if the scene had caused a rush of blood to 
the head; despairing parsnips, as yellow as if in the last stage of the 
jaundice ; aristocratic carrots, red with rage at being thus- uncere- 
moniously jostled by the crowd ; turnips, which, if their countenances 
were any indication of their feelings, felt flat ; in short, many a pale 
faced esculent was placed in a position not to be coveted, and which 
would have brought a blush to their cheeks, had they not had so many 
companions in their misery. It may well be said that saich a row 
among the occupants of basement stores has not been kicked up this 
piany^ a day. But cellars were not alone the scene of their labors ; 
many' a proud tree, that had reared his crest on high for ages, and 
spread his protecting branches far and wide, was by their agency up- 
rooted, prostrated and borne along by the resistless flood, with scarce 
time allowed for saying, 

What oft is said. 
To me it seems I have a swimming within my head. 



The shrine, on which many a fatling had poured out its life cur- 
rent, together with its blood-stained walls and floors, as trees came 
against it astride chargers of ice gave way with a crash, and far 
above the din of the elements, was heard a voice saying, " I can't 
stand the pressure of these times." " Make thy escape," said the barn 
to the horse, " for every joint in my frame speaks of approaching dis- 
connection, and warns me that soon I, like my neighbor, must be 
added to the amount of floating capital." See that being yonder, with 
countenance most rueful, and altered mien, the whilom occupant of 
that vast domicile, located below the arches that span the noble river. 
Hear him exclaim, " Othello's occupation is gone, and now is the dis- 
content of my winter made perfect." Alas! poor fellow, these inter- 
meddlers had given his wheels an overdose of cold water ; and for the 
time being he is deprived of the privilege of putting his hands into his 
neighbor's meal-bags. And hark ! w^hat sounds are those that salute 
tl\e ear, borne by the winds across the troubled waters? Ah, 'tis an 
unavailing cry for help from a band of fugitives attempting to escape 
the water-spirits' cold embrace. Vain hope, useless endeavor; their 
agent, the flood surrounds and overwhelms them ; they sink and sink 
to rise once more — a mass of wool and mutton. 



4^6 ANNALS OF OXFORD 



No reckoning made, but sent to my account 
With all my imperfections on my head. 

— SHAKE8PEABE. 



Death of a Burglar. 



A series of daring burglaries were perpetrated in the 
Chenango valley in May, 1862. Hamilton, Earlville and 
Norwich were successfully visited within three nights by 
the bold intruders, who gathered in sever-al w^atches and 
considerable cash. As the burglars followed the telegraph 
line down the valley, messages were sent ahead, warning 
the people of the probabilities of a visit from the unwel- 
come guests. Not much attention was paid to the warning 
by the several localities except Oxford, when on Tuesday 
night, June 3, watchmen were stationed on several streets. 
Shortly after 2 a. m., a mysterious individual made his 
appearance in front of the residence of J. B. Galpin on 
Clinton street, and when accosted by Selah H. Fish as 
to his business and destination, said his name was Jones 
and represented himself as on the way to Chenango Forks 
to take charge of a canal boat. He was armed with a 
crutch and a cane, and affected the cripple. The watch, 
like a good Samaritan, kindly offered him accommoda- 
tions for the night, which he seemed inclined to accept, 
but when near F. G. Clarke's residence he bade farewell 
to crutch, cane, overcoat and attendant and started on 
a keen run towards Fort Hill, passing Jack Coats on the 
canal bridge. The latter being unable to stop the sup- 
posed burglar threw a club at him as he disappeared in 
the direction of the river. 

Early Monday morning, June 9, persons passing over 
the river bridge discovered the body of a man floating from 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 437 

above, which was secured and Coroner T. J. Bailey of 
Norwich summoned. The facts in brief elicited by the 
examination before the jury were, that the body had been 
about one week in the water, and was that of a man ap- 
parently between 35 and 40 years of age, of strong muscu- 
lar development. On his right shoulder blade was a bruise 
apparently recent, on his left leg above the knee was a 
slight wound, which might have been caused by a small 
bullet or blunt instrument, and through his pants was a 
hole corresponding thereto. On the fore leg below the 
knee was a bad bruise tied with a silk handkerchief. The 
property, other than clothing, found upon the body were 
two pocket knives, a pair of lady's rubber shoes, a railway 
guide, a map of New York, a six-shooter, loaded, a pair 
of hollow forceps, well adapted to turning keys in doors, 
two gold watches, one recognized by Mr. Samuel Ham- 
mond, as but a short time before taken from his room at 
the Noyes House, Norwich, money in current bills, $495, 
and coin in amount about $18. Among the coin was a 
piece much worn, recognized by Mr. Hammond as having 
been in his possession as a pocket piece for more than fif- 
teen years. Paint was discovered on the soles of the rub- 
bers similar in color to that with which the stairway of 
the Noyes House had recently been painted. A promissory 
note, as follows, completed the list : 

Factoryville, Feb. 1. 1862. 
$100. — Due Dr. Johnson, or bearer. One Hundred Dollars, borrowed 
money. 

(Signed,) C. C. & W. BROOKS. 

The hands of the watches had been arrested at a little 
past tAvo o'clock. The attending circumstances furnished 
strong evidence that this was the same person, or one of 
a party, who had committed the burglaries up the valley, 
and was afterwards seen at night in the streets of our 



438 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

village. Evidently he had crossed the bridge, jumped the 
fence and run up the east bank of the river into the cove. 
Without the intervention of judge or jury, or the law's 
delay, the quiet waters of the Chenango sealed his fate. 
A few days later, a lady accompanied by a gentleman, 
came to our village and made incjuir}^ concerning the 
drowned man. She came from Factoryville and had been 
married about four months previously to Dr. Johnson. 
He had been absent three weeks from home and was last 
heard from at Syracuse. With much feeling she described 
the overcoat and other articles of the deceased with con- 
siderable accuracy. After remaining a short time she left 
town, apparently well persuaded that she had discovered 
the truth of her husband's death. The body was buried 
in the old cemetery on State street, and a stone with a 
plain inscription marked the grave. 



And while a paltry stii)end earning, 
He sows the richest seeds of learning. 

— Lloyd. 



David Fiske. 



David Fiske was born in Temple, N. H., in 1797, came to 
this town and settled in East Oxford on a farm in 1820, 
where he did well his part in prostrating the forest and 
turning the wilderness into fruitful fields. He and his 
wife often went to Jericho, now Bainbridge, on horseback, 
following a path through the heavy timber marked by 
blazed trees. For a man of his time he was well educated 
and taught district school for ten winters, also devoted 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 439 

much time to teaching music. For several terms he held 
the office of Justice of Peace, and his decisions were im- 
partial and wise. His death occurred November 26, 1880, 
in Oxford. His wife was Millie Sheldon, whom he married 
in Temple, N. H. Her death occurred March 13, 1884, at 
the age of 86 years. Children, all born in Oxford : Lucy, 
married Charles Peacock of Norwich; Mary, died in early 
childhood; Abigail, married George Carhart, of Oxford; 
Lydia, married Chauncey Barstow of Oxford; Horace, 
remained on the old homestead. Married ( 1 ) Martha Pad- 
gett; married (2) Emma Jones; Emily, married Joseph 
Estabrook, now resides in Oxford, and only survivor of 
the familv. 



His daily prayer, far better understood in acts than 
words, was simply doing good. 

— Whittier. 



Pendleton Family. 



Nathan Pendleton and Amelia Babcock, his wife, of 
Quaker stock, came to Norwich from Stonington, Conn., 
soon after 1800. They settled on the east side of the 
Chenango river, about three miles below the village, and 
his land lay on both sides of the stream. They brought 
with them seven children, three girls and four boys, leav- 
ing five in Connecticut. 

Isaac, one of the sons, was born January 16, 1781, in 
Westerly, R. I., and died November 3, 1843, in Oxford. 
He married, in 1808, Bridget Stanton of Stonington, 
Conn., whose death also occurred in Oxford. Mr. Pendle- 
ton purchased a farm at Lyon Brook, which is still known 



440 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

by his name, and moved April 7, 1820, upon it with his 
family. His wife and son Nathan, then but three weeks 
old, making the journey upon a bed placed in a wagon. 
Children : 

Amelia, married Harry Hull of Oxford. 

Lydia Ann, married Daniel H. Richmond; died in Nor- 
wich. 

Isaac, died in infancy. 

Mary, died in infancy. 

Rhoda, married (1) Ormund Richmond; married (2) 
Benjamin B. Hewitt. 

Nathan, married Mrs. Elizabeth (Packer) Pellett. 

Jane, married Albert G. Ayer; died August 6, 1894, in 
Preston, Conn. 

Sarah, married Charles R. Breed; died December 19, 
1905, in Norwich. 

Stanton, married Amanda Malvina White; died in 
1905 at Norwich. 

Henry, married Helen Cary; died in Nebraska City. 

Nathan Pendleton, son of Isaac and Bridget (Stanton) 
Pendleton, was born March 17, 1820, in Norwich, N. Y., 
and came to Oxford with his parents when but three weeks 
old. He married May 22, 1815, Mrs. Elizabeth (Packer) 
Pellett of Norwich, born April 5, 1820; died March 18, 
1890, in Oxford. Mr. Pendleton received his preliminary 
education in a district school, after which he took a course 
in Oxford Academy and DeRuyter Institute. Remaining 
on his fatliers farm until 1849, he purchased the property 
a mile south of the village, on the east side of the river, 
which he still occupies, active and energetic. Mr. Pendle- 
ton is a leading agriculturist of the county, and is a fair 
example of the kind of men who have contributed so 
largely to the growth and substantial prosperity of the 
town. Children: 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 441 

Elizabeth Packer, died June 9, 1887, in Norwich, N. 
Y., aged 41; married Captain Robert A. Stanton of Nor- 
wich, born April 29, 1838; died September 5, 1886, in 
Norwich. Captain Stanton was educated at the Norwich 
and Oxford academies, and in 1859 commenced the study 
of law in Oxford with Horace Packer, and subsequently 
pursued it under Dwight H. Clarke. He was among the 
early enlisted soldiers of the Civil war, having joined 
Sickles's brigade in June, 1861. Through promotion, he 
became quartermaster-sergeant of the 74th N. Y. V., second 
lieutenant and captain. He served his country faithfully 
for three years. On his return to Norwich he resumed his 
legal studies, and was admitted in November, 1865. In 
1868 he was elected district attorney and served three 
years. Children: Edith, Margaret, married H. William 
Clarke of Oxford, Nathan P. and Charles E,. 

James Nathan, died April 24, 1872, having but just 
reached the threshold of young manhood. 



But I have that within, which passeth show ; 
These but the trappings and the suits of woe. 

— Shakespeabe. 

Rev. Horatio T. McGeorge< 



Rev. Horatio T. McGeorge, died January 13, 1852, aged 
97. He was born in London, England, and in early life 
had the advantage of a liberal education. His attainments 
as a linguist were extensive and thorough, and he spoke 
with ease and fluency eight different languages. At the 
age of 25, having married the daughter of an eminent 
Scotch divine, his mind was directed to the Christian 
ministry, and he was pastor of several dissenting congrega- 



442 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

tions in Scotland. At this period of his life he also studied 
medicine, and in connection with his clerical duties was 
to a considerable extent engaged in its practice. About 
1802, he emigrated to this country and settled at Hadley, 
Mass., where he resumed the work of the ministry, and 
was for several years pastor of the Congregational church 
in that place. Then he removed to South Oxford in 1820, 
w^here the remaining part of his long life was spent. Dur- 
ing a portion of this time he preached in the Congrega- 
tional church at Coventryville, but was dismissed March 
16, 1827. 

During his residence in Oxford, Mr. McGeorge was very 
eccentric, and always wrote his name as Rev'd Horatio T. 
McGeorge, V. D. M. It was said he had been banished 
from England. He owned a Cremona violin, which he 
handled skillfully, playing nothing without his notes, and 
his execution was equal to any master of that instrument. 
He often drove to town, usually in an old gig, connected 
by his own ingenuity with a horse and two wheels about 
thirt}^ feet from his seat, with ropes and straps so adjusted 
that he could free the animal from the vehicle and retain 
his seat. He had a small log cabin near his house that he 
used for his study. Sensible of how much men are affected 
by external appearances and to strike the passing traveler 
and the casual visitor with awe, he affixed to the outside 
of the building a large-sized coffin, standing upright, the 
head of which, when the lid was down, admitted the light 
through his only window. The more fully to accomplish 
his object, he had the roof and sides decorated with signs 
of his own make; a few of the inscriptions were: 
" Hermitage," ^' It preaches," " The house of death," and 
" Beware, thou sinner." Within was an open grave, which 
as each morn returned he threw out a small quantity of 
earth. Skeletons and articles of like species composed the 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 443 

ornamental part of his furniture. To sundry old men, 
women, and children this paraphernalia of death was ex- 
ceedingly terrifying. But transitory is our happiness here 
below and the unfortunate tenant of the " Hermitage " 
had practical demonstration of it, for, notwithstanding 
the sanctity of the place, on one dark Saturday night the 
coffin and signs were transferred to the side of a slaughter- 
house in the village, at the singular appearance of which 
hundreds of citizens were greatly shocked through the 
Sabbath that succeeded the transfer. The occasion was 
one of great grief to the old doctor, but it ended this 
vagary. He was buried in the grave that he himself had 
dug, and a stone wall in the shape of a coffin was built 
around it, which remains to this day. 

He was the father of twelve children, among whom were : 

Elizabeth, born in 1779; died September 13, 1857, at 
Greene, N. Y. ; married Reuben Chase. 

Horatio T., Jr., born in 1781 ; died January 13, 1854, at 
Athens, Pa. 

Davey D., born December 12, 1801, at Middletown, 
Conn.; died October 19, 1889, in Oxford, where he had 
resided since 1820. Married (1) December 19, 1826, 
Priscilla Eobinson of Pittsfield, N. Y., born February 29, 
1807; died July 2, 1835, in Oxford. Married (2) January 
5, 1836, Hannah C. Bolles, born January 21, 1814, at 
Southbridge, Conn. ; died December 3, 1891, at Schenevus, 
N. Y. Children by first wife: Elizabeth A., married 
Solomon Bundy, Jr. ; Catherine A., di^'d June 2, 1906, at 
Hornell, N. Y. ; married James Curtis of Addison, N. Y. 
Children by second wife: Sarah D., died March 8, 1874, 
in Oxford; married Rodney L. Smith of Wolcottville, 
Conn. ; Evalina, married September 4, 1878, William Cook 
of Oxford; Now a resident of Afton, N. Y. 



444 ANNALS OF OXFORD 



He tried the luxury of doing good. 

— Cbabbe. 

Austin Rouse, M. D 



Dr. Austin Rouse, born June 15, 1796, in Norwich, N. 
Y., was the eldest son of Judge Casper Rouse, who came 
from the New England states and settled on the site of 
Mt. Hope cemetery in that village. Dr. Rouse studied 
medicine with Dr. Henry Mitchell of Norwich and com- 
pleted his studies with Dr. Perez Packer at Oxford in 
1821, with whom he practiced for some time, remaining 
here till his death, which occurred August 27, 1866. In 
the social and domestic relations of life he was ever 
characterized by great purity of character, integrity of 
purpose, and an abiding kindness of heart, as uniform as 
it was admirable. He was, perhaps, connected with more 
hearthstones and homes than any other person in the 
community in the dear and tender relations of a beloved 
and faithful phj-sician. Dr. Rouse married May 12, 1825, 
Jane E., daughter of Erastus and Abigail (Stephens) 
Perkins, born May 2, 1806; died September 28, 1875, in 
Scranton, Pa., at the home of her daughter, Mrs. A. B. 
Bennett. Mrs. Rouse, while descending a staircase, fell 
and was discovered by her daughter apparently in a faint 
A physician was summoned, but the patient was beyond 
human help and expired in fifteen minutes after she was 
taken up. It was thought she tripped and fell headlong 
down the steps, striking upon her head and dislocating the 
vertebra? of the neck. Children : 

Mary J., married Henry C. Roome. 

Louise, married (1) James O. Clarke; married (2) 

Stevens. 

Margaret R., married Adolphus B. Bennett; died July 
29, 1891, in Jersey City, N. J., aged 47. 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 445 



Ay, call it holy ground, 

The soil where first they trod, 
They have left unstain'd what there they found, 

Freedom to worship God. 

— Mrs. Hemans. 



Ephraim Fitch. 



Ephraim Fitch, one of the early settlers of the town, 
was born in Norwich, Conn., March 29, 1736. His father 
came over in the Mayflower from England and first settled 
in Massachusetts. Ephraim married Lydia Koot, April 
28, 1757, and raised a family of four children, one girl and 
three boys. He was the first elected supervisor of the 
town; was well educated, having passed through college; 
he became a teacher and later president of the same col- 
lege. The first visit that he made to Oxford was on horse- 
back, accompanied by Daniel Tremain, through the woods, 
guided only by marked trees and Indian paths. The two 
travelers bought land and afterwards settled upon it; the 
former near Fitch hill, north of the village, which sub- 
sequently w^as named after him, and the latter on the east 
side of the river, near Brisbin. They improved large 
farms, raised families, and lived to be very old men. Mr. 
Fitch died in Cattaraugus county, where he moved in 
1814. He was said to have been 96 years of age at the time 
of his death. His sons, John and Jonatham, held town 
offices with Anson Cary, Uri Tracy, and others. 

John Fitch was a captain in the Revolutionary war, 
served through most of the northern campaigns, and 
fought in every battle of consequence. A genuine spirit 
of '76, he was attached by General Washington to that 
brave body of men which, from the extreme danger of 



446 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

their service, was called the ^' Forlorn Hope." He was 
twice married and raised a family of fourteen children, 
eight sons and six daughters, all living to a ripe old age 
but one, a girl, who died at the age of 24. Captain Fitch 
died suddenly in this village July 8, 1824, aged 66. 

Daniel Perry Fitch, the seventh son of Captain John 
Fitch, was born on Fitch hill April 23, 1804, and passed 
the first twenty years of his life in this town and Norwich. 
At the age of 12 he entered the office of the Oxford 
Gazette, published by Chauncey Morgan, where he learned 
the "art preservative of all arts." Previous to this time 
he became a member of the family of Cyrus A. Bacon, 
probably working for his board, as he took care of the 
cow, set the table and helped wash dishes. James Clapp 
kept his horse in the barn where Mr. Bacon kept his cow, 
and one day while preparing for a drive dropped a five 
dollar gold piece, which he was unable to find. A few 
mornings afterAvards Perry saw something shining in the 
dirt, picked it up and put it in his mouth until he had 
finished milking, when he showed it to Mr. Bacon, who 
told him to let Mr. Clapp see it. Mr. Clapp asked where 
it was found, and said it was his pocket piece, then placed 
it in his pocket and continued eating breakfast. Perry 
went into the kitchen feeling very poor, but soon Mr. 
Clapp asked him to go to the store of Ira Willcox, where 
he purchased a fine piece of broadcloth, and then took him 
to William Guyler's tailor shop and told him to make the 
boy a good coat, as he had found and returned his gold 
piece. In a short time Perry had a coat w^orth more than 
the amount of money he had found. When Morgan sold 
out young Fitch entered the office of Thurlow Weed, who 
published the Chenango Agriculturist in Norwich about 
the year 1818. Perry remained with Mr. Weed until he 
sold, and then left the printing business on account of poor 




RESIDENCE OF ALPHA MORSE AND VIEW THEREFROM 




ST. JAMES HOTEL 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 447 

health. He had relatives in South Oxford, where he re- 
mained five years, then left for the western part of the 
State, and died a few years ago at Cuba, N. Y. 



Who does the best his circumstance allows, Does well, acts 
nobly ; angels could do no more. 

— Young. 

Hezekiah Morse. 



Hezekiah Morse, bom July 3, 1767, at Sherburne, Mass. ; 
died suddenly July 18, 1827; married (1) Elizabeth Perry; 
married (2) Sally Stow, who died September 22, 1870, 
aged 93. 

Mr. Morse removed to Eaton, Madison county, in 1804. 
In 1809 he was elected supervisor of that town, which 
office he held for several successive years. At an e^irly age 
he became a communicant of the Episcopal church, and as 
there was no congregation of that persuasion in the vicin- 
ity of Eaton he came to this village in 1819 to reside that 
he might w^orship in that faith. Mr. Morse purchased of 
Daniel Denison Valley View farm, now owmed and occu- 
pied by his grandsons, A. and E. P. Morse. 

His son, Hezekiah B., was born February 15, 1811, in 
Eaton, and coming to Oxford with his parents resided on 
the farm till his death, which occurred June 16, 1879. He 
was a practical farmer and made a success in life. The 
farm originally comprised 160 acres, but at present com- 
prises ninety, one-third of Avhich is fertile river bottoms, 
through which the Chenango pursues its winding way, and 
the rest gradually rolling west to higher elevations. Mr. 



448 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

Morse married May 4, 1845, Clarissa Sjmonds, born June 
29, 1824, in Oxford; died July 4, 1877. Children : 

Melvin, died March 21, 1864, aged 18. 

Alpha, married Mariba Durfee. He and his brother 
Edward have pursued dairying in a practical manner for 
years, and engaged in raising thoroughbred short-horn 
cattle purely for dairy qualities. Mr. Morse had an exhibit 
of cattle at the World's Fair in Chicago, where he was 
employed several months. Children : John E., born Jan- 
nary 18, 1868 ; died September 10, 1870 ; A. Raymond, mar- 
ried Bertha Willcox, and has two children living, having 
lost twin sons ; now practicing medicine at Eaton, Madison 
county. 

Clara, died December 27, 1872, aged 22; unmarried. 

Twin sons, died in infancy. 

Edward P. 



The greatest happiness comes from the greatest activity. 

— BOVEE. 



Jeremiah York. 



Jeremiah York was born September 25, 1794, at North 
Stonington, Conn. In 1815 he married Catherine Pendle- 
ton at Norwich, N. Y., where they resided three years and 
then came to Oxford. Mrs. York was a native of Connecti- 
cut, where she was born July 22, 1789. She died January 
14, 1826, in Oxford, leaving three children, Hiram, Henry 
D., and Catherine, who married S. P. Stillman. The two 
last are still living in 1906, aged 82 and 79 respectively. 
Mr. York lived the remainder of his life in Oxford, passing 
away April 24, 1873. He married for his second wife Mrs. 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 449 

Aruba Sheldon, born February 4, 1804; died April 21, 
1886. One child blessed this union. Electa A., who mar- 
ried Henry L. York of Norwich, and died November 2, 
1853, aged 25. 

During the many years of his life in Oxford, Mr. York 
was an active and prominent member of the community, 
being identified especially with its educational interests. 
He was a trustee of Oxford Academy until the frailties of 
old age obliged him to resign. His children, four in num- 
ber, and three of Mrs. York's (nee Sheldon) were educated 
at the Academy, in which he was so much interested, and 
they repaid his kindness by attaining good scholarship. 

Mr. York erected in 1835 the first brick dwelling-house 
in Oxford, now the residence of Walker Porter, south of 
the W. R. C. Home. He was a thorough-going farmer, 
using every method then known to make his farm pro- 
ductive, and at one time took first premium awarded by 
the Town Agricultural Society for the best wrought and 
cropped farm in Oxford. He was for many years a deacon 
in the Baptist church, and also an honored member of the 
Masonic order. 

Abigal Sheldon, daughter of Mrs. York by a former 
marriage, was born in 1825 in White Store, N. Y., and 
died January 12, 1891, at Highmount, N. Y. She married 
Charles Fish, born in 1824 near Albany, and who came 
with his father's family to Oxford in 1840 and lived on the 
Loren Willcox farm, then owned by a Mr. Thompson, a 
relative. Soon after the marriage of Mr. and ^Irs. Fish 
they went to Elmira to reside, where their two daughtei's 
were born: Georgianna, married (1) John Hoffman, a 
native of Germany, who died in 1883; married (2) Henry 
Bellamy of Pleasanton, 111. Medoka, married October 16, 
1866, James T. Hill of Oxford, now residing at High- 
mount, N. Y. 



450 ANNALS OF OXFORD 



Neither above nor below his business. 

— Tacitus. 



William Mygatt, 



William Mygatt, born October 25, 1785, in New Milford, 
Conn. ; died Februar}^ 5, 1868, in Oxford ; married January 
29, 1817, in New Milford, Caroline, daughter of Cyrus 
Northrup, born July 27, 1797, in New Milford; died May 
15, 1866, in Oxford. 

Mr. Mygatt was one of the prominent business men of 
Oxford, whose career was especially successful. During 
the summer of 1818 he brought his wife of but a few months 
to this village and engaged in the mercantile business. 
For a few years he was associated with his brother, Henry 
Mygatt, and brother-in-law, Austin Hyde, after which he 
devoted his whole attention to the tanning business. He 
purchased of Major Dan Throop the place now owned by 
Mrs. George B. Coe, then a farm, and his tannery stood at 
tlie foot of the hill, but no vestige of it now remains. Mr. 
Mygatt's business operations were of greater magnitude 
and extent than usually pertain to one man in a country 
town. By his industry, his diligent attention to business, 
and a wise forecast, he was eminently prosperous and suc- 
cessful. His habits of life were rigidly temperate, frugal, 
and regular, and to these doubtless he was much indebted 
for that uniform health which he enjoyed even to old age. 
Early trained in the principles of Christianity, he always 
exhibited a high appreciation of the institutions of religion, 
giving to them his personal encouragement and pecuniary 
support. Thus he lived to a good old age, honored and 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 451 

respected; then he passed away and entered into rest. 
Children : 

Elizabeth, born November 7, 1817; married Henry L. 
Miller; died February 5, 1890. 

Frederick N., born August 19, 1819; died March 27, 
1823. 

Sarah A., born October 16, 1821 ; died March 1, 1893 ; 
married April 20, 1817, Dr. Alfred B. Coe, died August 
13, 1854, aged 36. Children : George B., born January 6, 
1849; died April 8, 1901; married Florine Brewster of 
Schoharie; (child, Kalph B.). William M., born Novem- 
ber 8, 1851; died September 19, 1893, in West Winfield, 
N. Y. ; married Lucia Winsor of Guilford ; ( children, 
James W. and Alfred W. ) . Carrie E., born May 16, 1853 ; 
died unmarried August 12, 1896, in Owego, N. Y. 

Emily N., born August 26, 1823; died unmarried May 
15, 1856. 

Susan M., born October 29, 1825; died February 21, 
1826. 

Caroline L., born January 31, 1827; died January 23, 
1895, in Minneapolis; married September 18, 1850, Rufus 
J. Baldwin, born January 22, 1825, in Guilford; died in 
Minneapolis, Minn. Children: Emily, born August 29, 
1853 ; died April 17, 1858. Lizzie, born July 9, 1859 ; died 
April 10, 1869. Frederick R., born November 6, 1860. 

Jane A., born February 1, 1829; died November 24, 
1894 ; married June 14, 1866, Dr. George Douglas. 

Julia M., born May 8, 1832; died April 23, 1863, in 
Minneapolis, Minn. ; married September — , 1857, Charles 
E. Vanderburgh, born December 30, 1830, in Skaneateles, 
N. Y.; (children, William H., born July 15, 1856; Julia, 
born , 1861; died , 1871). 



452 ANNALS OF OXFORD 



The choir, 
With all the choicest music of the kingdom, 
Together sung Te Deum. 

S H AKESPE ABE. 



John C. Bowers. 



John C. Bowers, born April 14, 1811, in Stonington, 
Conn.; died April 1, 1898, in Oxford; married (1) Achsa 
Main, daughter of Kandall Main of Oxford, who died 
within a year and a half after their marriage; married (2) 
January 31, 1842, Emeline Peck, born July 17, 1817; died 
November 4, 1902, in Sidney. 

Mr. Bowers came to Oxford in 1817 and in later years 
became colonel of a militia regiment, when such organiza- 
tions were popular, and a very dashing officer he made. 
He was a conductor of singing schools for many years in 
Oxford and adjoining towns, teaching " sacred music " to 
many old-time singers, who eventually became members of 
village choirs. In the early days of St. Paul's church he 
was a choir leader, which position he faithfully and satis- 
factorily filled a number of years. When the present 
church was erected he furnished the stone to build it, and 
laid many rods of sidewalk in the village. Mr. Bowers 
conducted a bakery for a time on Washington street, op- 
posite the Chenango House, which has since been burned. 
He successfully canvassed a portion of the State for the 
New York State Gazateer, and in Illinois for a United 
States map. Later he built the octagon house on Mechanic 
street. Children by second wife: 

D. Marion, married October 16, 1873, Frances Weller of 
Sidney, where he now resides. Kodolphus T., died Jan- 
uary 2, 1853, in infancy. 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 453 



He lives long that lives well. 

— Fuller. 



Samuel A. GifFord. 



Samuel A. Gifford, who was familiarly known as Gen- 
eral Gifford, was the only son of Abner and Lucy (Lord) 
Gifford, who came in 1800, soon after their marriage, and 
settled in the town of Oxford on what is known as Prospect 
View farm, which overlooks nine towns. Here their six 
daughters and one son were born. General Gifford was 
the youngest of the family, except one sister w^ho died at 
the age of fourteen yeai^. He always resided in the town 
and the greater portion of his life was spent on the farm 
that his father settled. At an early age he became con- 
nected with the State militia and in the course of time 
was promoted from a private to captain, then to colonel 
and brigadier general. He received his commissions from 
the Governor of the State and held the office until the 
militia was disbanded. Having a talent for vocal music, 
he for many years taught singing schools and was leader 
or chorister in some church nearly all his life, till failing 
health compelled him to give up active work. General 
Gifford was born in 1817 and died September 29, 1894. 
He married in 1848 Emma Hodge of Oxford, born in 1824 ; 
died November — , 1906. Children: Mary A., married 
Alexander Lathan; residence Denver, Col. Ray, married 
Ida Carhart; died in 1893 in Oxford. Ward B., married 
Jennie L. Turner; residence Oxford. Hial H., married 
Ella B. Brooksbank, and resides on the old homestead. 



434 ANNALS OF OXFORD 



Each in his narrow cell forever laid, 
The rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep. 

— Gray. 



McFarland Family 



The clan Macfarlane descended from one of the ancient 
Earls of Lennox. The ancestor was Gilchrist, the brother 
of Maldowen, or Malduin, third Earl of Lennox ; the name 
of a descendant named Parian being changed to Macpar- 
lan, and later to Macfarlane, originating the name of the 
Highland Clan. During the 3^ear 1488, in a war for the 
protection of their lands on the west shore of Loch 
Lomond, the Macfarlanes separated, forming a clan by 
themselves. They were numerous and powerful, but in 
the wars of the clans their chief was killed, they nearly 
destroyed, and many of the survivors fled to remote parts 
of the country. Andrew Macfarlane, who married into the 
Stewart and Darnley families, saved a portion of the clan 
from destruction, and recovered for tliem a part of their 
possessions. His son, Sir John Macfarlane, Avas made 
captain of the clan. A portion of the Clan Macfarlane at 
the time of their dispersion settled in the north of Ireland, 
and changed the spelling of the name to McFarland. 

Daniel McFarland and son ^Andrew, aged 28, were 
among a colony of Scotch-Irish who landed in Boston on 
the 4th of August, 1718. They settled in Worcester, Mass. 

Andrew McFarland, son of above, married Rebecca 
Gray, and they had three sons, William, James, and 
Daniel. James married Elizabeth Barbour. 

John McFarland, eighth child of James and Elizabeth 
(Barbour) McFarland, was born February 20, 1766, and 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 455 

resided for many years in Worcester, Mass. During the 
Revolution he was a drummer-boy, and later a member of 
Governor Thomas Hancock's bodyguard, a company of 
mounted men. After the war he became a blacksmith, 
married Abigail Spencer, and had two sons, Ira Barbour 
and Lawrence, and one daughter, Anna, who married an 
Ackerman. He died at the residence of his son, Ira B., in 
Oxford, May 31, 1843, aged 76. His wife died July 13, 
1831, aged 59. 

Ira Barbour McFarland was born at Kinderhook Land- 
ing, N. Y., August 30, 1780. He married Polly Fenton, a 
daughter of Solomon Fenton, December 28, 1808. He 
came with his family into this section in 1816, and after 
living in poor circumstances at Sidney Plains and in Guil- 
ford, finally settled upon a piece of land about three miles 
below Oxford village on the west bank of the Chenango 
river. After his arrival here he taught school on Panther 
hill seven winters in succession. The same school w^as 
taught by his brother, a son, and four grandchildren, ex- 
tending over a period of ninety years. Mr. McFarland 
cleared the forest land into a fine farm and reared a family 
of eight children. During his residence in Sidney he was 
considered one of the most skillful pilots on the Susque- 
hanna in running lumber rafts to Philadelphia and Chesa- 
peake Bay. The beggar for a crust of bread was never 
turned from his door, and the heart hungry for sympathy 
always found it in him. He was well read and a man of 
unusual breadth of understanding and judgment. Mr. Mc- 
Farland died January 21, 1880, aged 91. His wife, who 
was a faithful assistant and shared her husband's troubles 
and hardships during liis pioneer life, was his true com- 
panion as long as life lasted. She died January 29, 1866, 
aged 74. Their children, all born in Oxford, were: 

Edwin F., born November 6, 1809; a school teacher in 



456 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

Oxford and later in Concord, Ky., where he died Decem- 
ber 12, 1857; married Abigail Simmons March 4, 1829, 
who died at Muscatine, O. They had six children, the 
youngest of whom, Heniy B., came to Oxford at the death 
of his father to live with his Uncle Solomon. He was edu- 
cated at Oxford Academy, became a telegraph operator, 
and is now train dispatcher of the M. & St. L. Ry. at Minne- 
apolis, Minn. 

Orson L., born July 19, 1810 ; married Julia A. Holmes 
and moved to Troupsburg, N. Y., where he died April 11, 
1894. They had two children. After the death of his wife 
he married a second time. 

Philenda, born May 5, 1813 ; died July 6, 1820. 

Betsy E., born April 17, 1816 ; died at Norwich Decem- 
ber 28, 1850; married Cyrus Horton, who died May 3, 
1879. They had six children. 

Susan M., born October 12, 1819; died ; married 

Erastus Briggs, who died August 8, 1894, aged 83. They 
had six children, Oscar E., married Julia L. Loomis; 
Marion, married Liberal C. B. Fish; Elizabeth, married 
Samuel Morehouse; has one daughter, Minnie; Ire E., mar- 
ried Mayme Hasley ; have two children. Hazel and Robert ; 
Edwin R. D., married Laura H. Arnold ; a minister of the 
M. E. church ; has one daughter, Christina ; Herbert A. 

Solomon F., born July 12, 1828. He received his educa- 
tion at the Panther hill school and Oxford Academy. 
Farming not being to his taste, he went into a foundry at 
South Oxford with his brother-in-law, Cyrus Horton, 
where he became expert at the business, and worked at the 
same in Addison, Norwich, and Sherburne. With the 
money thus earned he managed to pay his way through 
the study of medicine, and also through college. He 
studied with Dr. George Douglas in this village, was 
licensed to practice by the Chenango Medical Society in 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 457 

1854, and then located at Troupsburg Center, N. Y. x\fter 
practicing two years he entered the medical department 
of the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, from which 
he graduated in the class of '57, and returned to Oxford, 
where he became a successful physician and surgeon. On 
the 15th of May, 1851, he married Hannah B., daughter 
of Peleg B. Folger. In August, 1862, Dr. McFarland was 
commissioned Assistant Surgeon by Governor Morgan, and 
assigned to the 83d Regt. N. Y. S. V. He was mustered 
into the service by Major Lee at Norwich and started at 
once to join the regiment. He was absent nearly three 
months and then was forced to resign on account of lack 
of physical endurance. He w^as present at the battles of 
South Mountain and Antietam. April 19, 1863, he was 
appointed by the President Surgeon of the Board of En- 
rollment for the 19th New York District, with quarters 
at Unadilla the first few weeks and afterwards at Nor- 
wich. He performed the arduous duties of that office for 
thirteen months, when continued ill health compelled him 
to resign from militaiy service, and he again took up his 
professional work in Oxford. Mrs. McFarland died June 
24, 1883, after a lingering disease, w^hich she bore patiently. 
Her life w^as devoted to her family and she left remaining 
a noble record. On June 30, 1884, Dr. McFarland moved 
to Binghamton, where his reputation as an oculist became 
quite extensively known. In April, 1885, he married Addie 
L. Chamberlain. He died April 26, 1900. His children 
by his first Avife were: Evalyn A., born at Troupsburg, 
N. Y., March 5, 1853; married Frank Cowan in October, 
1883, and die^l November 6, 1883. Agnes P., born at 
Troupsburg, N. Y., October 20, 1854 ; now residing at Bing- 
hamton ; unmarried. Francis H., died in infancy from in- 
juries received in falling from a wagon while at play. 
Frank HeiT<\v, born in Oxford in 1861 ; married November 



458 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

9, 1887, Martha Kent of Lyons, N. Y., and is now an opti- 
cian at Binghamton. 

Henry A., born May 15, 1831 ; married Sarah Jane Hor- 
tOn, who died June 9, 1882. He practiced dentistry for 
many years in Oxford and then removed to Binghamton, 
where he also built up a large practice. He was also man- 
ager for many years while in Oxford of the Western Union 
Telegraph Company, at the time when the register printed 
the dots and dashes on long strips of paper and was read 
by the eye. It was on this cumbersome instrument that 
he received the news of the firing on Fort Sumpter. He 
died at the home of his brother, Charles A., on the old 
homestead, January 20, 1892. His children : Fred A., 
bom December 30, 1867; now stenographer in the office 
of the solicitor of the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul 
Railway Company at Minneapolis, Minn. ; married Martha 
L. McNair, and has one son, Arthur Henry. Jennie Elene, 
twin of Fred A., married Fred L. Titchener of Bingham- 
ton; died at Cortland February 8, 1902, leaving five 
children. 

Charles Arthur, born August 13, 1833; died May 30, 
1905; was the last survivor of the family, and always re- 
mained upon the old homestead. He held acceptably the 
office of supervisor, as well as minor town positions. He 
married April 9, 1856, Charlotte Webb, with whom he lived 
in unbroken harmony for forty-five years. Mrs. McFarland 
died October 2, 1901. Their children are : Harriet, mar- 
ried Melvin B. Stratton of South Oxford. Ira B., married 
Alice R. Stratton October 21, 1885 ; resides in New York. 
Lottie, married Vernon D. Stratton, Esq., September 27, 
1893; (children, Marion C, Margaret McF., died in in- 
fancy, and Hubert C.) Lillian, twin to Lottie, married 
Arthur E. Cline June 2, 1906 ; residence Ogdensburg, N. Y. 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 459 



His tribe were God Almighty's gentlemen. 

— Dryden. 



Ishmael Nichols. 



Ishmael Nichols was among the early residents of the 
village of Oxford and came from Nooseneck, R. I., and 
was born April 5, 1766. His wife's maiden name was 
Lydia Holl. His death occurred in Oxford in 1820, after 

which his widow married Stevens. They lived with 

her son, Archibald Nichols, in a part of the house at the 
head of Albany street, now known as the George Brown 
house. The children of Ishmael were : Archibald, married 
Betsey Sherwood; Spencer, Palmer, Gardiner, Sarah, mar- 
ried Levi Sherwood of Oxford; after a few years they 
moved to Illinois and both died there. William, studied 
medicine and practiced in Abington, near Scranton, Pa., 
where he died November 12, 1822. Alfred, followed agri- 
cultural pursuits at Addison, N. Y. Hiram, studied med- 
icine with his brother William, and practiced over fifty 
years at Clarks Green, near Scranton, Pa., where he died 
September 29, 1886. 

Archibald Nichols, son of Ishmael and Lydia (Holl) 
Nichols, was born June 14, 1787 ; place of birth unknown ; 
died December 11, 1838, in Wellsboro, Pa. ; married Betsey 
Sherwood, daughter of Levi Sherwood of Oxford. They 
moved to Wellsboro, Pa., about the year 1825, where he 
engaged in the lumbering business on West Branch of 
Pine Creek. While a resident of Oxford he owned the 
farm near Riverview cemetery, now knoAvn as the George 
Brown place. Children : 

Levi I., born December — , 1809, in Oxford ; died Novem- 
ber 14, 1868, in Wellsboro, Pa. ; married Sarah J. Brown, 
daughter of Thomas Brown of Oxford, who died in Wells- 



46o ANNALS OF OXFORD 

boro, aged 84. Mr. Nichols was a fine musician, and while 
yet very young played the organ in the Presbyterian 
church. Like Mrs. Sylvia Fox Taintor, his cousin, he re- 
ceived his musical talent from the Sherwoods. He moved 
to Wellsboro about the year 1831, and became largely 
identified with the material interests of Tioga county. He 
was engaged in mercantile business with his brother Enos, 
and served a term as Associate Judge upon the county 
bench. He was the father of thirteen children, one of 
whom, Mrs. Sarah Nichols Williams, still resides in Wells- 
boro, and has in her possession a piano given her father by 
his grandfather, and which was the first one taken into 
Tioga county, Pa. 

Lydia Maria, died in youth, Enos A., unmarried; en- 
gaged in mercantile business with his brother Lrevi in 
Wellsboro ; died at the age of 30 years. Mary E., married 
William Bache, one of the prominent citizens of Wellsboro. 



Obedience, we may remember, is a part of religion, and there- 
fore an element of peace ; but love which includes obedience, 
is the whole. 

— Sewell. 



Universalist Church 



" The First Universalist Society in the town of Oxford '^ 
was organized July 8, 1833, at the west side district school- 
house in the village; Anson Cary and Luke Metcalf were 
appointed moderators, and Daniel Denison, clerk. Luke 
Metcalf, Philip Bartle, Daniel Denison, Anson Cary, Oliver 
Richmond, Ira Dodge, Jabez Robinson, Thomas Brown, 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 461 

and Henry Balcom were the nine trustees elected ; Charles 
Perkins, clerk of the society ; James Perkins, treasurer, and 
Calvin Cole, collector. The earliest record of any meetings 
in the town is in the year 1833, of one conducted by Rev. 
George Rogers in the hall of the old hotel on Washington 
park. Occasional services were held at the residences of 
Messrs. Bartle and Metcalf, and at the west side school- 
house by Rev. Nelson Doolittle, who came to Oxford in the 
fall of 1834, and remained here nearly four years. The 
present church edifice was erected in 1836 and '37, and 
was dedicated February 22, 1837, the Revs. O. Winston, 
S. R. Smith, N. Doolittle, and M. B. Smith officiating upon 
that occasion. The edifice cost about |3,000. The site was 
purchased by Henry Balcom and Ira Dodge of Ethan 
Clarke, and deeded by them to the society November 26, 
1839, for 1300. 

During the year 1862 the ancient pulpit was replaced by 
one of modern style, and in 1870 sundry changes were 
made upon the building, which was lowered twenty-eight 
inches, and stone steps replaced the wooden ones that had 
extended the whole length of the front. Outwardly the 
church remains unchanged, but the inside was renovated 
and modernized in 1882; the body was transformed, the 
side galleries removed, and the pulpit placed opposite to 
where it had stood so many years ; the pews remodeled, the 
floor newly carpeted, and the walls tinted. A new organ 
was purchased, which occupies a space near the pulpit. 
Seventeen memorial windows, rich in design, light the 
auditorium; one above the pulpit and circular in form is 
dedicated to the memory of Rev. and Mrs. John Temple 
Goodrich by their son and daughter. About |1100 was 
expended in repairs. The rededication services were held 
November 22, 1882, Rev. D. Ballon of Utica delivering the 
sermon. 



462 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

On the 22d of February, 1887, occurred the fiftieth an- 
niversary of the dedication, at which the sermon preached 
by Kev. S. R. Smith at the dedication in 1837 was read, 
and Rev. D. Ballon delivered a semi-centennial address, 
giving a historical sketch of the society. A bell was added 
to the church in 1887. For over fifty years Mrs. Sylvia 
(Fox) Taintor was organist and " played the melodies of 
devotion, the bridal march and the funeral dirge for al- 
most two generations of her associates and companions.^^ 

The clergymen who have serv^ed the society as pastors 

are: Rev. Nelson Doolittle, 1833-34; Rev. Skeel, 

1835; Rev. J. T. Goodrich, 1836-1819; Rev. A. W. Bruce, 
1850-51; Rev. Charles E. Hewes, 1852-56; Rev. J. G. Bar- 
tholomew, 1856-58; Rev. A. J. Canfield, 1859; Rev. B. L. 
Bennett, 1859-60; Rev. Daniel Ballon, 1861-63; Rev. F. 
B. Peck, 1865-69; Rev. J. W. LaMoine, 1872-74; Rev. R. 
F. Kingsley, 1875-77; Rev. J. M. Clark, 1879-'80; Rev. 
Ure Mitchell, 1881-85, and. 1887-88; Rev. Amanda Deyo, 
1889-91; Rev. Charles Palmatier, 1892-93; Rev. L. M. 
Clement, June, 1894-95; Rev. J. L. Scoboria, 1895-96; 
Rev. G. W. Powell, 1900; Rev. O. R. Beardsley, 1903, died 
May 25, 1905 ; Rev. H. L. Rickard. 

Rev. John Temple Goodrich was born May 28, 1815, in 
Middlefield, N. Y. He came to Oxford and boarded in the 
family of Rev. Mr. Doolittle, until his removal to Norwich 
in the spring of 1838, Mr. Goodrich preached his first 
sermon in public in this village and remained here some 
twelve years, where he was united in marriage to Miss 
Margaret M. Bolles, daughter of Elias Bolles, Esq. Five 
children were born to them. Mr. Goodrich is supposed to 
have perished in the great Chicago fire. He registered at 
the Metropolitan Hotel in that city October 5, 1871, en- 
gaging a room for an indefinite period. On Sunday, the 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 465 

eighth, he was known to have been in his room up to the 
hour of retiring, and this was the last seen of him. The 
hotel burned early the next morning. 



He lived in that past Georgian day, 
When men were less inclined to say 
That " Time is Gold," and overlay 
With toil their pleasure. 

— DOBSON. 



General Ransom Rathbone, 



General Ransom Eathbone, a man of rare social qual- 
ities, was born at Colchester, Conn., April 10, 1780, and 
came to Oxford in 1806. His father was an officer in the 
war of the Revolution. He was an enterprising man and 
carried on a large mercantile business on the corner now 
occupied by the residence of F. G. Clarke. His store and 
dwelling were among the palatial buildings of that day. 
He also had a store in McDonough, under the charge of 
his son, Henry W. Rathbone. He owned a paper mill in 
that village, which in later years was burned. 

General Rajthbone came to Oxford when the urgient 
needs of a village in the full tide of a successful settlement, 
and hopeful for the future, required vigorous and enthus- 
iastic men like him to take a part in its business and de- 
velop its resources. For more than a quarter of a century 
his personal history appears prominently blended with 
every important public enterprise. As one of the founders 
of St. Paul's church, and one of its vestry for twenty years ; 
as trustee of Oxford Academy for a still longer term, and 
during its greatest trials ; as a brigade major and inspector 



464 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

in active service on the frontier in the war of 1812, and as 
a friend and active promoter of the Chenango canal 
project, superadded to other public duties, he found full 
scope for the exercise of rare energy, industry, and public 
spirit. He was a lover of fine horses, always keeping them, 
and occasionally would hitch them tandem to his gig, driv- 
ing to neighboring towns, and even to Utica in a day. 

Among General Rathbone's chattels was a slave boy 
named Pomp, who was full of pranks and very mischiev- 
ous. When his master had occasion to flog him, which was 
often, he would take him by the wool on the top of his 
head. One day Pomp thought he would get the better of 
the General for once, so he had the wool shaved off clean 
on the crown of his head, and then stuck it on with wax. 
The next offense occurring soon after, the General got his 
raw^hide and seized Pomp at the usual point, but much to 
his amazement it didn't hold, and Pomp danced off in 
high glee, shouting, " Oh, Massa Rathbone ! youse snatched 
me baldheaded and I's an ole man now ; Y-ause I ain't got 
any wool on the top of my head." This prank of Pomp's 
gave him a reprieve from the rawhide for many days. 

General Rathbone left Oxford in 1842, removing to 
Steuben county, where, amid the green ruins of the forest, 
he founded a village, which bears his name, and where he 
died July 17, 1861, at the age of 81. His wife, Catherine, 
daughter of Captain John Fisher, an Englishman, died 
July 27, 1857, at Rathboneville. Children : 

Cornelia M., married Dr. W. G. Micks; died June 25, 
1857, at Clinton, N. C. 

Catherine, unmarried. 

William R., who bore the title of Major, died July 9, 
1872, in Elmira, N. Y. 

Henry W., died September 29, 1891, at Elmira. One 
son, James B., now resides in that city. 




MAJOR O. H. CURTIS 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 463 

John F., died unmarried October 28, 1865, at Wood- 
bridge, Cal. His inheritance from his father of the love 
for fine horses was the cause of a terrible accident on the 
Canisteo river near Rathboneville. He had two high- 
strung horses hitched tandem to a cutter and invited Miss 
Jane Jones, a young society lady, to a drive on the ice. 
The river was frozen hard, and when at their highest speed 
in crossing a reef where the ice was thin, the forward horse 
broke through, but leaped across on to firmer ice. The rear 
horse also sprang upon the ice, drawing the cutter with its 
occupants into the opening at such an angle that the 
momentum threw the young lady head foremost under the 
ice. Mr. Rathbone seized her by her dress and cloak, but 
the latter unfastened and she disappeared from sight. As- 
sistance was quickly at hand, but it was necessary to cut 
the ice in blocks of a rod long and float them under to 
move with the current one after another for two hours 
before reaching the body. 



Take thou thy arms and come with me, 
For we must quit ourselves like men. 



— Bryant. 



Major O. H. Curtis. 



Major Oscar Henry Curtis, son of George and Nancy 
Curtis, born March 25, 1832, in the town of Norwich ; died 
December 2G, 1903, in Oxford; married June 6, 1866, 
Susan Elizabeth, daughter of John and Sarah (Hopkins) 
VanWagenen. 

Major Curtis spent his childhood on a farm at White 
Store, Non\ ich, working through the summer and attend- 



466 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

ing school in the winter. At an early age he taught in dis- 
trict schools and later entered the Gilbertsville Academy, 
where he prepared himself for Union College, from which 
he graduated in 1858. Soon after he came to this village 
^nd taught languages and higher mathematics in Oxford 
Academy, and during the last term was principal in 
charge. In 1860 he commenced reading law with Henry R. 
Mygatt, Esq., having studied in the interval of teaching 
under Henry VanDerLyn, Esq. He was admitted to the 
bar in May, 1861, and commenced tlie practice of law in 
this village. In 1862 he offered his services to the govern- 
ment and on July 29 was commissioned by Governor Fen- 
ton to raise a company for the 114th Regt. N. Y. S. V., and 
immediately transformed his office into a recruiting sta- 
tion, raising the first company in that regiment, and going 
to the front commissioned a captain. By the death of Col. 
Smith in 1863, Captain Curtis was promoted to the rank 
of Major, and served in that capacity till the close of the 
war. He was an intrepid soldier and participated valiantly 
in all the hard fought battles that the regiment Avas en- 
gaged in, and happily escaped without wounds. When 
Lieutenant Colonel Morse was wounded at Sabine Cross 
Roads, Major Curtis commanded the regiment, and also 
after the fall of Colonel PerLee at Opequan he commanded 
the battalion under very trying circumstances. Twice he 
he held the position of Judge Advocate, once of a general 
court-martial under General D wight, and again of a mili- 
tary commission under General Emery. At the close of 
the war Major Curtis returned to Oxford and resumed his 
law practice. He was Justice of the Peace eight years 
from 1867, and in 1868 was elected Special County Judge, 
holding the office four years, and was Loan Commissioner 
three years. He represented Chenango county in the Leg- 
islature in 1879 and '80, and did effective work in that 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 467 

body. For a decade previous to his decease he held posi- 
tions in the United States Senate, his last position was in 
the office of the Secretary of the Senate. Major Curtis was 
prominently identified in the centennial of Oxford Acad- 
emy held in 1894, and afterwards compiled and published 
a w^ork on the celebration, a book that cost him much labor 
and pains, but one that proved interestingly valuable. 



'Tis not the whole of life to live. 
Nor all of death to die. 

— Montgomery. 



Jesse Brown. 



Jesse Brown, a native of Devonshire, England, was born 
December 27, 1807. His death occurred January 31, 1899, 
in this village. Mr. Browm and wife came to America in 
1840 and first located in Preston near the Norton farm. 
After residing for a time at Preston Corners they came to 
the farm in this town next south of the Halfway House, 
where they resided forty years, and where Mrs. Brown died 
February 17, 1888. In 1898 Mr. Brown, becoming physi- 
cally helpless and enfeebled by age, disposed of his farm 
and removed into the village with his youngest daughter. 
Here he passed the remainder of his life in full enjoyment 
of sound mind and intellect. Children : William H., died 
in 1862, in early manhood; unmarried. John H., married 
and resides in Scranton, Pa. Lucy J., married Frank W. 
Comstock, and resides in Oxford. Helen F., married 
Thomas Knight, and resides at Oradell, N. J. Josephine 
J., resides at Oradell, N. J. ; unmarried. Charles A., mar- 
ried and lives in Kansas City, Mo. Mary G., married A. 
W. Colony, and resides at Madisonville, Pa. 



468 ANNALS OF OXFORD 



Formed on the good old plan, 
A true and brave and downright honest man. 



— Whittieb. 



Cole Family. 



Samuel Cole, born July 23, 1775, in Voluntown, Ct., 
died November 8, 1832 in Oxford; married December 20, 
1798, Alice Pullman of West Greenwich, R. I., born June 
22, 1783. died January 21, 1858, in Sterling, 111., and 
buried in Mt. Hope cemetery, Norwich, N. Y. Mr. Cole, 
accompanied by his wife and son Calvin, then a lad of 12, 
came from Sterling, Ct., in 1814 to Oxford and settled 
the farm now occupied by Clarence R. Miner. He put up 
a log house containing two rooms and clearing the land 
subdued the soil for agricultural purposes. The family 
were congenial, fond of entertaining, and soon became 
popular with their neighbors, though many lived at a dis- 
tance. 

One extremely cold winter's night, when the snow lay 
deep and drifted, three couples of young people started 
out for a straw ride to the Cole farm. Their conveyance, 
a rough sleigh drawn by a yoke of oxen, was slow of 
locomotion, but with the jest and mirth of youth, the time 
seemingly passed in a quick manner. While passing 
through a deep drift near their destination the sleigh was 
overturned and all were thrown in the snow. With much 
laughter and joking the party reloaded, when it was found 
the tongue of the sleigh was broken and could not be used. 
The sleigh was too heavy for the men to propel with their 
companions in it and all were forced to walk the re- 
mainder of the way. By shoveling and stamping the snow 
a path was made that the ladies could follow and in this 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 469 

way they finally reached the home of the Coles. They 
could not return to their homes until the sleigh was sup- 
plied with a new tongue, and the men accompanied by Mr. 
C'ole went with lanterns into the woods to cut one. Ne- 
glecting to ascertain the correct measurements, they re- 
turned to the sleigh and then again entered the woods, and 
after many trials and vexations found a tree that would 
answer. Quickly felled and roughly hewn it was taken 
back to the house. The night was cold and bitter and the 
work had to be finished in the living room of the little 
log cabin. The stick reached from one side of the build- 
ing to the other, and with the huge fireplace and the large 
old-fashioned bedstead, there was but scanty room for the 
company. But they accommodated themselves to the situ- 
ation and enjoyed a social visit, notwithstanding the many 
inconveniences. There was but one drawing knife to work 
w4th to any advantage and as soon as one became weary 
with using it another would take it and the others worked 
with their jackknives. The men worked with a will and 
as in the course of natural events all things come to an 
end, so did their work upon the tongue, and it was fitted 
to the sleigh. It was roughly made, but could be used, and 
that was all that was necessary. In the meantime Mrs. 
Cole was preparing supper and had to make frequent visits 
to the pantry. In doing so she had to climb upon and 
walk across the bed. Potatoes were put in the ashes of 
the fireplace to roast, a large panful of doughnuts fried, 
biscuits made, and with brown bread and apple butter, 
she served a supper, when the men had finished their labor, 
that was heartily enjoyed. At a late hour the party started 
on their return trip and reached their destinations without 
further mishap. 

Children of Samuel and Alice (Pullman) Cole: 
Calvin, born September 1, 1802, in Sterling, Ct. ; died 



470 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

May 10, 1882, in Oxford. Married February 24, 1830, 
Fayette Balcom of Oxford; died April 1, 1879, aged 71, 
in Oxford. Mr. Cole was a public spirited man, always 
interesting himself in national, state and home affairs. He 
served the county in the Legislature, the government in 
the revenue service and the town in various offices, which 
duties were faithfully performed. A friend to the cause 
of education he gave liberally in money and devoted much 
time to the interests of Oxford Academy, of which for 
twenty-eight years a trustee, and fourteen a president of 
the board, he was diligent in the discharge of his duties 
long after his personal interests in the school had ceased. 
His active services covered a time when no small amount 
of labor and personal inconvenience was required, being 
specially active in the erection of the buildings of the 
present Academy and the late boarding association. On 
the evening of July 17, 1884, the Cole fountain on the 
LaFayette Park, a memorial offering of the sons of Calvin 
and Fayette Cole, was presented to the town. The presen- 
tation address was made by Irving J. Cole, son of John 
C. Cole, of Troy; the acceptance on behalf of the village 
trustees by Dr. D. M. Lee ; the dedicatory by Wm. H. Hyde, 
Esq., and a poem by Miss L. A. Balcom was read. The 
park was handsomely illuminated with Chinese lanterns, 
the hotels and business places brilliantly lighted and dec- 
orated. A large throng was present to witness the exer- 
cises, which were of a very interesting order. Three sons 
were born to them : Augustus, married October 9, 1856, 
Frances M. Davis of Poughkeepsie ; died February 8, 1892, 
in Oconto, Wis. (Child, Henry, resides in Oconto.) 
John Calvin, born in 1834 ; died suddenly March 28, 1888, 
at Troy, N. Y. Married (1) Lydia Tomlison of Troy; 
married (2) Emma M. Smiley of Germantown, Pa. He 
went to Troy in 1854 and engaged in the insurance busi- 




THE BAPTIST CHURCH 



Erected iS";4 — Remodeled 187Q 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 471 

ness, continuing until his death. (Child bv first wife: 
Irving T., residence, Seattle, Wash.). Henry C, married 
October 22, 1873, Fanny O. Stewart of Chicago ; died Jan- 
uary 13, 1895 in Omaha, Neb. ( Children : Fayette, Fan- 
nie, residence, Omaha.) 

Chester Cicero, Chief Justice Supreme Court of Iowa, 
born June 4, 1824, in Oxford; married June 25, 1848, 
Amanda M. Bennett of Oxford. Graduated at Oxford 
Academy in 1846 ; studied in Harvard Law School, 1846-8. 
Engaged in practice August 11, 1848; Judge and Chief 
Justice of Supreme Court of Iowa, 1864-76, then resigned 
and returned to practice; Dean of Iowa College of Law 
since 1892. Editor Western Jurist (legal monthly), 1866- 
81; edited annotated edition lotca Reports (12 vols.). 
Children: Spencer C, born January 14, 1850; died Au- 
gust 20, 1851; William W., born August 15, 1852; died 
November 14, 1894; married Frances Chapin; Alice Ger- 
trude, born December 7, 1854; married A. E. Atherton; 
Mary E., born March 6, 1857; married D. C. McMartin; 
Chester, born July 15, 1859 ; died August 18, 1862 ; Frank 
B., born November 9, 1861 ; married Ella Jenkins ; Carrie 
S., born February 10, 1864 ; married J. R. Hurlbut. 

Phebe a., died April 4, 1890, in Sterling, 111; man-ied 
Taylor. 

William H., resided in Baltimore, Md. 



Spires whose " silent finger points to heaven." 

— Wordsworth, 

Baptist Church. 

The first settlers in this town brought with them a 
religious culture and a love of religious institutions im- 
bibed in their New England homes; and nearly contem- 



472 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

porary with the first labor directed to the subjugation of 
the wilderness, religious services were held. As early as 
1814 there were a number of persons of the Baptist per- 
suasion in this vicinity who desired to form themselves 
into a church. On July 14, 1815, " The Oxford Baptist 
Church of Christ " was organized in what was called the 
McNeil school house, a half hour walk below the present 
church edifice. August 17, the council of recognition met 
in a neighboring grove and recognized sixteen persons, 
among whom were Mrs. John McNeil, Nathaniel Havens, 
Mrs. Clara Havens, Daniel Tracy, Jr., Mrs. Polly Tracy, 
John Dodge, Mrs. Betsey Clifford, Mrs. Abigail Hackett, 
John Hull, Mrs. Hannah Hull, John Perry, ^Mrs. Mary 
Perry, Hial Tracy and Mrs. Susan Tracy. The organiza- 
tion grew rapidly and within three years had a member- 
ship of 103. The congregation worshiped in school-houses 
or private dwellings till 1833, when a church building was 
erected and dedicated January 9, 1834. Elder Jabez S. 
Swan, subsequently pastor, preached the dedication ser- 
mon. This church has served as a feeder of other Baptist 
churches. The church was remodeled in 1857, the old- 
fashioned box seats changed to a more modern style, and 
the pulpit moved to the opposite end of the church. Again 
in 1879 the church was more extensively remodeled. The 
audience room is a model of chaste beauty and its seating 
capacity is three hundred. The horseshoe gallery will seat 
one hundred and fifty. The wainscoting is of ash and 
cherry alternate, and the slips are of ash, trimmed with 
black walnut. All the wood-work in the rooms mentioned 
is finished in oil. The windows are of stained glass, taste- 
fully designed, and the pulpit platform extends into an 
alcove. Rising above this platform in the rear is an open 
baptistery, presenting to the eye in raised letters the 
words : " Buried with Him in baptism." The orchestra is 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 473 

at the right of the platform. A new pipe organ was in- 
stalled in November, 1904, at a cost of $12,000. 

The following has been the succession of pastors and 
dates of settlement : Levi Holcomb, 1819 ; Nathaniel Otis, 
1825; Kobert Adams, 1832; Washington Kingsley, 1833; 
J. D. F. Bestor, 1838 ; Jabez Swan, 1839 ; Elisha G. Perry, 
1842; Geo. W. Stone, 1844; Wm. S. Smith, 1848; Elijah 
Baldwin, 1851; Nathaniel Ripley, 1853; W. T. Potter, 
1857; L. E. Spafford, 1864; A. Reynolds, 1870; John 0. 
Ward, 1873; R. A. Patterson, 1875; W. R. Baldwin, 1877; 
L. F. Moore, 1882; B. F. Williams, 1886; P. D. Root, 1887; 
L. T. Giffin, 1889; Curtis B. Parsons, 1892, pres3nt pastor. 



Good actions crown themselves with lasting bays 

Who deserves well, needs not another's praise. — Heath. 



Thomas G. Newkirk, 



In 1814, when 16 years of age, Thomas G. Newkirk came 
to this village from Kingston, on the Hudson, intending 
to enter upon the study of law with his cousin, Henry 
VanDerLyn, Esq., but finally decided to engage in the 
mercantile business, and commenced as a clerk for Gen. 
Ransom Rathbone. In the year 1831 he formed a partner- 
ship with Epaphras Miller, which terminated in 1836, 
when he formed a partnership with his brother Warden, 
and traded a few years under the firm name of T. G. New- 
kirk & Co. He continued in business for a number of 
years, associated a portion of the time with his son, Fred- 
erick P., and Ward VanDerLyn. For many years Mr. 
Newkirk served St. PauPs parish as vestryman and as 



474 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

warden, and gained the utmost respect and confidence of 
the community. He died March 24, 1875, aged 76. In 
1826 Mr. Newkirk married Elizabeth L., daughter of Capt. 
Frederick Hopkins, who died Sunday evening, October 15, 
1899, at the advanced age of 95 years and 6 months. Mrs. 
Newkirk was born at Derby, Conn., April 22, 1804, and 
came with her parents to Oxford three years later. At 
an early age she taught school near the present farm resi- 
dence of I. P. Fitch, and was paid for her services half in 
money and half in grain. As was the custom she boarded 
around the district. She often related one experience 
where they had potpie for dinner, and which she and the 
family enjoyed and partook of freely. At the close of the 
meal she was asked what kind of potpie she had been 
eating. " Why, veal, of course," she answered. " Oh, no, 
that's woodchuck," was the reply. Mrs. Newkirk would 
laughingly say, that she immediately pushed back from 
the table, stepped into the ^ard and in a very short time 
had got rid of " that woodchuck potpie.'' 

Mrs. Newkirk was one of the early students of Oxford 
Academy, and previous to her death was believed to have 
been the oldest living student of this institution. She was 
a devoted wife and mother, a faithful and consistent mem- 
ber of St. Paul's church, and a friend and neighbor in all 
that words imply. Children : 

Frederick P., born April 24, 1827; married December 
12, 1855, Phebe Arminda Yale of Guilford, N. Y., a direct 
descendant of Elihu Yale, founder of Yale University, 
For twenty years from 1853 he was in the mercantile busi- 
ness with Ward VanDerLyn and on the dissolution of the 
firm they purchased the AYestover farm. After three years 
Mr. VanDerLyn sold his interest to his partner, who still 
owns the property. ^Ir. Newkirk has sensed the town as 
supervisor and for several terms has been a justice of the 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 475 

peace. In 1905 Mr. and Mrs. Newkirk celebrated their 
golden wedding at which they received hearty congratu- 
lations from a host of friends at home and abroad. Nearly 
600 guests were present. The reception was from 3 to 9 
o'clock, after which Harrington's hall was opened and 
dancing participated in till a late hour. Children : Peter 
v., married Ada M. Ransom of Montour Falls, N. Y. Clerk 
at First National Bank, Oxford. (One daughter, Eliza- 
beth.) Frank B., married Carrie B. Foote of Oxford. 
Engineer on Lackawanna railroad, and resides at Cincin- 
natus. (One son, George Frederick.) 

Sarah Jane, born May 12, 1830, died October 29, 1859, 
greatly mourned by her mother and friends. 



Myron Robbins. 



Myron Robbins, a worthy colored man, came to Oxford 
about the year 1840 from Sherburne, where he was born 
in 1809. He died March 21, 1865. In 1842 he married 
Maria Randall of Oxford, born November 15, 1819; died 
July 28, 1879. Their children were born in Oxford, but 
one of whom survives: Theron H., served in Civil war 
and died at home within a few months after honorable 
discharge; Frances P., died at Delhi, December 28, 1897; 
married Marcus Randall, who died in Oxford several years 
previous; Peter A., resides at Delhi, unmarried; Jane C, 
died September 12, 1868, aged 16, in Oxford. 

John Randall, better known as " Jack," father of Mrs. 
Robbins, married Julia A. Crawford. She was a slave 
in the Jewell family, and their marriage was a runaway 
match. Mr. Randall worked many years for the Jewells 
to earn his wife's freedom. 



476 ANNALS OF OXFORD 



Skill'd in the globe and sphere, he gravely stands, 
And with his compass, measures seas and lands. 

— Dryden. 



Captain Frederick Hopkins. 



Captain Frederick Hopkins of Derby, Conn., accom- 
panied by Solomon Bundy of Huntington, Conn., came to 
Oxford in the summer of 1806, both on horseback. In 
the following spring he brought his wife and infant daugh- 
ter, Elizabeth, in an old fashioned schooner drawn by a 
yoke of oxen with a horse in the lead, via Catskill and the 
old State road. Captain Hopkins, while yet in his teens, 
served in the Revolutionary war, and was the last pen- 
sioner of '76 in Chenango county. An elder brother was 
on General Washington's staff and Mr. Hopkins had the 
honorable distinction of once dining with the Father of 
his Country. After the war he became a sea captain and 
on one of his voyages to the West Indies was captured 
by the French, losing his vessel and entire cargo. In 1814, 
when St. Paul's church was established in Oxford, he was 
elected senior warden and continued for many years faith- 
fully to discharge the duties of that office. His death 
occurred June 23, 1855, at the age of 87. Captain Hop- 
kins married (1) Pickett; married (2) Susan 

Smith, who died June 16, 1858, aged 78. 

Children by first wife : 

Alison, married Januarj^ 25, 1820, Polly Dickinson of 
Oxford. Children : James, Andrew, Charles, Sheldon, 
Calena, married Jesse H. Gifford. 

Augustus Rufus, born February 10, 1779, in Derby, 
Conn. ; died June 7, 1870, in Oxford ; married Mary Wil- 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 477 

son of Oxford, boru January 16, 1804, died March 22, 
1893. Children: Frederick, born May 15, 1836, married 
Phoebe Coy (chiki, George F.) ; Susan C, died in infancy; 
James A., born May 22, 1844, married Maria Tucker (chil- 
dren, George F., died in infancy, Nellie L., Anna M.). 

Charles E., died January 16, 1864, aged 62 ; unmarried. 

Children by second wife : 

Elizabeth L., married Thomas G. Newkirk. 

John F., died July 4, 1893, in Oxford, aged 87; married 
(1) Julia Beard; married (2) Jane E. Lobdell, who died 
February 22, 1895, in Oxford. 

Sarah A., married John Van Wagenen, November 13, 
1833, born December 12, 1807, died December 26, 1886. 

Susan, died in early womanhood. 



In the long run a man becomes what he purposes, and gains 
for himself what he really desires. 

— Hamilton Wright Mabde. 

Solomon Bundy. 



Solomon Bundy accompanied Capt. Frederick Hop- 
kins on horseback to Oxford on that summer's day in 
1806, and with him put up at the tavern kept by Erastus 
Perkins. The following day was Sunday and the travelers 
were out early viewing the town. Keturning to the house 
they were approached by a guest, who said : " Gentlemen, 
I see you are strangers in our little hamlet and I would 
be pleased to have you take a drink with me.'' They ac- 
quiesced and the hospitable citizen soon took his departure. 
The travelers were quite anxious to learn the name of the 
man who was so considerate of them, and inquired of the 



478 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

landlord : " Who is the gentleman with the black coat and 
white cravat whom we have had the pleasure of meeting? " 
" Why, that is our Presbyterian minister/' replied Mr. 
Perkins. " He is doing excellent work in the ministry, 
and I assure you he would be pleased to have you attend 
his meeting to-day." They attended. Monday morning 
the travelers rode over the east hill to look at a farm of 
200 acres owned by Gerrit Burghardt, which they pur- 
chased. The following spring they moved their families 
on the farm and lived for a year or more in the same 
dwelling, for many years thereafter known as the Capt. 
Hopkins' house. When Mr. Bundy and family moved 
from there, it was into a new house a quarter of a mile 
nearer the village, the same, with many alterations now 
occupied by W. J. Redmond. Mr. Bundy died February 
24, 1851, while on a visit to his son, Oliver T.,at Windsor, 
N. Y. Jane Fraser, his wife, who was a native of Hunt- 
ington, Conn., died August 22, 1846, aged 70. Mrs. Bundy 
was very fond of children and delighted in entertaining 
them. She had a way of roasting apples and potatoes for 
them in the ashes covered over with live coals in the 
kitchen fire-place, and when done they tasted better than 
any prepared at home. She had a way too of getting the 
butternut and beechnut meats for them that none ever 
tasted quite as good elsewhere. Children : 

Oliver T., born January 31, 1801 ; died January 9, 1874, 
in Deposit, N. Y. Married Lydia Smith of Wellsboro, 
Pa. Practiced medicine in Deposit. 

Rachel, born May 14, 1803; died August 15, 1866, in 
Oxford. Unmarried. 

Jane Maria, born September 17, 1805. Married Rev. 
James Noble and moved to Iowa, where she died. 

Nathan, born July 22, 1807, in Oxford; died May 3, 
1846, in Harford, N. Y. Married Hannah Hawks. 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 479 

Amelia, born August 27, 1811, in Oxford ; died October 
29, 1851, in Oxford. Unmarried. 

Philo, born February 10, 1814, in Oxford; died June 1, 
1901, in Oswego. Married (1) in 1842, Margaret A. Burt, 
who died in 1868. Married (2) in 1870, Catherine Van- 
Dyck, who died in 1899. Had five daughters by first wife, 
and one by second wife. He was educated in Oxford Acad- 
emy and taught several terms in the common schools. In 
1838 went to Oswego and engaged in the grain trade. In 
1862 was made a paymaster in the U. S. army with the 
rank of Major. Was also deputy collector of the Port 
of Oswego. 

Sophia Louise, born June 30, 1816, in Oxford; mar- 
ried George Manwaring and moved to Iowa. Died August 
20, 1891 in South West Ciiy, Mo. 

Edward Augustus, born November 6, 1819, in Oxford; 
died May 13, 1892 in Oxford. Married (1) Esther Shap- 
ley; married (2) Eliza Burlison. Resided on the home- 
stead for many years. Came to the village and for several 
terms was a civil magistrate. 

Solomon, born May 22, 1823, in Oxford; died January 
13, 1889; married (1) June 28, 1846, Roxanna Hitchcock 
of Oxford; born December 25, 1821; died July 28, 1848. 
Married (2) Elizabeth A. McGeorge of Oxford, born Oc- 
tober 20, 1827. Resides at Grand Rapids, Mich. Mr. 
Bundy was the first child baptized in the Presbyterian 
church. His early life was spent in working on the farm 
during the summer season. He received a common school 
education, which was liberally supplemented by his private 
studies and extensive readings. Soon after his second 
marriage he removed to the village and engaged in the boot 
and shoe business, and later entered the law office of 
James W. Glover as a student. While pursuing his studies 
he held the office of justice of peace and clerk of the Board 



48o ANNALS OF OXFORD 

of Supervisors. Admitted to tlie bar in 1859, he soon 
formed a law partnership with Horace Packer. In 1862 
he was elected District Attorney of Clienango county, and 
in 1876 was elected to the Forty-fifth Congress. 

Child, by first wife: Elizabeth R., now practicing 
medicine in Philadelphia. 

Children by second wife : Nathan A., married Ella M. 
Hull of Oxford. Now resides in Philadelphia. Children : 
Elizabeth, married Joseph A. Culbert of Philadelphia; 
Kate, married Daniel Burke, Esq., of Brooklyn ; Agnes, 
married James H. Millhouse of Buffalo, N. Y. 

McGeorge, married Mary G. Hollister, now practicing 
law in Grand Rapids, Mich. Children : Nathan Hollister, 
born May 18, 1886; Harvey Hollister, born March 30^ 
1888; Frederick McGeorge, born January 4, 1900. 



Thy wit is as quick as the greyhound's 
mouth — it catches. 

— Shakespeare. 



Isaac Sherwood. 



Isaac Sherwood, a native of Connecticut, was born in 
1768. At an early age he moved to Oxford and began the 
practice of law, in which profession he rose rapidly. He 
held the office of judge of the county, was justice of the 
peace for a long term of years, and was supervisor of the 
town for a number of years. Later he embarked in the 
mercantile tailoring business in this village, and also be- 
came a large land owner. He married a Miss Smith, a 
native of Connecticut. Children : Samuel S., and Rebecca. 

Samuel S., married Catherine Bessac, a native of 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 481 

France. She was descended from a long line of French 
ancestry, who were known in history for their chivalry 
and important services rendered the French government. 
After clerking for some time in his fathers store, his 
father gave him a fine farm, still known as the Sherwood 
farm above the W. R. C. Home. He immediately moved 
upon it and followed agricultural pursuits the rest of his 
life, and through energy and good judgment made a suc- 
cessful farmer. He died in 1846. Mrs. Sherwood died 
October 6, 1821, aged 31. Children: John, Mary, Har- 
riet, Catherine, married James Bennett; Isaac S. 

Eebecca, married (1) Charles Denison of Oxford; mar- 
ried (2) John Judson of Oxford; married (3) 

Hoxcie. 

Isaac S. Sherwood, son of Samuel S. and Catherine 
(Bessac) Sherwood, born September 18, 1816, in Oxford; 
died January 13, 1898, in Oxford; married September 12, 
1837, Abigail Tiffany of Sherburne, N. Y., born in 1817; 
died in 1896 in Oxford. Mr. Sherwood was born upon the 
"farm upon which he lived and died. In his early days, 
being an excellent penman, he accepted a position to copy 
deeds and legal papers and to settle estates ; he also became 
a prominent figure in the courts, being clerk for different 
lawyers. For a few years he clerked in a village store, 
but later devoted his attention to farming. During a long 
term of years he was a popular auctioneer of farming and 
household goods, his ready wit and free command of lan- 
guage making him a successful dealer in that line of trade. 
He invariably looked upon the humorous side of life, and 
his reputation as a wit and eccentric charact-er was more 
than local. He seldom wrote in a serious vein, as was 
frequently illustrated by advertisements, auction bills, and 
rhyming notices that were posted at the watering trough 
near his residence, also the original mottoes that adorned 



482 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

the walls of his home. Mr. Sherwood was a true sports- 
man, expert with gun and rod. During the latter years of 
his life he devoted much time to the collection of native 
birds, which he himself skillfully mounted, and to which 
was added many rare and foreign birds, contributed by 
friends. In June, 1896, he presented this large and val- 
uable collection to Oxford Academy. Mr. Sherwood re- 
ceived his education at Oxford Academy. He was popular 
in town and county, and was a member of Oxford Lodge, 
No. 175, F. & A. M. He was elected supervisor of the town 
and a trustee of Oxford Academy several years. His later 
days were spent in quiet retirement from active labor, and 
his passing was felt by the community at large. His burial 
was beside his wife on a high knoll upon the farm, which 
commands an extensive and beautiful view up and down 
the Chenango Valley. 



For man to assist man is to be a god ; this is the path to 
eternal glory. 

— Puny. 

D. M. Lee, M. D. 



Dwight Morgan Lee. M. D., was born at Georgetown, 
Madison county, January 25, 1843. His father. Rev. 
Hiram W. Lee, D. D., was a Presbyterian clergyman ; and 
the early education of the son was obtained at Cincinnatus 
Academy. In 1863 he graduated from Hamilton College, 
Clinton, from which he received the degree of A. B. He 
began to read medicine in 1861, at Earlville, under Dr. 
D. J. Ressegieu; attended two courses of lectures in the 
Medical Department of the University of New York, and 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 483 

at Albany Medical College, graduating from the latter, De- 
cember 27, 1864. He immediately entered the army as 
assistant surgeon of the 22d N. Y. V. Cavalry, was pro- 
moted surgeon by brevet, and remained until mustered out 
of service in August, 1865. The following month he com- 
menced the practice of medicine at Smithville Flats, re- 
maining till March, 1867, Avhen he came to Oxford, 
continuing his practice successfully till his death, which 
occurred October 5, 1895. 

Dr. Lee was a member of the Chenango County Medical 
Society; the Medical Association of Central New York, 
and the Medical Society of the State of New York. Was 
one of the original pension examiners; president of the 
corporation, 1881-7 and 1892 ; past master and past high 
priest of Masonic lodge and chapter, and a member of the 
Commandery. In later years he gave special attention to 
diseases of the eye and ear. 

Dr. Lee married in 1866, Elizabeth E., daughter of John 
R. and Susan S. (Hough) Gleason. Children: Charles 
D., married Johanna Bayer of Breslau, Germany; Hiram 
A., died in infancy; Zaida B; and Walter C. 



The Town Clock, 



In the spring of 1850 a number of enterprising citizens 
joined in raising a fund for the purchase of a town clock, 
which, during the month of May was placed in the tower of 
the old Episcopal church on Fort Hill, by Messrs. Hop- 
kins & Millard of De Ruyter, at a cost of |265. It re- 
mained there until 1864, when the church was taken down. 
In 1867 a tower was built on the Fort Hill block for the 



484 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

clock and a fire bell. In 1887 the works became worn and 
the clock ceased running. 

On the evening of August 8, 1902, The Ladies' Village 
Improvement Society, having procured a new clock at a 
cost of $650, presented it to the village at a lawn fete held 
on Fort Hill. The Citizens Band was present and ren- 
dered some of their most choice music. Nathan P. Stanton, 
Esq., in behalf of the ladies made the presentation speech, 
and Hon. S. S. Stafford, in behalf of the village accepted 
the gift in a few well chosen words. An excellent supper 
was served and a delightful evening was spent. 



By the fireside still the light is shining, 
The children's arms round the parent's twining ; 
From love so sweet, O who would roam? 
Be it ever so homely, home is home. 

— Dinah Mulock Cbaik. 

Nehemiah Smith. 



The most of the old settlers who came here during the 
early part of the nineteenth century were poor in pocket, 
but, possessed of an unlimited amount of energy and per- 
severance, and having faith in the country, " stuck it out,'^ 
and were successful. Among them were Nehemiah Smith, 
the third of that name, a native of Lyme, Conn., who set- 
tled on Fort Hill in this village in 1801. He was a car- 
penter and cabinet maker, which vocation he pursued till 
his death in December, 1835. Elizabeth (Gee) Smith, 
his widow, died in 1858. Children: 

Erastus, married Sophia McNeil, died in Buffalo, Oc- 
tober 26, 1847. 

Susan, developed into a beautiful girl, and while in 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 485 

young womanhood started alone on a lengthy journey. She 
was never again seen by her family, although traced to 
Utica, nothing definite was ever known in regard to her 
fate. 

Sally, married (1) Peabody; married (2) Asa 

Sheldon. Died in Oxford. Child by first husband : Susan 
C. Peabody. Married David L. Sherwood of Oxford. 

Fanny, married John Crosier; died January 20, 1886, 
aged 73, in Buffalo. Child: Fanny, died in infancy. 

Esther, married William Terrel; died July 26, 1876, 
aged 72, in Buffalo. Child: James, died May 12, 1906, 
aged 80 years ; married Alinda Crannell. 

Eunice, died in Oxford. Unmarried. 

Nancy, married Stephen Bentley; died in Ellicottville, 
N. Y. Children: Ada, Burr, Anna. 

Abigail, married William Sherwood of Oxford; died 
August 21, 1850, in Norwich. 

Nehemiah, 4th., married Susan Gordon of Oxford ; died 
June 14, 1873. Children : Jane, died December 26, 1901 ; 
married John Thurber; (their children: Elizabeth, mar- 
ried Warren Smith; Ida, maiTied George Ketchum; Min- 
nie, married Delbert Jenks; Dell R., married Jennie 
Sharp; Guerdon, died unmarried). Sophia E., born Oc- 
tober 19, 1828, married Hiram D. Walworth, died De- 
cember 3, 1905. (Children: Louise W., married Edward 
B. Loomis; Susie E.) Margaret, died in 1856, unmarried. 
Almira, married LaFayette Briggs. (Child: Margaret E., 
married G. B. Bretz of Brooklyn.) Nehemiah, 5th, mar- 
ried Sarah Barr. (Children: George, N. Y. C. R. R. mail 
agent; Charlotte; Matilda, married Frank Root; Eliza- 
beth.) 

James, died in New Orleans. Unmarried. 

Charles, died in California. Unmarried. 

Bp:tsey, died in 1836, in Oxford. Unmarried. 



486 ANNALS OF OXFORD 



It is uncertain in what place death may await thee ; therefore 
expect it in any place. 

— Seneca. 



Frederick Greene. 



Frederick Greene came at an early date from Dutchess 
county and located in Oxford. He married Sophia Bald- 
win, daughter of Jonathan and Parthenia (Stanford) 
Baldwin. His death occurred August 13, 1846, in Oxford. 
Mrs. Greene died July 22, 1885, at Grand Eapids, Mich. 

Children : 

Harvey M., born November 23, 1837, commenced the 
practice of medicine in November, 1868, and in January, 
1870, removed to Grand Eapids, Mich. December 12, 1872, 
he left that city for Dutchess county to be married and 
stopped in New York to transact business, where he was 
stricken with apoplexy and died on the 17th of that month. 

Bradford G., born April 16, 1839, in Steuben county; 
died suddenly December 6, 1896, at his residence on Clin- 
ton street, now owned by Dr. Chas. B. Payne. Married 
September 7, 1870, Marania Sisson of Norwich. Children : 
Frederick B., married Minnie A. Howard; Harr}^, resides 
at Greenfield, Mass. 

Mr. Greene was public spirited and untiring in his de- 
votion to public improvement. Upon finishing his edu- 
cation at Oxford Academy he entered the ofiQce of Dr. 
Eccleston to learn dentistry. In October, 1861, he enlisted 
in the navy, being assigned to duty as surgeon and steward 
on the gunboat Port Eoyal, and afterwards in transport 
service. In 1863 he entered the merchant marine, where 
he continued two years, serving under his flag at many 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 487 

European stations, principally in the Mediterranean. In 
1865 he returned to Oxford and resumed dentistry, which 
he continued a short time, and was soon after engaged at 
the jeweler's bench in the store of H. H. Cady. A year 
later Coville & Moore succeeded Mr. Cady, and ]Mr. Greene 
continued with them for about sixteen years, in the mean- 
time taking the ticket and express agency for the N. Y. O. 
& W. R-y., and subsequently adding the coal business. 
Mr. Greene had an agreeable disposition, enjoyed hearing 
and telling a good story, in which he was an adept; and 
had a good word for everyone and everywhere. He was an 
active member of Breed Post, G. A. E., and also of Oxford 
Lodge, F. & A. M. He was one of the incorporators and 
a director of the Excelsior Mutual Insurance Company. 
He was largely instrumental in procuring the adoption of 
the Union Free School system and the passage of the 
necessary resolutions to provide for the erection of the 
building. He was appointed postmaster under the ad- 
ministration of Benj. Harrison, which position he occupied 
four years and eight months. 

Charles F., born January 4, 1842; Corporal Co. H., 
114th Reg't, N. Y. S. V., during Civil war. Killed at 
battle of Cedar Creek, October 19, 1864. 

Clara C, graduated from Oxford Academy and taught 
for nearly thirty years in the Grand Rapids, Mich., public 
schools. She left her home July 2, 1903, in that city, and 
for several days the mystery surrounding her disappear- 
ance was not cleared until her body was found in the 
suburbs of the city behind a piece of underbrush. Indica- 
tions pointed that death was due to poison taken with 
suicidal intent. The body was cremated and the ashes 
sent to Oxford and placed within the grave of her mother. 



488 ANNALS OF OXFORD 



The boast of heraldry, the pomp of power. 

And all that beauty, all that wealth e'er gave, 
Await alike the inevitable hour. 

The paths of glory lead but to the grave. 

— Gray. 



VanWagenen Family. 



Gerrit Huybert Van Wagenen, son of Huybert and 
Angenietje (Agnes) Vreden Burgli VanWagenen, born at 
No. 5 Beekman slip, now 33 Fulton street, New York, 
January 21, 1753; died November 20, 1835, in Oxford; 
married March 11, 1783, Sarah, daughter of Derick and 
Kachel (VanRanst) Brinekerhoff, born November 5, 1764, 
in New York ; died December 9, 1833, in Oxford. 

Gerrit VanWagenen was a Revolutionary soldier and 
received the appointment of second lieutenant in the 8th 
company commanded by Captain John Quackenbos, in 
Colonel McDougal's regiment, being the first regiment in 
the New York State troops. He left New York in August, 
1775, with part of the regiment for Canada, and partici- 
pated in the storming of Quebec in the columns of General 
Montgomery. He remained in Canada till May, 1776, 
when he returned to New York in charge of prisoners 
whom he was ordered to take to Philadelphia. Returning 
to New York and finding the British were landing on Long 
Island, he offered his services to General Sullivan, and 
was sent by him with four other officers to the Jamaica 
Pass. The entire party was captured, and he was held as 
prisoner twenty-two months, when he was exchanged. He 
then received an appointment in the department of Com- 
missary of Prisoners, with the pay and rations of a major, 
which office he held three years, being stationed most of 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 489 

the time at Fislikill and West Point. After the war he 
engaged with his father in the hardware business in New 
York, which the latter had carried on at No. 5 Beekman 
slip since 1760. This was dissolved May 1, 1791, and he 
continued the business by himself, and afterwards with his 
son Hubert, till about 1820, when it was sold out to others. 
He was a vestrv^man of Trinity church from 1808 to 1811. 
In 1821 he removed to Oxford, where he established the 
first hardware store in the south end of the Hotchkiss 
House. He subsequently built and occupied a store on 
Washington park. He was largely engaged in the pur- 
chase and sale of land, and at his death owned about two 
thousand acres between the Chenango and Unadilla rivers. 
Mr. VanWagenen built on Lyon brook, then affording a 
good water power, a grist mill, carding, or woolen mill, 
and a saw mill. At the time of his removal to Oxford his 
household goods and merchandise were brought on sloops 
up the North river and carted over the Catskill mountains 
to Oxford. Bishop Hobart, one of the early pioneers of 
the church and whose diocese was the entire State of New 
York, was an intimate friend of the family and was accus- 
tomed to make his headquarters at their house, and from 
there made his visitations to the surrounding parishes. 
Mr. VanWagenen was a liberal contributor to all religious 
and public enterprises. By his will he established the 
VanWagenen missionary fund for the support of a mis- 
sionary of the Protestant Episcopal church in the county 
of Chenango, and the VanWagenen cemetery was be- 
queathed to St. Paul's church of Oxford. 

Children : 

Rachel, born October 5, 1783, in New York ; died May 
8, 1839, in New York ; married in 1811 Tyler Maynard, an 
attorney-at-law, who died in 1817 in the West Indies. 

Hubert, bom February 3, 1785, in New York ; died Octo- 



490 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

ber 31, 1852, in Poughkeepsie, N. Y. ; married Marcli 20, 
1808, Mary Wheeler of Red Hook, N. Y. 

EiCHARD AND Gerrit, twins, born November 22, 1786; 
died in infancy. 

Agnes, born December 12, 1787, in New York ; died Feb- 
ruary 13, 1868, in Oxford; married June 18, 1822, in 
Oxford, Erastus Perkins. 

Sarah, born July 4, 1791, in New York ; died in infancy. 

WiLHELMiNA Maria, bom March 24, 1793, in New York ; 
died November 2, 1873, in Oxford; unmarried. 

Sarah Brinckerhoff, born December 20, 1794, in New^ 
York ; died December 21, 1878, in Oxford ; unmarried. 

Catherine, born October 2, 1796, in Newtown, L. I. ; 
died February 14, 1886; unmarried. , 

Richard, born October 8, 1798, in Newtown, L. I.; died 
September 27, 1837, in St. Josephs, Mich. ; unmarried. 

Gerrit, born November 6, 1800, in New York ; died Sep- 
tember 27, 1858, in New Brunswick, N. J. ; married March 
17, 1835, Anna C. Pierrepont of Brooklyn, N. Y. 

William, born July 26, 1802, in New York ; died Decem- 
ber 6, 1864, in Oxford; married January 8, 1840, Ursula 
A., daughter of James A. and Ann (Bradley) Glover of 
Oxford ; died May 24, 1887, in Oxford. Children : John 
Richard, born November 9, 1841; married December 26, 
1872, Clara L., daughter of George W. and Clarissa 
(Whitmore) Lester of Bingham ton, N. Y. Mr. Van 
Wagenen was supervisor of Oxford in 1868, elected county 
treasurer in 1872, and is now president of the First 
National Bank of Oxford; (children, Helen M., William 
Lester, Henry Tracy, Florence, Harold W., and Ursula). 
James G., born December 1, 1845, in Oxford; married 
April 9, 1867, Mary E., daughter of Stephen H. and Mary 
(Gillman) Millard of Oxford ; he was in service in the Civil 
war in Co. L, 20th N. Y. Cavalry, which was the advance 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 491 

regiment into Richmond at tlie surrender; (child, Anna 
M., married Jared C. Estelow of Oxford). Anna G., born 
September 24, 1853 ; died in infancy. Mary E., born Feb- 
ruary 21, 1857; married August 25, 1886, William W. 
Lester of South Norwalk, Conn. 

John, born July 28, 1804, in New York; died July 2, 
1846, in Oxford; married November 13, 1833, Sarah A., 
daughter of Captain Frederick and Susan (Smith) Hop- 
kins of Oxford, born December 12, 1807; died December 
26, 1886, in Oxford. Children: William Hubert, born 
November 11, 1837; married January 21, 1874, Anna L., 
daughter of Jacob and Sarah J. Selden of Williamstown, 
N. Y. ; in drug business twenty-seven years in Oxford; 
residence Rome, N. Y. ; (children, all born in Oxford, 
Sarah Louise, Grace S., married Arthur F. Carpenter of 
Rome; Nellie E.) . Susan Elizabeth, married June 6, 1866, 
Major Oscar Henry Curtis of Oxford, who died December 
26, 1903. 



If a man empties his purse into his head, no man can take it 
away from him. An investment in knowledge always pays 
the best interest. 

— Franklin. 



Kinney Family 



Solomon Kinney died November 14, 1839, in Oxford. 
He married (1) Grace Wise, a native of Connecticut; mar- 
ried (2) PhilaGifford. 

Samuel Kinney, only child of Solomon and Grace (Wise) 
Kinney, married Amelia Crumb of Stoniugton, Conn. He 
died April 3, 1847, and his wife's death occurred Decern- 



492 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

ber 22, 1865. Their children were : Charles Albert, 
Susan, Mary Mead, Samuel Wise, and Jane Elizabeth. 

Samuel Wise Kinney was a prominent and w^ell-known 
farmer of Oxford, where he resided during his lifetime. 
He w^as born June 5, 1821, and died June 6, 1894. Mr. 
Kinney was twice married; his first wife was Sophia 
Symonds of Oxford, born January 11, 1819; died Novem- 
ber 25, 1864. His second wdfe was Mrs. Huldah (Seeley) 
Jeffords, w^ho survives and resides in a w^estern state. 
Children by first wife : Henry, died June — , 1883 ; mar- 
ried Frances M. Rowley of Guilford. Frances, married 
Archilaus Haynes of Colesville, N. Y. Isabella, died 
April 8, 1851, in infancy. Ward, married Helen Minor of 
McPherson, Kan., w^here he resides. Charlotte, married 
Edgar W. Edmunds of Oakville, N. Y., and resides on the 
old homestead. 



But what good came of it at last?" 
Quoth little Peterkin. 
Why that I cannot tell," said he ; 
" But 'twas a famous victory." 

— SOUTHEY. 



In Military Days, 



Few incidents in the past attracted so much att-ention a» 
that of the muster of the local citizen soldiers at " general 
training,'^ or drills and muster under the militia system. 
The event was looked forward to w ith pleasure, as it gave 
the men a chance to meet old acquaintances, and the boys 
to invest their pennies in the inevitable gingerbread. The 
companies, glittering with tinsel and flaunting with 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 493 

feathers, were duly paraded through the maneuvers on 
" the green," much to the satisfaction of all emancipated 
school boys and idlers. 

The militia consisted of all able-bodied white male citi- 
zens between the ages of eighteen and forty-five. Among 
those exempt from military duty were clergymen, school 
teachers, students in colleges or academies, and members 
of fire companies; though in cases of insurrection or in- 
vasion all but clergymen and teachers could be called upon. 

Each militia company was obliged to assemble for train- 
ing on the first Monday in September; and between Sep- 
tember 1 and October 15, at a place designated by the com- 
mander of the brigade, the regiment was directed to assem- 
ble for one day's general training. Each militiaman was 
personally notified of an approaching muster, and failure 
to appear or to bring the necessary equipments resulted in 
a court-martial and a fine, unless a satisfactory excuse 
could be given. Those who could not pay were imprisoned 
in the county jail. The military spirit that existed in 
those days was a prominent feature of the country in 
general. Many that gathered every fall at " general train- 
ing" had seen active service in the Revolutionary war. 
Almost every large town had its militia company, but in 
Oxford they had an artillery company and a cannon. 
Simon Throop was the captain, and with his sword, 
epaulets, black feather, black coat trimmed with red, and 
red topped chapeau, he appeared to the youth of that day 
greater than any king or potentate. Peter Sken Smith, 
soon after he came to Oxford, entered into the spirit of 
the community and raised the first company of riflemen in 
the county, which in a short time developed into a bat- 
talion, and for several years were applauded for their 
military bearing. About the same time, Wayne Berry of 
Preston was captain of a cavalry company that looked very 



494 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

attractive and valiant. They appeared at the yearly mus- 
ters at Oxford and Norwich, but the horses, excepting the 
captain's, looked as though they enjoyed the harrow and 
plovv^ much better than the military ordeal to which they 
were subjected, especially late in the day, when the captain 
always showed himself on his favorite steed to the terror 
of all beholders. 

The place of meeting for muster was designated by the 
commanding officer, and the sale of spiritous liquors on 
the grounds could only be carried on by special permission 
of this officer. Total abstinence was not the rule by any 
means, and any officer had the right to take a bottle from 
a private and destroy it, but the contents were usually 
stov>xd away about the officer's person, and often the bur- 
den was rather heavy to carry conveniently. 

At ^' general trainings " the regiment was made up of 
odd, ill-sorted, and ungainly men for the most part. Men 
from the back hills, who sometimes came in barefooted, 
carrying their boots and militia outfit in a bundle; cob- 
blers, tailors, and farm hands from neighboring hamlets, 
short, tall, fat, lean, bow-legged, sheep-shanked, cock-eyed, 
hump-shouldered, and sway-backed, equipped by art as 
economically, awkwardly, and variously as they were en- 
dowed by nature. The officers of the volunteer companies, 
on the other hand, were generally selected for their hand- 
some appearance and martial bearing. There were also a 
few veterans of the war of 1812, who were noticeable for 
their precise bearing and contempt for their crude com- 
panions. 

As before mentioned, the regiment assembled yearly for 
general training between September 1 and October 15, 
usually for one day, though sometimes they were on parade 
for a longer time. On one occasion they camped in Oxford 
for a week, and about forty officers' tents were pitched. 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 495 

On Monday and Tuesday the officers of the regiment met 
for drill. On Wednesday the uniformed militia, number- 
ing 400, with nearly as many more without uniforms, met 
their officers for parade, inspection, and review. Thurs- 
day, Friday, and Saturday the uniformed continued in the 
field, drilling and exercising. There w^ere organized com- 
panies present from neighboring towns besides the Oxford 
companies. Stalwart Captain Zadoc Adams of the Rifle 
Brigade of Preston combined the greatest tact, skill, and 
pride in military evolutions, and the exhibition drill given 
by his company in uniforms of gray, and their military 
band, was an event not soon to be forgotten. Brigadier- 
General Eathbone reviewed the militia; General DeFor- 
rest the cavalry, and General Peter Sken Smith the rifles. 
On the occasion of a military review Major Benjamin 
Ray, a Revolutionary veteran, would come from Norwich 
in great state, accompanied by Captain Harvey of Preston, 
a patriot of '76, to enjoy the events. The Major also had 
another comrade, Jason Gleason, who was sometimes 
called " Bildad," whom he would, in the height of his ex- 
citement, enthusiastically punch in the ribs and exclaim, 
referring to General Peter Sken Smith : " What eyes ! " 
" Remember the battle of Monmouth, bub? " 

Captain Wayne Berry would loudly declaim on the 
fading glories of the past, and irreverently proclaim that 
certain judicial functionaries then on the bench should 
" withdraw " and give place to better men, by reason that 
" they could not stand so much popularity.'' " Perez, 
Perez ! " he would proudly exclaim, ^' Old Wayne foots the 
bill ; eat like a fattin' hog! " At the same time making an 
assault on the gingerbread stands and drawing from his 
pocket a well-filled purse, from which he promptly settled 
all bills. 



496 ANNALS OF OXFORD 



He wears a brown old Brunswick coat, 
With silver buttons, — round his throat, 
A soft cravat ; — in all you note 
An elder fashion. 

— DOBSON. 



Lewis Family 



Samuel Lewis, born May 20, 1744, in Voluntown, Conn., 
now a part of New London, came to Preston, N. Y., in the 
spring of 1804 with his wife and seven children. They 
made the trip in covered wagons and were a month on the 
way. He settled on Fly Meadow creek, on the farm occu- 
pied by his grandson, Samuel E., during his lifetime, now 
owned by Jerry Sharp. Samuel served in the Revolution- 
ary war as private in Captain Benjamin West's company 
in Colonel John Topham's Reg't. (R. I.). He married 
Sarah Edwards, born August 18, 1750, and died May 1, 
1831. Mr. Lewis died February 9, 1818, both having lived 
and died upon the farm which they settled. 

Among the children who accompanied them was Clark, 
born February 20, 1778, in Rhode Island, and died Octo- 
ber 27, 1853, in Preston. He married Mary Willcox of 
Exeter, R. L, who died November 21, 1855, in Preston. 
Children : 

Eunice, born in Rhode Island; died May 19, 1873, aged 
70, in Norwich ; married Elnathan Terry, whose death oc- 
curred June 25, 1866, in Norwich, aged 71. 

Mary, born November 18, 1804, in Preston; died Janu- 
ary 27, 1883, in Bainbridge; married Charles Eccloston of 
Preston. 

Stephen, born August 7, 1806, in Preston ; died January 
20, 1892, in Oxford; married Aurilla Eccleston, born 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 497 

August 29, 1810, in Preston; died December 9, 1885, in 
Oxford. Children: Hiram E., born February 7, 1838; 
died March 22, 1880, in Oxford; married Jane Webb. 
Henry C, twin to Hiram, died June 12, 1892, in Oxford; 
married Mercy Edmunds. Arvine S., married Sarah 
Loomis of Smithville; resides in Oxford. 

Clark, born December 23, 1808, in Preston; died July 
31, 1893, in Oxford; married October 22, 1839, Mary Strat- 
ton of South Oxford ; born May 26, 1821, in South Oxford ; 
died March 21, 1873, in Oxford. Children : George W., 
enlisted in the United States Navy August 15, 1862, for 
one year, and was discharged October 15, 1863. He en- 
listed from New York and first served on U. S. Bark 
" Arthur '' from Pensecola, Fla., for about five months. 
Transferred to U. S. Bark '^ Anderson," for a time on 
blockade duty at Aransas Pass, Texas. Married Olive A. 
Brooks of Oxford, who died March 31, 1904. Marietta, 
married (1) J. B. Jenkins of Oneida; married (2) A. Van- 
Emburgh of Ridgewood, N. J. Charlotte A., married 
Enoch Henry Currier, principal of the New York Institu- 
tion for the Instruction of the Deaf and Dumb. 

Before coming to Oxford Clark Lewis was for a few 
years engaged in the lumber business in Pennsylvania. 
In 1838 he came to Oxford and in partnership with his 
brother Stephen bought the grist and saw mill one mile 
south of the village. In 1850 he bought the plaster, grist, 
and lumber mill in the village, now owned by Fletcher and 
Corbin ; here he did a large business, as he had a planing 
mill in connection with the plant. Before the Civil war he 
did a thriving business in plaster and employed many 
hands at the mill. During the Avinter months when the 
sleigliing was at its lieiglit the farmers coming from neigh- 
boring towns, Morris, Unadilla, Sidney, and other outlying 
villages, would reach Oxford in tlie afternoon, trade at the 



498 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

stores, spend the night at the hotel, and in the early morn- 
ing get their load of plaster and start for home. Up to the 
serious flood of 1865 he had prospered and acquired 
wealth, but the great losses he sustained in mill and stock 
from water damage ruined him, and he never recovered 
therefrom. Previous to this he erected the building known 
as the Lewis block, now owned by C. A. Gillman, T. C. 
Pettis, and T. W. Kobinson, on the third floor of which 
was a ballroom extending the whole length of the building. 
This ballroom was on seveial occasions the scene of large 
dancing parties, under the auspices of the Masonic fra- 
ternity, and the firemen, and during the Civil war, 
luncheon was served in this same room to the 111th Regi- 
ment by the ladies of Oxford on their departure from and 
their return to the county. Mr. Lewis's residence vwas on 
Clinton street, now the home of C. O. Wilcox. 

Hannah, born November 21, 1810, in Preston; died 
February 23, 1900, in McDonough; married September 4, 
1836, William R. Burdick, born May 5, 1812, in Pharsalia, 
N. Y. ; died March 3, 1893, in McDonough. He lived for 
some time in Oxford, where he learned the currier's trade 
in the Mygatt tannery. Children : Oresta L., married 
Rev. William L. Hiller; died November 6, 1901, in Par- 
sons, Pa. Lewis Dayton, born in Guilford, N. Y. ; was 
educated at Oxford Academy and Fairfield Seminary, 
Herkimer county. He entered Madison University, now 
Colgate, and completed nearly half the classical course 
when he left and enlisted in Co. K, 10th N. Y. Cavalry. 
He was commissioned second lieutenant with rank from 
September 30, 1862, but owing to protracted ill health 
resigned December 18, same year. Mr. Burdick taught 
public and private schools in Guilford, Otselic, Smithville, 
Earlville, and McDonough, and for some time was em- 
ployed in the First National Bank of Oxford. He has 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 499 

written occasionally for publications since 1860 on literary, 
political, religious, historical, and oriental subjects. He 
is the author of several books, which have received many 
flattering notices from the leading journals of the country. 
His books have been published in the order named, viz. : 
Through Field and Wood, Foundation Rites, Magic and 
Husbandry, Oriental Studies, and The Hand. Mr. Bur- 
dick resides in Oxford, and is a member of the American 
Association for the Advancement of Science, American 
Folk-Lore Society, and Corresponding Member of the New 
York Genealogical and Biographical Society. Sarah L., 
died June 9, 1875, in McDonough, unmarried. Mary E., 
married William Eber Jones and resides in Oxford. Erford 
W., married Charlotte Brundige of Gilbertsville, and re- 
sides in Chicago. Ellen H., died December 4, 1878, in Mc- 
Donough, unmarried. Henry R., died in childhood. 

Sarah, born July 24, 1813, in Preston; died January 3, 
1814, in Preston. 

Samuel, twin to above, died August 29, 1816, in 
Preston. 

Ira W., deaf mute, born March 16, 1815, in Preston; 
died suddenly November 21, 1893, in Preston; married 
Catherine P. Ellerson, deaf mute. Children: William, 
Prudence, Catherine, James, John, Charles, Sarah. 

Edward, born August 16, 1817, in Preston ; died in child- 
hood. 

Samuel E., born August 9, 1819, in Preston ; died on the 
old homestead October 24, 1885; was a member of Assem- 
bly from this county in 1861. Married (1) Maryette Tur- 
ner; married (2) Lydia Smith; married (3) Lemira D. 
Sanford. Children by second wife : Wilson D., deceased. 



500 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

S. Edward. Child by third wife: Florence married 
Hubert C. Stratton, Esq., of Oxford. 

Sarah E., died in childhood. 

Clarinda, died in childhood. 

Prudence, deaf mute, born November 21, 1826, in Pres- 
ton; died June 18, 1906, in Oxford. She was educated in 
the Institution for the Instruction of the Deaf and Dumb 
at Washington Heights, New York city, and this institu- 
tion became her home for a large part of her life, for she 
returned to it as assistant matron, a position which she 
held for thirty-three years and relinquished only when 
compelled to by failing strength and advanced age. She 
had a wide acquaintance with the deaf and dumb, and was 
intimately associated with them all her life. She was of 
a kind and genial disposition and made friends with all 
whom she came in contact, and was respected, loved, and 
honored by all who knew her. For the last two years her 
home was with relatives in Oxford. 



So sleeps the pride of former days, 

So glory's thrill is o'er. 
And hearts that once beat high for praise. 

Now feel that pulse no more. 

MOOBE. 



Isaac J. Stratton 



Isaac J. Stratton was born November 13, 1782. He 
was the seventh son of a seventh son, a personage who has 
always been credited by the superstitious with super- 
natural powers, especially powers of healing. Mr. Strat- 
ton remembered that, when he was a child, children 
afflicted with King's evil, or scrofula, were sometimes 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 501 

brought to him that he might touch them. September 11, 
1803, he married Rachel, daughter of John and Rhoda 
Alger Punderson. The young couple, aged respectively 21 
and 17, began their life together on a newly-cleared farm 
in Smithville, three miles from any neighbors. Mrs. Strat- 
ton's stories of this time became in after years the delight 
of her grandchildren. Mr. Stratton built the house with 
his own hands, and his only door was a blanket woven by 
Mrs. Stratton, a sort of great-grandmother to the modern 
portieres. 

There were many Indians about, who, though not really 
unfriendly, were yet among the uncertain elements of life. 
One day Mrs. Stratton had just baked two loaves of bread 
before her open fire, and was putting them away on the 
shelf which served for a pantry, when a big Indian, 
blanketed and painted, appeared in the dooi^vvay and said : 
" Me want bread." She offered him one loaf, but he re- 
plied : " Me want more." One can imagine that it was a 
trying moment for the young wife, with no help near ; but 
as she hesitated she heard the sound of her husband's ax 
far off in the forest and it gave her courage to answer: 
"No, you can have only one." She inwardly determined 
that Isaac should not come home, hungry and tired, and 
find nothing for his supper. Her tall visitor grunted, let 
us hope in admiration, and walked off with his half of the 
bread. 

About 1807 they left this farm and moved to McDonough 
to be with Mrs. Stratton's father. Deacon John Punderson. 
In 1806 a son, Charles, was born, and in 1808 a daughter, 
Lydia, who in 1825 married Dr. Edward York. Soon after 
Mr. and Mrs. Stratton gave up the farm to their daughter 
and her husband, and about 1841 they themselves moved 
to Oxford, where Mrs. Stratton died January 2, 1861, at 
the age of 75. Her husband lived to be 91 and died Feb- 



502 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

ruary 1, 1873. Their lives were full of helpfulness to all 
who needed help; but they are prominently among those 
whom children and children's children " rise up and call 
blessed." 

Charles Stratton, son of Isaac J. and Rachel (Punder- 
son) Stratton, was born January 8, 1806, in Smith ville, 
N. Y. On August 22, 1839, while bathing in the Chenango 
canal with his father, he sank beneath the water and his 
body was not recovered for several hours. His father 
made a desperate attempt to rescue him, but, failing, sum- 
moned assistance. Mr. Stratton married February 7, 
1827, Lovina Loomis of Smithville, born February 13, 
1807; died January 3, 1870, at Upper Lisle, Broome 
county. Children : 

Lydia, married Samuel Williams; died October 19, 1891, 
at Upper Lisle. 

Louisa, married Joseph W. Hamilton; died December 
2, 1892, aged 63 years, in Oxford. 

Diana, married Horace J. Wood; died April 27, 1878, 
at Utica. 

Isaac J., married Margaret Bartle; died March 28, 1903, 
at Portland, Oregon. 

Charles E., married Marion L. Buckley, and resides in 
Oxford. Children: Elvie C, born November 2, 1859; 
died February 14, 1860. Flora L., born December 2, 1860 ; 
married Edwin L. Haynes. Hubert C, born December 5, 
1863; married Florence Lewis. Eobert B., born July 13, 
1868 ; married Minnie B. Brown. Vernon D., born Decem- 
ber 23, 1869; married Lottie McFarland. Nettie C, born 
November 14, 1873; died April 29, 1875, from scalds re- 
ceived from falling into a pail of hot water. Carroll I.» 
born March 21, 1876 ; married Genevieve Carpenter. 



ANNALS OF OXFORD ^03 



May one be imrdomnl and retain the offense? 

— Shakespeabe. 

An Old Murder Trial. 



Sunday, October 25, 1846, Coroner Callender was 
called to hold an inquest on the body of George Manwar- 
ring, Jr., who was found dead at the log house of his sister, 
Nancy Cady, three miles southwest of this village. The 
neighbors were called in during the night and found Man- 
warring upon a straw bed on the floor, lying partly on his 
right side with his face toward his breast. The Cady 
family, consisting of the mother, two young men, and two 
boys, were examined and the gist of their testimony was, 
that Manwarring came to their house drunk on Saturday 
night, shortly after dark, in company with Kussel Cady, 
and went to bed with him. The latter stated that at mid- 
night he discovered his companion dead and aroused the 
family. A post-morten examination was had, which 
elicited sufficient evidence to the Coroner's jury that they 
returned a verdict of death by violence. Warrants were 
issued and Mrs. Cady and her son Russel were arrested, 
jointly indicted, and committed for trial. At the term of 
the Circuit Court commencing September 13, 1847, Hon. 
Charles Mason, Justice, Russel Cady, at the age of 23, was 
on trial for murder. There were many dark circumstances 
which operated against the accused. Threats had been 
made against Manwarring's life; in a petty lawsuit he 
Btood in their way; he was found dead in their dwelling; 
there were marks as of violence upon his person ; cries were 
heard on the fatal night; conflicting stories were told by 
members of the family, and the general belief and opinion 



S04 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

of all who first saw the body was that violence was the 
cause of death. These were sufficient of themselves to 
justify not only strong suspicions, but to form a tolerably 
well-ground belief. To escape from this weight of testi- 
mony, it became necessary to prove that no murder had 
been committed. Failing to create a reasonable doubt of 
this in the opinion of the jury, under the rulings of the 
Court, the result was a conviction, and Russel Cady was 
sentenced to be hung on the 23d of November, 1847. His 
counsel carried the case to the Supreme Court on a bill of 
exceptions, and a second trial was commenced April 10, 
1848, under more favorable auspices. The fact that a new 
trial had been granted admitted error in the first; and 
additional evidence was adduced to involve the cause of 
death in doubt and mystery. These doubts inured to the 
benefit of the prisoner, and the result was a verdict of 
acquittal. In the first trial of Mrs. Cady the jury were 
unable to agree upon a verdict. As the evidence was not as 
strong against her as it was against her son, and there 
being no probability of her conviction, she was discharged. 



Not wealth nor ancestry, but honourable conduct and a noble 
disposition make men great. 

—Ovid. 

Joseph G. Thorp. 



Joseph G. Thorp was born April 28, 1812, at Butternuts, 
Otsego county, where his father filled the pulpit of the 
Presbyterian church. He was early inured to the work of 
a farm, which both gave strength to his body and en- 
couraged and stimulated habits of industry. Only those 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 505 

limited school privileges were at hand which the country 
school-house provided; of such he made the most. With 
these aids at his command, together with energy, self- 
denial, and determination, the subject of this sketch rose 
to positions of credit, wealth and honor. 

When Mr. Thorp Avas 17 years of age he began business 
as a clerk in the dry goods store of Ira Willcox. He en- 
tered upon his duties with the understanding that, in case 
of their faithful performance, he should receive a salary 
of fifty dollars a year with board. He continued as clerk 
on these t^^^rms for four years, and during three succeeding 
years at an increased salary, after which he became a 
partner in the dry goods business. When he arrived at 
middle life, after a partnership of several years with his 
brother-in-law, N. C. Chapman, he had become possessed 
of considerable property as well as of a practical knowl- 
edge of business and excellent reputation. The firm at 
length became interested in projects for more extended 
business operations which seemed to offer at the West. 
Their stock of goods was sold to Messrs. Miller and Perkins 
in the year 1856, and after engaging in banking for a time 
at Clinton, low^a, they removed to the pineries of the Chip- 
pewa, having previously bought large tracts of lumber and 
mill property at Eau Claire, Wis. In 1868 the firm of 
Chapman & Thorp, Avith J. T. and S. C. Gilbert, obtained 
a charter from the State, and became incorporated as the 
Eau Claire Lumber Company, with a capital stock of 
1200,000, Avhich was increased to |2,000,000. 

Mr. Thorp serv^ed his State in the Senate for several 
years. He was a delegate to the National Convention that 
nominated Grant and Wilson. 

Although so thoroughly a man of affairs, he strove to 
infuse commercial life with Christian principles and to 
join business and religion in a closer bond of union. Al- 



5o6 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

ways a zealous friend of the Congregational church, to 
which he made generous contributions, he is well remem- 
bered as an earnest and active member of the society. 

Mr. Thorp married Miss Amelia C. Chapman at Nor- 
wich February 21, 1838, whose death occurred April 24^ 
1893, at Santa Barbara, Cal. Mr. Thorp died January 
13, 1895, at Cambridge, Mass., where the family had re- 
Bided several years. Children: Louisa C, died October 
1, 1848, aged 8. Charles G., died September 29, 1848, aged 
4. Joseph G., Jr., married Miss Anna A., youngest daugh- 
ter of Henry W. Longfellow, the poet laureate of America, 
and is a member of the bar of Massachusetts. Sara C, be- 
came the wife of Ole Bull, universally known as one of 
Norway^s most distinguislied sons. 



Time spent in the cultivation of the fields passe.* 
very pleasantly. 

—Ovid. 



Warren Eaton 



Warren Eaton, born April 2, 1814, in Oxford; died sud- 
denly April 7, 1889; married August 12, 1838, Eliza 
Penston. 

Mr. Eaton, while yet a mere lad, entered the employ of 
Benjamin Butler on the Corn Hill farm, which, by as- 
siduous application and persevering industry, he himself 
became the owner of in later life. He was one of Oxford^s 
most successful farmers, a quiet, unassuming man, de- 
votMly attached to his family and home. In religious con- 
victions he heartily affiliated with the Methodist faith, and 
the society in this village received his loyal and earnest 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 507 

support to the end of his life. In 1839 Mr. and Mrs. Eaton 
entertained at a New Year's dinner sixteen members of the 
Eaton family in this vicinity. The event afforded great 
pleasure, and it was then determined to make it an annual 
affair, to be held alternately among the relatives, which 
has been done to the present time without a miss. Mrs. 
Eaton is now the only suiwiving member of the original 
New Year's dinner. When the event falls due at Corn Hill 
farm the table linen, as well as much of the china and 
silver, are the same used at the first dinner. 

The principal founders of the Eaton family who came to 
America previous to 1640 were: Francis, on the May- 
flow^er, 1620; John, who went to Haverhill, Mass., and 
Jonas and William, who settled in Reading, Vt. They all 
came over between 1634 and 1640, and were the New Eng- 
land pioneers. The crest of one Eaton arms is the head of 
a lion, which is represented as swallowing a cask or tun, 
a rebus on Eaton (eatun). The more usual crest is an 
eagle's head, sable; in the mouth a sprig, vert. 

In 1888 Mr. and Mrs. Eaton celebrated their golden 
wedding. Children : 

George Avery, died in infancy. 

James W., enlisted in the 5th N. Y. Heavy Artillery 
during Civil war. Made a good record upon many a well- 
fought battlefield. Taken prisoner and died January 3, 
1865, in prison hospital at Salisbury, N. C. 

Mary Elizabeth, died in infancy. 

Amanda C, married March 12, 1873, George B. Fletcher. 
Child : Sarah. 

Emma, married Charles S. Brown, resides at Waverly, 
N. Y. Child : Robert. 

Lizzie, resides at Corn Hill farm, with mother and sister, 
Mrs. Fletcher. 

George P. , married Emma Kihuyar of W^aitsburg, Wyo ; 



5o8 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

resides at Granger, Wash. Children: Emma, Warren, 
Edith, Clara. 

Charles B., married (1) Ida Sherwood, who died March 
17, 1899; married (2) Anna Trimble. Residence Seattle, 
Wash. Children: James, Alice, Ruth, Phillip, Dorothy. 



The love of country is more powerful than reason itself. 

— Ovid. 

Independence Day, 1859 



The celebration of Independence Day in 1859 was long 
held in pleasant memory. The day was cool and delight- 
ful. At an early hour the streets were thronged by citizens 
of Oxford and adjoining towns, making the attendance 
very great. James W. Glover, Esq., was marshal of the 
day. His assistants were General Samuel A. Gifford, 
Colonel Samuel M. Robinson, and Andrew J. Hunt. The 
Niagara and Lady Washington fire companies, led by the 
Oxford Band, met at the head of Washington avenue the 
Deluge and Rescue fire companies from Norwich, with the 
Sherburne Band, and conducted them to the rooms of the 
fire department, where ample refreshments were served. 
The Oxford Guards, under Captain Freeborn Youngs, and 
the Artillery Company, under Captain Edwin M. Osborn, 
received the Norwich Heavy Artillery, under Captain 
James Tyrrell, with mounted guns, and the Infantry from 
the same place, and escorted them to the village. The pro- 
cession was formed in front of Hitchcock Hotel and moved 
to Washington square, where patriotism found full vent 
in a high order of merit. Rev. Mr. Matteson of the M. E. 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 509 

church made the opening prayer, after which the Declara- 
tion of Independence was read by Cyrus N. Brown. The 
oration by John T. Mygatt followed, replete with happy 
thought and patriotism. The benediction was pronounced 
by Rev. Mr. Potter of the Baptist church. The procession 
then reformed and marched to Hitchcock's for dinner. 
The white clouds which floated lightly upon the horizon 
above, like banners trailing their shadows, the insignia of 
the fire and military departments, and their banners, be- 
neath, and the bright equipage and glittering armor, with 
the alternate martial and band music, afforded a beautiful 
pageant, which is seldom equaled in any village. The ban- 
quet at Hitchcock's was partaken of by a very large and 
gleeful assembly, and presided over by " Count " VanDer- 
Lyn, president of the day, who excelled himself in his large 
experience in similar positions. After the cloth was re- 
moved regular and volunteer toasts were drunk. In the 
afternoon there was target shooting, trial of fire engines, 
and a parade drill of Captain Tyrrell's Artillery company. 
At sunset a national salute of thirty-two guns was fired. 
The evening was brilliant with fireworks and a torchlight 
procession of the fire companies ended the celebration of 
Independence Day in 1859. 



There is nothing which has yet been contrived by man, by 
which so much happiness is produced as by a good tavern or inn. 

— JOHNSOiN. 



Clarke Family. 



Ethan Clarke, son of Rev. Henry and Catherine (Pen- 
dleton) Clarke, was bom at Hopkinton, R. I., March 30, 
1798. At an early age with his father, who was one of a 
Rhode Island colony of Sabbatarians, he emigrated to 



510 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

Brookfield, N. Y., remaining there but a few years, when 
he went to Plainfield, N. Y. In the spring of 1821 Mr. 
Clarke came to Oxford and purchased the Stage House, 
which he conducted for several years in connection with 
the stage lines running through this valley, an important 
enterprise at that day. Afterwards he engaged in mer- 
cantile business, the first year or two with Henry Balcom, 
lat^r with Ebenezer Sherwood, and from 1840 with his 
brother-in-law. Captain Joseph H. Dwight, which con- 
tinued till the death of the latter in 1845. In 1854 his 
sons, James W. and Francis G., with Frederick A. Sands, 
became his partners. At the expiration of a year Mr. Sands 
withdrew. Shortly after the opening of the Chenango 
canal the firm added storage and forwarding to their busi- 
ness, becoming extensive dealers in produce. The addr^^ss, 
^' Care E. Clarke, Oxford, N. Y.," was marked on innum- 
erable boxes, bales, bundles, barrels, crates, and hogsheads, 
sent to every country store within a radius of forty miles 
of Oxford, and the name was a household word in every 
farmhouse in the same circle, where butter was made to be 
sent to New York city and a market, until the canal boat, 
like the stage coach became a thing of the past. The name 
^^ Clarke '' was a synonym for energy, honor, and business 
integrity. 

Mr. Clarke died Sunday, February 8, 1857. He had been 
in usual health and attended church in the morning. Owing 
to the sudden rise of the river on that day the guard bank 
to the canal feeder commenced giving away in the after- 
noon, making it necessary to remove a quantity of flour 
from the store cellar. Mr. Clarke assisted with his usual 
activity and energy. During the work of removal he was 
found in an insensible state and quickly removed to his 
residence, where death ensued. Mr. Clarke married (1) 
Lucy, daughter of Reuben and Hannah (Johnson) Wil- 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 511 

cox; married (2) September 5, 1814, Rachel, daughter of 
Peter and Elizabeth (Cowell) Case, born December 28, 
1792; died August 25, 1851, in Oxford. The widow, 
orphan, and stranger ever found in her a sympathizing 
friend, and the poor a constant benefactor. 

Child by first wife : 

Lucy Wilcox, born August 30, 1812, in Brookfield, N. 
Y. ; died December 26, 1891, in Oxford. 

Children by second wife: 

James Willard, born July 20, 1815, in Brookfield ; died 
June 30, 1878, in Oxford. He was an active business man, 
and held the office of postmaster for two years, from 1841. 
In 1864 he entered upon the work of establishing the First 
National Bank of Oxford, of which he became president. 
For many years he was closely identified with St. PauPs 
church, as vestryman and warden. The Academy also 
shared in the labors which he willingly bestowed upon it, 
and in matters of public and universal interest he devoted 
much time. Mr. Clarke married (1) March 31, 1846, in 
Oxford, Catherine Iliad, daughter of Obadiah and Eliza- 
beth (Teed) Sands, born August 13, 1818, in Franklin, 
N. Y.; died March 21, 1850, in Oxford; married (2) Susan 
Eliza, daughter of John and Susan (Hyde) Tracy. Chil- 
dr^ji by first wife: Frederick Sands, died in infancy. 
Winslow, born August 14, 1848 ; died June 3, 1869. Clem- 
ent Sands, born March 15, 1850 ; died November 28, 1855. 

Elizabeth Ann, born April 27, 1817, in Plainfield ; died 
January 29, 1887, in Rochester ; married November 9, 1847, 
in Oxford, Rev. John Visger Vanlngen, born December 4, 
1806, in Schenectady ; died December 1, 1877, in Rochester ; 
a former rector of Zion church, Greene. Children : Rachel 
Louisa, died in infancy. Richard Clarke, died in infancy. 
John Abraham, born October 21, 1851; married Mary, 
daughter of Albert and Frances Walker; residence Roches- 



512 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

ter. Hannah Catherine, born July 1, 1853; died February 
6, 1901, in Rochester; unmarried. Fanny DeLancy, died 
in infancy. Sarah Lucy, died in infancy. James William, 
born June 10, 1859, in St. Paul, Minn. ; married Anna M., 
daughter of John and Jane Clark of Yonkers. 

DwiGHT Henry, born March 2, 1819, in Plainfield ; died 
April 17, 1874, in Oxford ; unmarried. On completing his 
literary training in Oxford Academy and Union College he 
entered the law office of James Clapp, Esq., as a student. 
On finishing his legal studies he commenced the practice 
of his profession at Jackson, Mich., and after two years 
returned to Oxford, where he resided until his death. In 
1850 he was chosen District Attorney of Chenango county, 
which office he held for three years; in 1854 was elected 
Supervisor on the Whig ticket; in 1855 elected County 
Judge, and in 1859 re-elected, holding the office for eight 
years. After his retirement from the bench he resumed 
the practice of law. 

Ethan Case, born December 16, 1820, in Plainfield, N. 
Y. ; died October 4, 1889, in Washington, D. C. ; married 
April 11, 1850, in Rochester, N. Y., Elizabeth, daughter of 
Simeon and Phoebe (Brewer) Mickle of Oneonta, N. Y. 
Mr. Clarke was educated at Oxford Academy and became 
a civil engineer. He was employed on the enlargement of 
the Erie canal, the construction of the Illinois Central rail- 
road, the military road between St. Paul, Minn., and 
Superior, Wis., and the survey of several other railroads. 
In the spring of 1869 he accepted a position in the Treasury 
Department at Washington. 

Hannah Henry, born October 7, 1822, in Oxford; died 
August 13, 1880, in Clinton, N. Y. ; married August 2^ 
1843, George, son of Luman and Fitche (Church) McNeil. 
Children : Rachel Elizabeth, married August 24, 1870, in 
Oxford, Cory D. Hayes; residence Clinton; (child, Grace^ 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 513 

married George Watrous). Catherine Hannah, born Jan- 
uary 3, 1850, in Oxford ; died September 2, 1889, in Clin- 
ton; married May 17, 1882, at Clinton, Nathan L. Hayes; 
(child, Robert). 

Peter Welcome, born April 14, 182G, in Oxford; died 
here September 10, 1889; married December 31, 1867, 
Maria Clarissa, daughter of Dr. William G. and Sarah E. 
(Mygatt) Sands. Mr. Clarke was proprietor of the Che- 
nango valley stage line, and later became one of the board 
of directors and cashier of the Fii*st National Bank of 
Oxford. Child: Sarah Sands, married Frederick L. Mc- 
Laughlin, now resides in White Plains, N. Y. ; (children, 
Elizabeth, Frederick, Samuel, Richard and Robert, twins) . 

John Ray, born April 9, 1828, in Oxford ; died suddenly 
in Narragansett, R. I., August 19, 1890; married August 
15, 1850, Elizabeth Wells, daughter of James A. and Ann 
(Bradley) Glover. Early in life Mr. Clarke entered upon 
a business career in his father's store. About 1854 he re- 
moved to Buffalo and joined a large jobbing house. Four 
year-s later he returned to Oxford and continued in busi- 
ness with his brothers until about 1869, when he was made 
treasurer of the Midland railroad. In 1876 he removed to 
Binghamton, engaging in the jobbing of hats, caps, furs, 
and robes. He was actively interested in all that pertained 
to the Episcopal church. On the organization of the 
Security Mutual Life Association he was chosen its presi- 
dent, and was also president of the Binghamton Board of 
Trade. Mrs. Clarke was liberal and benevolent in church 
and charity work, and it was largely due to her contribu- 
tion that Trinity Memorial church, Binghamton, was built. 
Child : Anna Elizabeth, born in Buffalo; married Septem- 
ber 13, 1882, in Binghamton, Charles Martin Stone; (chil- 
dren, Elizabeth Rebecca, Ray Clarke, died in infancy; 
Mary Clarke, Ruth Glover, died in infancy. 



514 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

Francis Granger, born November 22, 1830, in Oxford; 
married (1) August 15, 18G0, in Norwich, Clarissa Maria, 
daughter of Isaac and Clarissa (Randall) Bockee, born 
there August 10, 1837 ; died September 13, 1882, in Oxford ; 
married (2) September 9, 188-1, in Canandaigua, N. Y., 
Laura Bemis, daughter of Thaddeus and Rebecca (Bemis) 
Chapin. Children by first wife: Francis Bockee, born 
February 17, 1863; died September 18, 1863. Henry 
Bockee, born September 8, 1864 ; died December 23, 1889. 
Herbert William, married August 29, 1893, in Oxford, 
Margaret, daughter of Robert A. and Elizabeth (Pendle- 
ton) Stanton. James Winslow, rector of St. Andrew^a 
church, Utica. Mr. Clarke early connected himself with 
the mercantile business conducted by his father, at whose 
death the firm became Clarke Bros. After the retirement 
of his brothers from the firm he continued the business for 
many years, when he became interested in the stone busi- 
ness. After years of laborious work the Oxford Blue Stone 
Company was, through his instrumentality, developed from 
a small flagging quarry into a large and remunerative 
business. 



But in these nice sharp quillets of the law, 
Good faith, I am no wiser than a daw. 

— Sua kespe ase. 



Price & Clapp. 



William M. Price and James Clapp, two young lawyers 
of New^ York city, packed their law library in a wagon and 
drove into the interior of the State to seek their fortunes, 
preferring the country to the city for their field of labor. 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 515 

Thoy halted at several villages which seemed to offer an 
opening for the practice of law, but were not satisfied with 
the outlook, and journeyed on until early one summer 
evening in 1808 they entered the village of Oxford. The 
beauty of its position, the neatness of the place, and the 
substantial air of comfort which presented itself in every 
direction, determined them to take up their residence and 
end further prospecting. A small but neat building in the 
center of the village, owned by a milliner, was rented, their 
books, chairs, desks, and other belongings unloaded and 
arranged in order in the new ofiice, and as the shades of 
night set in they nailed their sign on the window and were 
ready for any business that might come to them. Early 
the next morning, seated at the door of their new habita- 
tion, there approached a distinguished looking person, 
whom later they found to be General Hovey, the largest 
land owner in the town. He stopped, read the sign on the 
window, looked at the new-comers, and said : 

^^ Whence came you, young gentlemen, for you were not 
here when I took my afternoon walk yesterday? " 

^^ We came last evening, sir,'' replied Mr. Clapp, with a 
gracious bow of the head. " This is my partner, Mr. Price, 
and I am James Clapp. We started from New York several 
weeks ago in search of a thrifty town in which to locate. 
We looked over several, but this is the only one that pleased 
us, and we have unloaded and intend to stay.'' 

^^ I like this enterprise," replied General Hovey, as he 
resumed his walk, ^^ and you shall have my law business." 

Thus w^ere the young lawyers from the Metropolis intro- 
duced to the thriving hamlet, and of which one of them 
remained a resident during life. 71^. ,^. 

William M. Price was a native of England. The first ^'^-^ 
case that he had before a justice of the peace in this village >a. t^ ». 
he broke down, but rallied and became a very popular 



3i6 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

and successful lawyer. He did not remain in town 
many years, but returned to New York city, where he be- 
came eminent as a criminal lawyer. Better it would have 
been for him if he had never left the village of his adoption. 
He was United States attorney for the southern district of 
New York under the administrations of President Jack- 
son and VanBuren, until the defalcation of one Samuel 
Swartwout was discovered. Instead of proceeding against 
Swartwout according to instructions, he fled to Europe, 
leaving a resignation behind, and was found to be a de- 
faulter himself. He remained abroad until the storm of 
public and political indignation had somewhat abated, 
then again returned to New York, and claimed that a large 
sum was due him from the government, but recovered noth- 
ing. He appeared before the court with much of his former 
success and endeavored to regain his former standing, but 
without effect. Finally he became pecuniarily embarrassed 
with a prospect of coming to poverty and want. His prop- 
erty was advertised to be sold at sheriff's sale, and had been 
several times postponed at his request in the hopes that he 
might by some means get relief, but he was at last informed 
that the sale must take place, and to advoid the disaster 
and mortification he put an end to his existence by shoot- 
ing himself August 11, 1846. His age was 59 years. 

James Clapp was born at Hartford, Conn., December 5, 
1785. He was a large, firm-looking man, a brilliant lawyer, 
and fond of the rod and gun; for in those days sporting 
men were gratified to the extent desired, for all kinds of 
game were plenty. Mr. Clapp was a student of Aaron 
Burr's in 1804, at the time of the Burr-Hamilton duel. He 
came here with a character peculiarly adapted to those 
early times. He ever declined public honors and office, and 
few men in private life were more extensively known. 
Rare conversational powers united with a wide range and 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 517 

versatility of knoAvledge, rendered him ever attractive and 
entertaining in the social circle. He married Julia Hyde, 
daughter of Benjamin Butler, who died November 17, 
1832, aged 38. Mr. Clapp was found dead January 8, 1854. 
He, while in a state of unsound mind, like his partner of 
early days, had put an end to his existence. Children : 

Mary B., born October 20, 1816, in Oxford; died Jan- 
uary 5, 1845, in Oxford ; unmarried. 

Julia B., born May 12, 1818, in Oxford ; died December 
9, 1885, while residing in Paris, France; married Novem- 
ber 22, 1842, Walter L. Newberry of Chicago. She was an 
active member of the Episcopal church, and a memorial 
window to her memory is in the American church in Paris. 
She was known and respected for her libemlity and benev- 
olence, as well as for her talents and social acquirements. 
She left a fortune of over |3,000,000. Mr. Newberry died 
November 6, 1868, at sea en route for Havre to join his 
family, then in Paris. Naturally austere and taciturn, he 
repelled all offers of friendship or acquaintance on ship- 
board, and thus among strangers he sickened and died. He 
escaped the usual burial of those dying at sea by the inter- 
ference of a gentleman from Unadilla, N. Y., who knew him 
and who assured the captain of the vessel that the relatives 
of the deceased would meet any expense accrued in keep- 
ing the body. A cask of Medford rum that formed a part 
of the cargo, it is stated, was brought into requisition. Mr. 
Newberry's body was placed within it, and when the cargo 
was discharged the cask was rebilh^ to oNIr. Newl>erry's 
friends in Chicago by the Unadilla gentleman, who was 
ignorant of the fact that Mrs. Newberry was then in Paris. 
The cask left for America on the next steamer and in due 
time arrived at Chicago on a freight train. The friends 
who had been notified of the shipment of the body, it is 



5i8 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

further stated, took charge of the cask, still containing the 
body, and buried it in Graceland cemetery. 

Mr. Newberry received an academic education, was ap- 
pointed to the West Point United States Military Academy 
by President Andrew Jackson, but because of ill liealth, 
abandoned that career and at sixteen years of age joined 
his brother, Oliver F., in the dry goods trade in Detroit in 
1826. He was successful, and in 1833 joined a syndicate 
of five, Lewis Cass and William B. Astor being among the 
number, in a tour of inspection and for investment in the 
West. They bought land in Green Bay, Milwaukee, 
Calumet, and Chicago; at the latter place he settled in 
1833, making investments there in real estate, which be- 
came the nucleus of a fortune which was variously esti- 
mated at the time of his death at from four to ten million 
of dollars. He figured largely in the city's early history 
in connection with the establishment of banks, insurance 
companies, schools, and public improvements generally, 
and especially as a promoter of railroads. He was a 
projector and for a time the president of the old Galena 
and Chicago railroad, the first line of the present great 
Northwestern system, and lived to see Chicago the greatest 
railroad center of the world. He was a member of the 
banking house of Newberry & Burch, twice president of 
the Chicago School Board, a founder and twice president 
of the Chicago Historical Society, and by his will he en- 
dowed a public library, which bears his name, with one- 
half of his estate. This endowment now, in real estate and 
securities, is valued at |5,000,000, and is increasing rapidly 
in value. 

Children, all born in Chicago : Walter, 1st, died young ; 
Walter, 2d, died young; Mary Louise, born August 12, 
1845 ; died February 18, 1874 ; Julia Rose, born December 
28, 1853 ; died April 4, 1876. 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 319 

Bp:n JAMIN B., born April 20, 1821, in Oxford ; died No- 
vember 16, 1882, in Utica; married June 1, 1854, Mary 
Anne Skinner of Albany, and lived at Luzerne, N. Y. By 
an act of the Legislature, liis name was changed from 
Benjamin Butler Clapp to Benjamin Clapp Butler, to con- 
form to a provision in his maternal grandfather's will. 
Two days after Fort Sumter was fired upon in 1861 he 
offered his services to the country, raised the 93d N. Y. S. 
v., of which he was colonel, and led with courage and abil- 
ity during four years of meritorious service. The village 
of Luzerne owes its favorable reputation to his enterprise 
and public spirit, and St. Mary's church in that village is 
mainly the work of his hand. Twice he represented War- 
ren county in the Legislature. 

James, born August 6, 1823, in Oxford; died February 
17, 1893, in Cairo, Egypt. Practiced law in Oxford and 
afterwards in Chicago. Later became a resident of 
Luzerne, N. Y. Buried in Oxford. 

Nicholas D., born November 27, 1827, in Oxford ; died 
February 23, 1889, in New York city; married (1) in 1855 
Mary T. McMahon of Unadilla, N. Y., born in 1832 ; died 
in 1866, in Chicago, 111.; married (2) Adele B. Wolfe of 
New York city. Children by first wife : Minnie, married 
D. S. Dickinson Mygatt of Ncav York city. Infant daugh- 
ter. James. Children by second wife : Infant daughter. 
Edith Devereux, married December 6, 1904, in New York 
city. Count Rene du Temple de Rougemont of Paris. 



520 ANNALS OF OXFORD 



The old familiar faces — 
How some they have died, and some they have left me, 
And some are takeu from me ; all are departed ; 
All, all are gone, the old familiar faces. 

— Lamb. 



Gerardus VanDerLyn 



Gerardus VanDerLyn, accompanied bv his mother, 
came from Kingston, N. Y., in 1812, to live with his 
brother Henry. Mr. VanDerLyn married June 1, 1822, 
Mrs. Jane VanGaasbeck of Kingston, N. Y., a daughter of 
E«v. Peter Lowe of Flatbush, L. L, who died October 12, 
1862, in the 72d year of lier age. He lived a quiet, unas- 
suming life, and was a thoughtful obseiwer of passing 
events, taking a deep interest in all the questions of his 
time. He died November 9, 1875, aged 88. Children : 

Mary, died March 28, 1857 ; unmarried. 

Henry, studied law with his Uncle Flenry and practiced 
in Oxford ; died May 5, 1869, aged 41 ; married Ursula Sey- 
mour, whose death occurred October 24, 1902. 

Peter G., died November 17, 1854, in Elmira, aged 27; 
unmarried. Located there in 1849 and had an extensive 
law practice. 

Ward, born July 23, 1829; died May 5, 1906; married 
March 11, 1858, Helen E. Palmer, born June 16, 1838, in 
Oriskany Falls, N. Y. ; died March 27, 1901, in Oxford. 
Mr. VanDerLyn for a period of twenty years was in the 
dry goods business with Frederick P. Newkirk, and on the 
dissolution of the firm in 1873 they purchased the West- 
over farm and conducted it jointly three years. He then 
in partnership with Frederick H. Burchard was for ten 
years in the hardware business. He closed his mercantile 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 521 

career in the Fort Hill block where for nearly five years 
in connection with his son Frederick, he carried on an ex- 
tensive clothing business. After that he lived a retired 
life, cultivating a few acres of land upon his property in 
the village. Mr. VanDerLyn was for a number of years 
a ti'ustee of Oxford Academy. He also served several 
terms on the board of village trustees, and as president of 
the Oxford Fair Association. Mr. VanDerLyn was of a 
quiet and unassuming disposition, and in his business 
dealings, honorable and upright. All of his life had been 
spent upon the same premises in this village. A singular 
coincidence in his death was that it occurred on the anni- 
versary of his brother Henry's, which was in 1869, and 
also that of Hon. Wm. H. Hyde in 1902, all having lived 
in the house now occupied by Mrs. Wm. H. Hyde adjoin- 
ing and formerly a part of the VanDerLyn property. Chil- 
dren : Mary, married January 6, 1891, Albert S. Burchard ; 
Frederick, died February 13, 1891, aged 27. Unmarried. 



He was the friend not of fortune, but of men. 



Andrew J. Hull 



-Nepos. 



Andrew J. Hull, bom December 4, 1821, in Eaton, N. 
Y. ; died September 20, 1891. 

Mr. Hull came to Oxford from Angelica, N. Y., about the 
year 1838, and attended Oxford Academy until he entered 
Union College, where he graduated in 1845. He then read 
law in the oflSce of Henry R. Mygatt and was admitted to 
the bar in 1847, and the same year was united in marriage 
with Frances B. Perkins, daughter of Erastus and Agnes 



323 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

(Van Wagenen) Perkins. Sometime after he removed to 
Georgia and engaged in business in that State for a num- 
ber of years. After the close of the Civil war he became 
interested in a woolen mill in this village, which was con- 
ducted but a short time and at a loss. In 1870 he received 
the appointment of Harbor Master of New York city from 
Gov. Hoffman, his classmate in college, as also were 
Bishop Littlejohn and Judge Earl. Children : 

Agnes Perkins, married September 6, 1876, William R. 
Mygatt and resides in Chicago. 

Katherine M., unmarried, resides in San Francisco. 

Gerrit Henry, born June 11, 1858, in Walthourville, 
Ga. ; died August 10, 1881, in Denver, CoL 



Loathing pretence, be did witli clieerful will 
What others talked of, while their hands were still. 

— Whittiek. 



Isaac Leonard. 



Isaac Leonard, born April 18, 1786, at Hoosic, N. Y. ; 
died March 23, 1877, in Oxford ; married June 3, 1814, in 
Oxford, Naomi Seeley, born February 20, 1795, in Strat- 
ford, Conn. ; died September 8, 1888, in Oxford. 

Mr. Leonard was of hardy Welsh stock and served a 
short term in the war of 1812 as a common soldier without 
any chance for distinction, and unlike most of his com- 
rades drew no pension, satisfied with the pay of his time 
of service. After the war he drifted into Chenango county, 
then still a wilderness inhabited by wild beasts and Indians, 
and took up on contract a parcel of land located on the 
hilly confines of the towns of Oxford and Coventry, built 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 523 

himself a log cabin and cleared several acres on it for 
cultivation. Feeling the need of a helpmate, he courted a 
comely lass of the neighborhood, Naomi Seeley, and 
though ten years her senior, won her consent to marry 
him. By steady industry and economy they succeeded to 
a farm of 109 acres, though, by a fault of title, not until 
they had paid for it twice over. Cliildren: 

Mary, married Dr. C. Bruchhausen, died August 15, 
1883, in Norwich. Matilda, married Hector Beecher, died 
March 21, 1901. Abraham, born November 28, 1816 ; died 
May — , 1837. Alfred, born October 21, 1821 ; died June 
17, 1887. James G., born August 11, 1827; still living. 
Charles J., born November 26, 1829; died November 26, 
1864. Nelson, born August 1, 1831 ; deceased. Huldah, 
born May 9, 1834 ; died January 3, 1856 ; married Edward 
Porter. Sarah E., born August 20, 1841 ; died November 
5, 1881 ; married William Leach. Kiley K., twin to Sarah 
E., died in 1895. 



Ambition has but one reward for all ; 
A little power, a little transslent fame. 
A grave to rest in, and a fading name. 

— Winter. 



Samuel Guernsey 



Samuel Guernsey, born November 10, 1776; died April 
9, 1836, in Oxford; married about 1800, Sarah Bulkley, 
born July 13, 1775, in Saybrook, Conn. ; died September 13, 
1850, in Greene. 

Mr. Guernsey came from Dutchess county in 1797 while 
a young man, bought land, worked on it summers, went 
back and taught school winters. This he did for some five 



S24 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

years or more, when he married and settled down to farm- 
ing as his life work. He was a son of Dr. Guernsey, and 
a brother, Peter, located in Norwich. Mr. Guernsey 
brought to his work skill, intelligence, unbounded perse- 
verance, and left nothing unaccomplished that lay within 
his reach. He was a great help to the new settlers, though 
some thought him severe and exacting. He began to be a 
well-to-do farmer when the hills were almost an unbroken 
wilderncvss; hence he employed the surplus labor of the 
hills. This was when a man could be hired for nine dol- 
lars a month through the long summer days. Fifty cents 
and board was all that the laborer could command for 
twelve hours work. A man of integrity and honor, Mr. 
Guenisey enjoyed the confidence of a large circle of friends. 
A man of strict morality and virtue, he commanded and 
enjoyed the respect of all. The Guernsey farm is now the 
home of the Farrell Brothers. In early days it was the 
resort of traveling Methodist ministers, and it was also 
where the pioneers of the town made their applejack. 
Children : 

Julia, married Allen Wright of Korae, N, Y., and died 
there in 1883. 

John M., of whom further mention is made. 

Amanda, married (1) Nichols of Greene; married 

(2) Dr. Rice of Rome, Penn., and died there about 1890. 

Maria, married Charles Stevens of Greene, and died 
there in 1884. 

Sarah A., married Henry D. Mercur of Towanda, Penn., 
and died February 19, 1874. 

John M. Guernsey, born in 1804 in Oxford ; died October 
2, 1862, in Oxford; married (1) in 1843, Lucena E. Smith, 
bom June 23, 1818 ; died in June, 1851, in South Oxford ; 
married (2) about 1855, Melinda Hollenbeck Wheeler. 
Mr. Guernsey received a professional education as a doc- 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 525 

tor, but did not practice any length of time and returned 
to the farm where he spent the remainder of his life. Chil- 
dren by first wife : 

Susan M., was severely burned by her clothes taking- 
fire June 11, 1861, and died four days later. Miss Guern- 
sey was scalding milk pans in the yard near a fire, when 
by some means the flames were communicated to her dress. 
She ran towards the house, her screams attracting the at- 
tention of her father, who endeavored to relieve her from 
the frightful position in which she was placed, but his 
efforts were unavailing. Mr. Guernsey received severe 
burns upon his hands. 

William J., married May 25, 1881, Harriet Anderson 
of Rome, N. Y. Superintendent of mails at Albany, N. Y. 

Esther, married October 8, 1873, David Finn Smith of 
Greene. Child by second wife : 

Rachel, married Nelson Wessels of Greene, and died in 
1877. 



He was wont to speak plaiu and to the purpose, like an 
honest man and a soldier. 

— Shakespeare. 



Hunt Family. 



Luther Hunt, an early resident of Oxford, was born 
November 9, 1761 ; place of birth now unknown ; died Nov- 
ember 29, 1830, in Oxford. Mr. Hunt w^as appointed en- 
sign of a company in a battalion of militia March 10, 1792, 
and commissioned lieutenant October 5, 1793. Following 
is a copy of his commission as ensign : 



526 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

The People of the State of New York, 

By the Grace of God, Free and Independent. 
To Luther Hunt, Gentleman, Greeting: 

We, reposing especial trust and confidence, as well in your patriotism, 
conduct and loyalty, as in your valour and readiness to do us good and 
faithful service, Have appointed and constituted, and by these presents. 
Do appoint and constitute you the said Luther Hunt, Ensign of a 
Company in the Battallion of Militia in the County of Tioga whereof 
Benjamin Hovey, Esquire, is Major Commandant. You are, therefore, 
to take the said Company into your charge and care as Ensign thereof 
and duly to exercise the Officers and Soldiers of that Company in arms, 
who are hereby commanded to obey you as the Ensign, and you are 
also to observe and follow such orders and directions, as you shall 
from time to time receive from our General and Commander in Chief 
of the Militia of our said State, or any other your superior OflScer, 
according to the Rules and Discipline of War, in pursuance of the 
trust reposed in you ; and for so doing, this shall be your commission, 
for and during our good pleasure, to be signified by our Council of 
Appointment: In Testimony whereof, we have caused our seal for 
military commissions to be hereunto affixed. Witness our truly and 
well-beloved George Clinton, Esquire, Governor of the State of New- 
York, General and Commander in Chief of all the Militia, and Admiral 
of the Navy of the same, by and with the advice and consent of our 
said Council of Appointment, at our City of New York, the third day 
of INIarch, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and 
ninety-two, and in the Sixteenth year of our Independence. 
Passed the Secretary's OflSce. 10th March, 1792. 

RoBT. Habpur, D. Secretary. 

GEO. CLINTON. 

Mr. Hunt's son, Charles A., is by some authorities 
claimed to have been the first whit« child born in Oxford. 
Rebecca, his wife, was born in 1760, and died April 3, 
1823, in Oxford. Children: Williard, born June 29, 
1797; died November 25, 1826; Samuel died in infancy; 
Betsey, born May 15, 1791, died July 20, 1828; Charles 
A., born September 2, 1793; Thomas, born August 31, 
1795, moved to Rochester when a young man; Samuel F., 
born May 26, 1799, died January 29, 1829, in Steuben 
county; Clarissa, born April 17, 1801, died August 12, 
1831 ; married December 3, 1820, David St. John. 

Charles A. Hunt married Lucy Preston. He occupied 
many important public stations with honor to himself and 
to those who placed him there. In 1849 he moved with his 
family to Preston, where in May of that year while in a 
fit of despondency he committed suicide. His age was 56 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 527 

years. Lucy, his wife, died December 3, 1850, aged 52. 

Children : 

Julian, born August 15, 1818; died June 5, 188G, in 
Binghamton; married Freevon S. Young, who was one of 
the first to enlist in the 114th Regt. during Civil war. 
Died from wound August 25, 1863. 

Jane Eliza, born July 10, 1820; died March 23, 1895, 
in Oxford. Unmarried. 

Charles Luther, born January 18, 1822; died Nov- 
ember 28, 1875, in Oxford; married Mary Root, died Nov- 
ember 23, 1893. 

Rebecca, born January 28, 1821; died April 28, 1889, 
in Norwich ; married Loren D. Bacon of Norwich. 

James Henry, born February 26, 1826; died February 
5, 1897, in Norwich; married Frances Thompson. 

Chandler P., born August 10, 1827; died October 12, 
1903, in Oxford; married Katherine Carpenter, who died 
November 15, 1890, aged 54. 

Mary Adelia, born November 7, 1830; died July — , 
1902; married Joseph L. Smith, died March 19, 1901. 

Andrew J., born November 29, 1834; married May 6, 
1858, Mary P. Ransford, died January 20, 1902; resides 
in Norwich and only survivor of the family. 

Clarissa Elizabeth, born October 14, 1835; died De- 
cember 26, 1836. 

Clarissa Elizabeth, 2d, born March 10, 1838; died 
November 28, 1843. 

WiLLARD Russell, born April 30, 1842 ; died September 
11, 1887. Unmarried. 



528 ANNALS OF OXFORD 



War, he sung, is toil and trouble, 
Honour but an empty bubble. 

— Dryden. 

Salmon W. Owen. 



Salmon W. Owen, who traced his lineage to ancestors 
in Wales, was born in 1795, and for a long term of years 
a resident of Panther Hill in this town, where he died 
June 6, 1883. His wife was Sally Sherwood, born in 1800, 
and died December 4, 1879, in Oxford. Mr. Owen was a 
pilot on the Susquehanna and Chenango rivers in the early 
days when rafting was carried on extensively. He was 
among the sturdy men who took part in the war of 1812, by 
reason of which he afterward received a pension, and was 
the last pensioner of that war in this town. Children : 

Marcus S., born April 25, 1820, in Oxford ; died Septem- 
ber 18, 1896, at Benton Harbor, Mich. Married (1) Au- 
gusta I. Beckwith of Coventry, N. Y., who died May 1, 
1856, aged 32. Married (2) Adelaide Pope of New Berlin, 
N. Y. Mr. Owen at the age of twenty years began the 
study of music and became a skillful violinist. He taught 
vocal and instrumental music for a number of years. 

Martha Melissa, married Charles Henry Beckwith. 
Children: Franklin H., married Nannie Kerfoot of Chi- 
cago; Charles L., married Alice Denike of Poughkeepsie ; 
James Carroll, an artist in New York, married June 1, 
1887, Bertha Hall of New York. 

Jane E., married Smith Steere of Norwich. The only 
survivor of the family and resides in Benton Harbor,^ 
Mich. 

DeLos, died June 25, 1857, aged 24. 

Helen M., died July 10, 1877, aged 44. 

Frederic O., died April 5, 1873, in Cleveland, O., 
aged 37. 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 529 



Mine be a cot beside the hill ; 
A bee hive's hum shall soothe my ear; 
A willowly brook, that turns a mill, 
With many a fall, shall linger near. 

— R0GEB6. 



Stratton Family 



The first Stratton of whom any record has been found 
in America, came from England in 1628. By 1660 there 
were seven Strattons settled on this side of the Atlantic; 
one at James City, Va. ; two on Long Island and four in 
New England. Probably most of the Strattons in the 
United States may be traced back to one of these seven 
branches and these are shown to be connected by a search 
of English records. 

Of the Stratton family residing in the town of Oxford, 
John Stratton was the first, and from him are descended 
most of the present residents of that name. He was born 
in New Ipswich, N. H., March 28, 1775, and was one of a 
family of twelve children, seven girls and five boys. His 
father was Daniel Stratton, a descendant of Samuel born 
in England in 1592 and died in Watertown, Mass., in 1672. 
Daniel Stratton had two brothers, Hezekiah and Nehe- 
miah, the latter was one of Washington's Life Guards, and 
a record of him is to be found in a book published in 1905, 
" The Commander-in-Chief's Guard." 

John Stratton, when a youth, was apprenticed to a Dyer 
and Clothier, but never followed his trade, being of a me- 
chanical turn of mind, and became a millwright, which 
occupation he followed for years. He came to Oxford some 
time prior to 1809 and made a business of buying and 
selling land. After a short time he removed to Bingham- 
ton, but returned to South Oxford previous to 1815, where 



530 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

he remained until his death, which occurred January 28, 
1842. His wife was Charlotte Frink, who was born April 
22, 1788, in Connecticut, and died March 27, 1875, in Ox- 
ford. Children : 

Albert G., born November 17, 1809, in Binghamton; 
died July 15, 1890, in Oxford ; married November 12, 1835, 
Caroline Willcox, of Oxford, born February 11, 1815. 
Children: Adelaide C, married (1) Isaac L. Bronson of 
Amsterdam, N. Y. ; married (2) E. D. Bronson of Amster- 
dam. John Hovey, born August 26, 1838; died April 13, 
1841. Mary C, born June 29, 1840; died April 8, 1841. 
Mary L., born April 14, 1842 ; died July 3, 1858. Charles 
J., married Mary Kinney of Oxford. Sarah DeF., married 
Henry M. Juliand of Greene. Tracy, born July 19, 1848; 
died February 16, 1850. Kosella H., married Rector W. 
Willoughby of Oxford. Melville B., now owns and occu- 
pies the farm where his father and grandfather lived and 
died. Married October 24, 1877, Harriet McFarland of 
Oxford. (Child: Julian Arthur, born May 15, 1882. In- 
Iieriting from his ancestors a love for mechanics he grad- 
uated from Cornell University in 1904 with the degree of 
M. E. E. E., and is now with the Western Electric Co. of 
Chicago. ) , 

John, born March 2, 1812, in Binghamton; died Jan- 
uary 2, 1886, in Oxford ; married January 5, 1844, Hannah 
Willcox of Oxford; died January 6, 1904, in Greene, aged 
82. Children : Eli B., married Anice Race of Greene and 
resides there. Ellen L., married Dr. C. C. Miller of De- 
troit, Mich. Latson W., married Ella McNeil of Amster- 
dam and resides in Chicago. Emma C, married Chester 
B. Willoughby of Oxford and resides in Sidney. Gilbert 
J., married Jennie Hodge of Oxford, who died March 29, 
1906. Clark L., married Bertha Berry of South Oxford. 

Ira, born January 29, 1815, in Oxford; died September 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 531 

22, 1883; married May 6, 1838, Eliza Dent. Children: 
James, John, Wesley, Alice, Mary. 

William Frink, born January 27, 1817, in Oxford; 
died October 31, 1817, in Oxford ; married January 1, 1840, 
Maria Symonds of Oxford, born January 11, 1820; died 
July 30, 1890, in Norwich. Children : Whitman, born 
September 7, 1840; married April 30, 1867, Margaret 
Sheffer. Resides in Norwich. Charlotte, born January 
28, 1842, resides in Norwich. Unmarried. Avery, born 
March 31, 1844; died September 3, 1865; married August 
27, 1864, in Wisconsin, Louise Wood. Gerritt Smith, born 
August 24, 1846 ; died March 18, 1848. 

Charlotte A., born February 26, 1819, in Oxford; mar- 
ried January 1, 1838, D. W. TenBroeck. Resides with her 
brother George. Children: Eli, married Anna Wheelock 
and resides in Colorado. Frank, unmarried. Alice, mar- 
ried Landon. 

Mary, born May 26, 1821, in Oxford; died March 21, 
1873, in Oxford; married October 22, 1839, Clark Lewis. 

George, born September 26, 1823, in Oxford; married 
(1) January 8, 1845, Mariette Robinson; married (2) 
October 9, 1866, Maria Robinson. Children by first wife : 
William Avery, unmarried. Edward L., married Mary 
Mason. Harvey J., married Fanny Copeland. Luke C, 
died February 2, 1863, in childhood. Tracy. Alice, mar- 
ried Ira B. McFarland. 

Ebenezer Ross, born December 4, 1825, in Oxford; died 
August 26, 1889; married October 28, 1846, Hannah 
Symonds. Children: Harriet, died April 22, 1906; mar- 
ried C. O. Willcox of Oxford. Clara, married A. H. 
Wheeler of Mt. Upton. Curtis B. Albert C, married 
Lillian M. Tiffany of Norwich ; died July 1, 1889 in Robin- 
sonville. Miss. George F., married Addie Eaton of Ox- 



332 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 



ford, now residing in Buffalo. Luverne B., married Cora 
Church of Oxford. 

Sarah Ann, born September 26, 1828, in Oxford; died 
December 24, 1859. Unmarried. 

Caroline, born October 29, 1831, in Oxford; died May 
6, 1832. 



Good actions crown themselves with lasting bays. 

— Heath. 



Samuel Wheeler. 



Samuel Wheeler, one of the earliest residents of this 
village, by his unstinted benevolence, unremitted industry, 
and the counsel of a clear and reliable judgment contrib- 
uted greatly to its prosperity. The duties of various oflBces 
were discharged with ready ability, fidelity, and universal 
satisfaction. For twenty-five years he was a consistent 
member of the Congregational church. Mr. Wheeler died 
March 20, 1847, aged 58 years. Nancy Bennett, his wife, 
died in Oswego, N. Y., December 27, 1860, aged 71 years. 

Children : 

John B., born August 26, 1815, in Oxford ; died Decem- 
ber 2, 1885; married November 11, 1840, Caroline M. De- 
Shon in McDonough; born October 26, 1820, in Preston; 
died December 9, 1885, in Oxford. Mr. Wheeler was a 
blacksmith by trade, a well read man, and devoted much of 
his time to military affairs. At one time he held high rank 
and became a distinguished officer, having commanded the 
43d Regiment for several years, and on April 29, 1863, was 
appointed Brigadier General of the 12th Brigade. Chil- 



ANNALS OF OXFORD ^)) 

dren: Robert A., born March 10, 1844; died March 26, 
1860. Henry DeShon, born August 29, 1846; died October 
29, 1848. Alice E., married December 1, 1874, J. H. Ken- 
nedy, of Des Moines, Iowa ; living at 3200 University Ave., 
that city. Alida A., unmarried, living with her sister in 
Des Moines. John Lewis, with West Publishing Co., St. 
Paul, Minn. Children of J. H. and Alice (Wheeler) 
Kennedy: Grace DeShon, married J. D. Stanley, resides 
in Denver, Col. Alice Wheeler, married H. E. Moss, re- 
sides in Hastings, Neb. Caroline Parmelee, unmarried; 
resides in Des Moines. 

James A., died January 2, 1843, in Columbus, 111., aged 
26, where he was teaching school. 

William Henry, born in 1817. Children: William, 
James, Louise, died October 30, 1884, in Oswego, N. Y. 

Darius, one daughter. Died in Sag Harbor, N. Y. 

Catherine B., born June 2, 1824 in Oxford; died Jan- 
uary 19, 1905, in Casselton, North Dakota ; married Waldo 
M. Potter. Children : Franklin, Carrie, Grace, Kittie. 

Angeline, died July 6, 1836, aged 17, from the result 
of a carriage accident. On the 4th of July, 1836, Miss 
Wheeler with a party of young people spent the day at 
Greene. On their return towards evening and near the 
inn six miles below this village, then kept by Col. Morgan, 
a carriage tongue was drawn out, frightening the horses 
and throwing out the driver and the young lady who was 
on the seat with him, neither receiving injuries. The tongue 
was replaced and the party proceeded onward. The 
young lady's dress was soiled with mud, and Miss Wheeler, 
who was riding inside, exchanged seats with her. They 
had gone but a few rods when the tongue again fell, the 
horses became unmanageable and ran, striking a wagon 
and turning over the carriage, throwing out the entire 



534 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

party of three ladies and the young man who was driving, 
none of whom except Miss Wheeler received serious in- 
juries. The party returned to the inn and a physician was 
quickly summoned, but her injuries were so great as to 
defy surgical aid and she died on the second day following 
the accident. 



Happy the man who tills the field, 

Content with rustic labor ; 
Earth does to him her fulness yield, 

Hap what may to his neighbor. 

— R. H. Stoddard. 



Ezekiel Olds, 



Ezekiel and Martha (Hackett) Olds came to Oxford in 
1798 from Berkshire, Mass., traveling with an ox team. 
He was one of those men of other days, whose lot it was 
to take a part with Chenango's bold pioneers, when upon 
all her hills and throughout all her valleys stood the dark 
and gloomy forest, and where the wolfs long howl was 
heard echoing to the sound of the woodman's axe. Mr. 
Olds was truly one of those men whose strong arm has 
helped to clear away the gigantic trees from our forests, 
instead of which we now behold green fields stretched far 
and wide. He died May 31, 1849, aged 84. Mrs. Olds died 
January 25, 1876, aged 95. Children : 

Olive, married Elijah B. Prentice, died in 1884, aged 
89. Children: Philo, met death by drowning; Charles, 
Chauncey, Elizabeth, Susan A. J., John and ^lartha, all 
married except last two. 



ANNALS OF OXFORD «,35 

Esther, married Alexander Wilson. Child: Mary L., 
married Levi Bartle. ( Children : Maryette, married Ran- 
som Palmer, resides in Sidney; George, married Sarah 
Pettis, accidentally killed while hunting in Brisbin, Feb- 
niary 19, 1876 ; Charles A., died November 18, 1875, in Al- 
bany, unmarried. 

Abel, died October 13, 1894, aged 92; married Thurza 
M. Gartsee, who died February 19, 1885, aged 72 years. 
Children : Andrew B., died suddenly May 1, 1904 ; married 
October 28, 1856, Caroline M. Holmes of Oxford; died 
August 9, 1900. He was the last of the family. For many 
years devoted his time and attention to music, and as a 
violin player led and conducted an orchestra, which was 
in great demand for public and private parties. Frederick 
E., died suddenly, January 24, 1900, aged 55, 

Abigail, married Nelson Wright. Children: Mary E., 
married Edward A. Nickerson ; Martha, married ( 1 ) Lewis 
Foote; married (2) James Brooks, died in Oxford. 

Caroline E., born February 24, 1811 ; died May 9, 1905 ; 
married Levines B. Jackson. Children : Sarah I., married 
Willis Wheeler, had one son; Charles H., who died July 
4, 1874, aged 16 ; Mary A., married James P. Seaman,' died 
in 1898; (children: Carrie, Mary, Arthur and Naomi.) 
Susan C, married (1) Nathan Wheeler; married (2) By- 
ron Phelps. Martha A., married Clark K. Holmes. ( Chil- 
dren : Etta M., married Eugene Wells; Minnie E.) Esther 
M., died 1868, aged 12. 

Charles, married Jane E. Hackett, died in 1851. 

Erastus, married Laura A. Burlison. Children : Ward 
L., died in 1884, unmarried; Jessie D., married George 
Franklin, died in 1896. 



536 ANNALS OF OXFORD 



An honest man's the noblest work of God. 

— Pope. 



Samuel S. Stafford. 



Samuel S. Stafford passed away May 4, 1904, after an 
illness of ten days. The direct cause of his death was from 
a wound received in the service of his country during the 
Civil war. At the age of twenty years Mr. Stafford en- 
tered Oxford xicademy to prepare for a college education, 
in the meantime teaching four terms of district school. 
At the call of President Lincoln, July 2, 1862, for three 
hundred thousand men, the llith Regiment of volunteers 
was formed. Major O. H. Curtis, then a young lawyer in 
Oxford, enlisted Company A, which Mr. Stafl'ord joined 
July 23, 18G2, and assisted in recruiting. Volunteering 
his services in defense of his country caused the abandon- 
ment of his cherished plans for a collegiate education. 
Upon recommendation he was commissioned a First Lieu- 
tenant, with rank from August 6, 1862, and was presented 
with a handsome sword, sash and belt by the officers and 
men of Co. A. He served with his regiment until March 
11, 1863, when he was detailed a member of a General 
Court Martial sitting at Brashear City, Louisiana. The 
court was in session one month, after which Lieutenant 
Stafford joined his regiment, and participated in the bat- 
tle of Fort Bisland, the skirmish at Franklin and the 
siege of Port Hudson. It was at Port Hudson, July 11, 
1863, while bravely leading his men on the assault of the 
enemy's breast works that he received the wound that 
eventually caused his death. He was sent home to re- 
cuperate, and for ten months was confined to his bed, and 



ANNALS OF OXFORD ^37 

July 8, 1864, was honorably discharged from the service 
on *^ account of wound received in action." 

While recovering from his wound Mr. Stafford was ten- 
dered the nomination for Member of Assembly by the Re- 
publican party, an office he had not sought and was 
ignorant of the fact that he was to be thus honored. He 
accepted the nomination, was elected and went to Albany 
on crutches, serving in the Legislature of 1865. On his 
return from the Assembly he studied law with Solomon 
Bundy, was admitted to practice and elected to the office 
of School Commissioner for the second district of the 
county, and later appointed one of its Loan Commissioners, 
an office he held for several terms. He was Supervisor 
of the town for three years, 1886 to 1888, and for many 
years corporation attorney for the village. To all elec- 
tive offices he received nearly the unanimous vote of his 
party and many votes from the opposing party, so well 
was the trust in his integrity and honor established. Con- 
scientious and painstaking in the discharge of one public 
duty he was so in the many entrusted to him, and has left 
a clean and bright record. As a lawyer his office work was 
perfect, and as a counsellor he was a model, for no opinions 
were given w^ithout mature deliberation and in belief that 
they were for the best interest of the client, though they 
might be contrary to his expectations. 

Mr. Stafford was a Past Master of Oxford Lodge, No. 
175, F. & A. M.; had served one term as District Deputy 
Grand Master of the Masonic district; was Past Com- 
mander of Breed Post, No. 196, G. A. R., and secretary 
of the 114th Regimental Association. To these organiza- 
tions he was devoted and gave much attention and counsel. 
With Major Curtis he did much to keep up the regimental 
reunions and perpetuate the regiment's glorious achieve- 
ments. He was a communicant of St. PauFs church, and 



538 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

at his death a member of the Vestry. Mr. Stafford was 
the eldest son of Job and Wealthy Stafford, and was born 
June 8, 1837, in Preston, N. Y. He married December 
12, 1866, Mary A. Gilbert of Oxford. 



Aaron B. Main. 

Aaron B. Main, born November 9, 1804, in North Ston- 
ington. Conn.; died December 22, 1875, in Oxford. Mar- 
ried November 19, 1829, Adelina Maine; born May 7, 1809; 
died February 8, 1890, in Oxford. Children : Susan Maria, 
born September 9, 1830 ; died December 7, 1896, at Greene. 
Married October 28, 1851, Thomas Miller, who while fish- 
ing in a brook had a paralytic shock and drowned, August 
19, 1898. Frances Adelia, born August 11, 1832 ; died Feb- 
ruary 19, 1864 ; married November 6, 1853, Daniel Walker. 
Hannah Mary, born August 24, 1834; died January 12, 
1904; married February 14, 1854, Willard Walker. 
Stephen Henry, born July 24, 1836; died June 17, 1856. 
Lucina, born June 10, 1840; died January 10, 1899; mar- 
ried September 23, 1868, James D. Smith. Catherine 
Eloisa, born August 10, 1845; died January 4, 1894; mar- 
ried June 8, 1869, John W. Cudwortli. 



LEVI Sherw^ood lived on a farm at the head of Albany 
street, afterwards known as the Ingersoll place, and 
now a portion of Riverview cemetery. He followed the 
occupation of tanner and currier. At his death he was 
buried under a tree on his farm, the Masonic fraternity 
conducting the services. His daughter Betsey married 
Archibald Nichols, and Levi, a son, married Sarah Nichols. 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 559 



With thee goes 
Thy husband ; him to follow thou art bound ; 
Where he abides, think there thy native soil. 

— Milton. 



John Padgett, 



John Padgett and family, English by birth, came to Ox- 
ford at a very early day in the town's history. Mr. 
Padgett's marriage in England was not pleasing to his 
wife's parents, they considering their daughter above him 
in rank, therefore the Padgetts emigrated to America. On 
their arrival in Oxford they settled near Walker's Corners 
in the east part of the town. Among their children, all 
born in Oxford, were: 

John, 2d, born in 1768 in England, and died in 1834 in 
Oxford. He married Anna Preston of Oxford, whose death 
occurred in 1823. Children : Erastus, John 3d, Elizabeth, 
Hannah, William, Lorenzo, Henry, Lewis, born August 15, 
1816; died July — , 1905; married Clarissa Manwarren; 
Maria and Sophia, twins; Mary, Harvey. 

James, died November 24, 1848, aged 77. 

William, died in the autumn of 1800 from injuries re- 
ceived in a bear trap. Near where the Padgetts settled is 
a brook which bears their name. Beartrap falls came by 
its name in connection with the death of William Padgett. 
A deadfall or primitive bear trap had been constructed in 
the form of a figure 4, with a heavy piece of timber made 
sharp on one side to fall upon and hold a bear or other 
large animal when caught under it. Early one morning 
William went alone to examine the trap, was caught and 
held by tlie sharp log for several hours before anyone came 



540 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

to his aid. When released he called for water, which was 
brought to him in a hat, drank it and immediately expired. 

Hannah, married Shapley. 

Mattie, married Garner Shapley. 

Jane, married James Walker. 



To be honest as this world goes, is to be one man picl^ed 
out of ten thousand. 

— Shakespeare. 

Ebenezer Root. 



Ebenezer Root, a miller, came from Great Barrington, 
Mass., previous to 1800 and settled in the eastern part of 
the town, where he lived until 1820, when he moved to 
Fayette (Guilford village) and took charge of the grist 
mill for a number of years. He was also a drover and 
cattle dealer. He returned to this town and run the Van- 
Wagenen mill on Lyon brook, near the present O. & W. 
Wj bridge, and in 1839 took the mill of Edward Arnold 
a half mile below North Guilford, where he died February 
12, 1842, aged 82. He was buried at Guilford Centre. At 
one time he ran a mill built by the Westcotts to grind grain 
for their distillery. He was known throughout this sec- 
tion as "the honest miller." Mr. Root was a Minute Man 
during the Revolution and enlisted six times, the first time 
in February, 1777, serving one month ; the last enlistment 
was in 1781, ser^'ing fourteen days. He served under 
Captains Silcox, Ingersoll, Denning, Carson, Downing and 
Heathcote. He applied for a pension in 1832, which was 
allowed. He was twice married and the father of sixteen 
children. His second wife, Cynthia Whipple, to whom he 
was married in 1802, died in 1856. 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 541 



Let fortune do her worst, whatever she makes us lose, as long 
as she never makes us lose our honesty and our independence. 

— Pope. 

Capt. John Backus. 



John Backus was born in Norwich, Conn., April 11, 
1781. He ran away from home to go to sea when he was 
about twelve years old, but his father brought him back 
and told him if he wanted to be a sailor to start in a proper 
way and found him a place on a ship sailing from New 
London. He rose rapidly from one position to another, 
and became a captain before he was very far in his twen- 
ties, serving under the Government in the war of 1812. 
Yielding to the importunities of his wife, he left the sea 
in 1813, and following the line of immigration from Con- 
necticut with his wife and little daughter came to Oxford. 
We quote from a letter written by Mrs. Backus to her 
husband's parents in Connecticut: 

•January 24, 1814. 
You will be surprised to hear that we have moved. Mr. Backus has 
taken the Coffee House in Oxford Village (the present Hotchkiss 
House), a large building, considered a verj' good stand. A good farm 
under cultivation attached to it; has taken it for three years at $300 
per year. We are now all bustle and confusion as we came into the 
house yesterday and the other family have not yet left the house. The 
girls in this country are not half so good as they are down country-. 
Mr. Backus has requested the bearer of this letter, Esq. Nichols, to 
call on you and he can inform you of all particulars. He has likewise 
requested him if possible to bring our looking-glass as we are much 
in want of it. This house has six large rooms on the ground — besides 
a shop, which takes one end of the house through and fronts on one 
of the public squares of the village. Mr. Backus says Esq. Nichols 
thinks you might get a load of wheat about twenty miles from here 
at one dollar 25 cash. There was a load sold here for that to-day. * 
* * I wrote Mrs. Brewer and requested the favor of the notes of 
the two afternoon chants, as we have a church meeting here, and a 
subscription out for building a church. Benj. Butler, formerly from 
New London, subscribed $500 and a subscription among the ladies for 
furnishing the pulpit had several days ago, $40 or upwards to it. 



S43 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

In a letter written May 17th of the same year by Mrs. 
Backus : 

A Mr. Hackett sets out to-morrow morning after a load of our 
goods. * * * Since my husband spoke to Mr. Hackett about going 
the journey he has seen Mr. Jabez Ferkins who would liked to have 
gone, but the old man would not give up going. He is not quite so 
steady at all times, but hope he will take good care of the load. He 
will talk a great deal, you may believe just as much as you have a 
mind too and no more. We were much surprised at the number of 
deaths mentioned by Father in his letter. * * * i am almost lost 
without my little girl. I can see her every step I take, some talk or 
action is ever before me — and then to find it real that her little body 
is crumbling into dust crowds hard upon the heart. * * * They are 
forming an Episcopal society since we came and think they will be 
able to get a nice church with assistance from Trinity church, N, Y., 
which they have no doubt of obtaining, and have had three sermons 
delivered by a young clergyman, who they are in hopes of hiring soon — 
a very excellent speaker indeed. My husband is one of the committee 
and seems quite engaged. * * * ^Yiu thank you for a few cran- 
berry beans and watermelon seeds & a receipt to color red. * * « 
If you have observed any new fashions for making gowns will thank 
you for a little description. If I live I calculate to make me a good 
black one soon and should like to make it handsomely, as it is not 
likely I shall wear it out immediately. 

A meeting was held at the house of Abijah Lobdell, May 
23, 1814, for the purpose of formiug an Episcopal church. 
John Backus was chosen chairman and Abijah Lobdell 
clerk. It was resolved that the youthful parish erect a 
place of worship and call it St. Paul's church of Oxford. 
Frederick Hopkins and John Backus were elected Avardens. 
The first celebration of the Holy Communion was Decem- 
ber 10, 1815, Lucinda Backus and Bedee Hull being the 
only communicants. 

In 1814, Mr. Backus bought a farm of 108 acres at $10 
per acre, now owned by Alva M. Balcum, near the top of 
Gamble Koof hill,' and that summer proceeded to build the 
house which is still standing and the exterior but little 
changed. Mrs. Backus gives the following description in 
a letter home : 



Our house since planting comes on slowly. Will tell you how it is 
calculated. It is I think 25x37 ft., calculated to have on the ground 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 543 

a large kitchen, one keeping room with cupboard, two large bedrooms 
with clothespress and cupboard, a pantry and back entry with sink. 
A story and a half; stands on the corner of two roads. When he 
feels able calculates to build in front on the State Road. Have a 
very pleasant view of the village. 

On April 8, 1820, Mrs. Backus died, leaving two small 
children: William and Lucinda. 

William^ who was born in 1816, married Maria S. 
Campbell of Norwich, Conn., in 1844. They went west, 
when to quote his own words : " I could have bought all 
the land that Chicago now stands on for |10 an acre, and 
I wouldn't take it as a gift." Mrs. Backus died at Cher- 
ubusco, Ind., in 1898, and Mr. Backus at Norwich, Conn., 
in 1899, leaving no children. 

Lucinda, born in 1818, was married to Amariah N. 
Bemis in 1839. They lived in Oxford village till 1851, 
when they removed to Lyon Brook, where Mr. Bemis 
bought and operated the mills. For many years he trans- 
ported his lumber to New York by canal. In 1870 he sold 
the mills and moved to Esmen township. 111., where Mrs. 
Bemis died in 1889. Mr. Bemis dying at his daughter's in 
Oxford in 1897. They left four children: 

Nelson A., married Sarah Sheldon of Guilford, N. Y. 
Residence, Odell, 111. 

Mary, married Albert C. Greene. Residence, West- 
minster, Conn. 

Harriet Lucinda, married Dr. D. A. Gleason of Oxford. 

Sarah Abigal, married Frank Raisbeck. Residence, 
Bloomington, 111. 

In 1821, John Backus married for his second wife, 
Abigal Glover of Oxford, and thej^ had four children. Mr. 
Backus spent the remainder of his life quietly on his farm, 
where he died March 17, 1842. His wife continued on the 
farm with her son Henry till her death in 1872. 

Children : 



544 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

Henry, never married, living at the old homestead until 
January 1, 1885, when he sold to Alva M. Balcum, at 
which time he moved to Newburyport, Mass., where he 
died in 1898. 

John, Jr., died in Norwich, Conn., in 1866, leaving two 
children : Lila, living at Norwich, Conn., and John 3d, 
living at Providence, R. I. 

Harriet, born in 1827, died in 1832. 

Nathan Glover, died in Lisbon, N. D., in 1899, leaving 
one daughter, Alice M. Bennett of Seattle, Wash. 



DEATH FROM LIGHTNING. — A sad catastrophe occurred 
near this town on the night of September 6, 1819. 
Jabez Perkins, a young man of 36 and brother of Erastus 
Perkins, with his family had closed their cabin amid the 
deep darkness in the woods and retired. A fearful thunder 
storm came up, during which Mr. Perkins and wife in an 
instant of time were stricken by a blinding flash of light- 
ning into eternity. A child sleeping with them was un- 
harmed. They left a large and helpless family destitute 
and forlorn. 



JARED Hinckley, bom at Lebanon, Conn., November 8> 
1759, was a soldier of the Revolution who came to 
Oxford about 1803. He died April 12, 1828, aged 69. His 
widow, whose maiden name was Hopestill Brewster, died 
in 1849, aged 89. Mary O. Hinckley, their daughter, 
died December 27, 1884, in Clifton Springs, N. Y. Married 
November 17, 1819, Ashel J. Hyde of Oxford. Resided in 
this village thirty-three years. 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 545 



♦ * ♦ hearing the hammers, as they smote 
The anvils with a different note. 

— Longfellow. 



Hoe Factory. 



The Oxford Hoe and Edge Tool Company was organized 
in the spring of 1853 by a stock company, with a capital 
of flOjOOO, of which Alamanzar Watson was president, 
and Lemuel Bolles, Thomas J. Wood, Joseph G. Thorp 
and Nelson C. Chapman were trustees. The factory was 
under the superintendence of Mr. Bolles, whose edged tools 
had been awarded several premiums at State fairs and 
Mechanical institutes. The fires were first lighted early 
in December, 1853, and business was soon in full operation, 
their work gaining an extensive reputation throughout the 
country. At the World's Exhibition in the Crystal Palace 
at New York in 1854, the award for the best solid shank 
cast steel hoe was given to this company, and a silver medal 
was awarded in November, 1855, by the American Institute 
fair in New York. On the average thirty men were em- 
ployed and about |40,000 w^orth of goods were manufac- 
tured per annum. Mr. Bolles remained in the company 
ten years and then established a hoe factory at South Ox- 
ford. Hon. John Tracy succeeded Mr. Watson as president, 
January 1, 1854, and held the office till the expiration of 
the charter in 1863, when the company sold to John Y. 
Washburn and W^m. A. Martin, the latter retiring in June, 
1871. Mr. Washburn continued the business till Septem- 
ber 17, 1871, when the establishment was destroyed by 
fire. At the time of the discovery, shortly before one o'clock 
Sunday morning, tlie main building Avas on fire at the 
south end and by the time the engines reached the scene, 



546 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

had spread so that it was impossible to save that part of 
the building and the firemen turned their attention to the 
^ving, containing the engine and boilers, which escaped 
injury by keeping two streams of water upon it until day- 
light. The safe and other articles Avere taken from the 
office, and with the exception of the engine, boilers, a 
quantity of belting and a few knives, were all that was 
saved. The property was valued at |24,000, on which there 
Avas an insurance of |11,000. About |2,000 worth of hoes 
and nearly the same amount of knives were destroyed. 



BURNING OF THE Cheis^ango House. — Early Tuesday 
morning, February 7, 1871, fire was discovered in the 
bam connected with the Chenango House, on the site 
of the present residence of Mrs. Mary Warn. An alarm 
quickly brought the firemen, but the flames had gained 
such headway that it was impossible to check the devasta- 
tion. The Chenango House and barn, livery barn, and a 
barn owned by Orson Crumb were destroyed. L. &: A. W. 
Bartle, proprietors of the hotel, were heavy losers. Buell 
& Dodge, proprietors of the livery, lost nine horses, several 
wagons and everything connected with the barn. IVIr. 
Dodge had an insurance of |1,000 on his half of the livery. 
Mr. Crumb lost his barn, together with its contents. 



Samuel Stow, born April 17, 1742, came to Oxford in 
L819, to reside with his daughter, Mrs. Hezekiah 
Morse, and died Januarj^ 21, 1835. He was a sergeant- 
major during the war of the Revolution, and in 1832 was 
gi-anted a pension of $10 per year. 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 547 

Ladies Village Improvement. 

The iron bridge across the canal was removed last week. The 
change is great in the general view, and will be the greatest improve- 
ment Oxford has ever witnessed. One other improvement must now 
follow, and that is to curb a portion of LaFayette square and form 
a small Park. * * * The principal item of expense in forming the 
Park would be in the curbing, a few entertainments by a " Village 
Improvement Society," would soon raise the amount required. Who 
is the first public-spirited lady or gentleman to make a move? You 
can count on the Times office for assistance. — Oxford Times, September 
3, 1879. 

The above item evidently had a stimulating effect for 
five days later a meeting of several of the ladies was held 
to devise ways and means of constructing a park on La 
Fayette Square. From that time the ladies have worked 
with a will, as the three parks in the village, the town 
clock, and other improvements testify. The society has 
raised and expended several thousands of dollars for the 
benefit of the village. 



DANIEL Tucker came on foot from Massachusetts to 
Wattles Ferry, near Unadilla, in 1787, and in the 
spring of 1791 removed to a farm of fifty acres south 
of the Blackman farm, in Oxford, which is still owned by 
his descendants. In 1793 he married Mary McKenzie, who 
came from Kinderhook, Columbia county, and died July 
19, 1833. Mr. Tucker worked for Gen. Hovey the first two 
years, and drove team between Oxford and Catskill. 
Sleighs were used and the runners were shod with iron- 
wood. There was no road at that time and those who ac- 
companied the teams carried axes with them to cut away 
the trees. Mr. Tucker died September 7, 1845, aged 85. 
He was one of the most fearless, energetic, and active men 
among the earliest settlers; industrious as well as honest, 
he enjoyed the esteem and respect of all. He was the father 
of eleven children. 



548 ANNALS OF OXFORD 

STEPHEN Asa Sheldon, who for a number of years was 
a resident of the village, was born April 28, 1830, in 
the town of Norwich, N. Y. He married March 26, 
1856, Sarah E. Haynes, daughter of Charles B. and Sarah 
(Mead) Haynes, of Oxford. He went to California in the 
early days of the gold excitement, where he remained a 
year or more, experiencing all the hardships and exciting 
scenes incident to a mining camp. About the year 1860 
Mr. and Mrs. Sheldon moved to a farm three miles above 
the village of Oxford on the east side of the river. Here 
they remained a short time and then came to the village, 
where they spent the remainder of their lives. Mr. Shel- 
don's death occurred September 22, 1895. That of his wife, 
March 14, 1901. Children: Charles Benjamin, born 
July 7, 1857; died January 29, 1861. Jessie Haynes, 
married December 15, 1886, Myron E. Powers of Oxford. 



^ opher Betts, a man of large stature, came from Mas- 
^■^ sachusetts, where he was born at Egremont in 1761, 
and settled on the West side of the river at South Oxford, 
In the early days of the community, when the Oxford and 
Greene Baptist church was formed at Brisbin, he was one 
of the ten constituent members. His sons were Erastus, 
Silas and Warren, and his daughters were the wives of 
Blodget Smith, William D. Wheeler, Jeremiah TenBroeck, 
W^heaton Kace and Loren Miller. Numerous descendants 
are living in the county. Mr. Betts was a soldier of the 
Revolution, and after living in Oxford a while, he went 
to Egremont with horse and wagon to get proofs that he 
might secure a pension, in which he was successful. He 
died March 10, 1842. Jane, his wife, died February 14, 
1841, aged 76. They were buried in the TenBroeck ceme- 
tery at South Oxford. 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 549 

JVMES M. Edwards came to Oxford in 1835 and was em- 
ployed in the foundry until 1868, when he purchased 
the property and continued its owner until his death, which 
occurred February 7, 1887. The foundry was destroyed 
by fire November 23, 1883. He held the office of village 
trustee for several years, in which position he was 
honored and trusted, as in all his business transactions. 
Mr. Edwards was born January 12, 1815, in Cairo, N. Y. 
In January, 1845, he was married to Miss Sarah Chub- 
buck, born May 28, 1816, in Eaton, N. Y., and died Sep- 
tember 17, 1902, in Oxford. She was a cousin of Mrs, 
Emily Chubbuck Judson, a prominent missionary, though 
better known as Fanny Forrester, the poetess and author 
of the Alderbrook Tales. Children: John W., died in 
1877. Unmarried. Harriet H., married Darwin E. Le- 
land, and resides in Oneida. Sarah Jennette, married 
William F. Cook. Ja^ies H., married Mabel T. Davis of 
Binghamton. Residence, Passaic, N. J. 



J)EL Chapin, who pursued the occupation of a cabinet 
maker in the early days of Oxford, died August 2, 
1860, in Saratoga Springs, aged 62 years. Honor F., his 
wife, died May 18, 1844, in Oxford, aged 49 years. 

Children : 

Eliza B., died March 4, 1851, in Philadelphia, aged 24 
years. Anna Wickham, died December 20, 1851, in Ger- 
mantown, Pa., aged 24 years. Floyd LeRoy, died April 
10, 1889, in Glens Falls, N. Y. He studied medicine and 
became a physician. During the Civil w^ar was surgeon 
of the 30th N. Y. S. Vols. At second battle of Bull Run 
he allowed himself to be taken prisoner by the enemy bo 
that he could attend to the wounded Union prisoners 
within the Confederate line. 



550 ANNALS OF OXFORD 



Death hath so many doors to let out life. 

— Beaumont. 



Killed the Wrong Man 



During the night of June 25, 1860, John S. White, who 
kept the old Bush stand, now the farm residence of Pat- 
rick Hogan near the O. & W. station, Orlando Utter and 
Samuel Robinson, having blackened their faces and dis- 
guised themselves, went to the house occupied by Horace 
R. Burlison and family, situated a short distance below 
White's hotel, and opening the door of the house ascended 
to the chamber floor and commenced tearing the roof 
off; working away with the evident intention of razing 
the house to the ground. While they were at this work, 
Burlison procured a gun and fired, killing Robinson al- 
most instantly. His intention was to shoot W^hite, but, 
owing to the darkness and disguises, killed Robinson. It 
was alleged that Burlison, who was a poor man with a 
large family, kept a house of illfame, which was a nuis- 
ance and a pest to the neighborhood. The coroner's jury 
brought in a verdict of murder ; but the grand jury failed 
to indict him, and he was discharged. Robinson had 
but previously come from the West and was in the employ 
of White. He was a sober, industrious young man of 
good habits. A few days after the affair, several persons 
of that neighborhood collected together and razed the 
house to the ground, destroyed the barn and filled up 
the well, leaving not a vestige to mark the place where 
once there was a dwelling. 




FIRST NATIONAL BANK BUILDIN >— Erected in 1894 



ANNALS OF OXFORD ^31 



Money is a good soldier, sir, and will on. 

— Shakespeare. 



First National Bank, 



The First National Bank of Oxford was established in 
February, 1864, in the building now occupied by Miss S. 
J. Swan, with a capital of |T0,000, which was increased 
May 10, 1864, to |100,000, and again February 15, 1865, to 
$150,000, at which amount it stood till June 2, 1879, when 
it was reduced to |100,000, the present capital, by paying 
back to the shareholders |50,000 in cash. The first 
directors were: James W. Clarke, Frederick A. Sands, 
Peter W. Clarke, William VanWagenen, William H. Van- 
Wagenen, Francis G. Clarke, and John K. Clarke. The 
first board of officers were elected February 10, 1864. They 
were: James W. Clarke, president; Frederick A. Sands, 
cashier, and May 10, 1864, John R. VanWagenen was 
elected assistant cashier. The bank opened for business 
February 13, 1864, and took up quarters on the second 
floor of the Clarke block, while the Navy Island location 
was being prepared for its reception, to which it removed 
within a few weeks from the organization. Frederick A. 
Sands resigned as cashier March 22, 1865, in favor of 
Henry L. Miller, who was succeeded October 8, 1867, by 
John R. VanWagenen, Mr. Miller accepting the office of 
vice-president, which was created at that time. After the 
death of Mr. Clarke, the organizer of the bank and the 
moving spirit of the enterprise which had proved of so 



S5a ANNALS OF OXFORD 

much importance to the community, June 30, 1878, the 
olBfice of president was vacant till the annual election in 
January, 1879, when John R. VanWagenen, the present 
incumbent, was elected thereto, and Peter W. Clarke, vice- 
president, Mr. Miller declining a re-election. J. Fred 
Sands was appointed to the vacant cashiership, which 
office he held till the appointment of Peter W. Clarke, 
January 11, 1887, when he was elected vice-president, 
holding the office for one year only. 

Cory D. Hayes, at present in the banking busines>s at 
Clinton, N. Y., was assistant cashier from January 14, 
1873, till his removal from town March 1, 1878. Jared C. 
Estelow, the present incumbent, was appointed in January, 
1888, having served as teller for several years previous. 
The present directors are: John R. VanWagenen, presi- 
dent; Cory D. Hayes, vice-president; Jared C. Estelow, 
cashier; Charles W. Brown, William H. VanWagenen, 
William M. Miller, and Gilbert J. Parker. The bank has 
been uniformly successful, having accumulated a large sur- 
plus besides paying liberal dividends. A semi-annual 
dividend has never been omitted since the first one in Jan- 
uary, 1865. In 1894 the present commodious building was 
erected, which is a monument to the enterprise and liberal- 
ity of the present management. Its plans were drawn in 
the office of State Architect Perry, and personally super- 
vised by him. 



ANNALS OF OXFORD 553 



Every man has his fault, and honesty is his. 

—Shakespeare. 



Stephen H. Millard, 



Stephen Hambidge Millard, with his wife and infant 
daughter came to Oxford from Watledge, Gloucestshire, 
England, his native place, in 1842. He was bom February 
1, 1821, and his marriage to Mary Gillman occurred in 
1840. Their voyage to America in a sailing vessel occupied 
fifty-two days. Landing in New York city they continued 
their trip by water to Oxford, taking a boat via Albany and 
Utica. Here they spent the remainder of their lives. Mr. 
Millard was a cooper by trade and conducted an extensive 
cooperage for a term of years, employing a large number 
of hands. He was fond of music and for many years was 
leader of the choir in the M. E. church. Mrs. Millard wai 
bom in 1822 and died June 20, 1898, in Oxford. 

Children : 

S. Amelia, married (1) September 20, 1860, Gilbert J. 
Rowley, who died May 31, 1867; married (2) Edward 
Smith, now residing in Seymour, Ct. 

Mary E., married April 9, 1867, James G. Van Wagenen. 

Frank S., married September 2, 1875, Delia V. Soulc 
of Smithville. 

Ellen J., married February 1, 1871, William Alexander. 

Carrie, married June 10, 1886, Edwin T. Delavan. 

Harriet L., died April 16, 1859, in infancy. 



CHRONOLOGY 555 



The eternal landscape of the past. — Tennyson. 



f CHRONOLOGY f 



A 

Allen, Isaac, died Oct. 22, 1873, aged 87. 
Allen, Mrs. Isaac, died Dec. 21, 1865. aged 68. 
Ayrault, Chas. V. R., drowned Aug. 19, 1872, aged 15. 

B 

Bank, First National, established in February, 1864. 

Balloon, Mammoth, from Buffalo, arrived in town, Sept. 17, 1873. 

Bartle, A. F., died June 22, 1895, aged 76. 

Bartle, David W., died Feb. 3, 1897, aged 57. 

Bartle, Erwin D., died Jan. 30, 1896, aged 61. 

Bartle, George, accidently killed while hunting in Brisbin Feb. 19, 1876. 

Bartle, Mrs. Philip L., while visiting at Corning, killed by train Aug. 

9, 1902. 
Basket Works Co., moved to Oxford from Astabula, Ohio, in 1890. 
Beardsley, Asa, died Dec. 25, 1894, aged 74. 
Beardsley, John C, died April 3, 1886, aged 59. 
Beardsley, Mrs. JohnC, died March 21, 1904. 
Beardsley, Rev. O. R., pastor Uuiversalist church, died May 25, 1905, 

aged 61. 
Beebe, Ira, died April 16, 1903. 
Bentley, J. J., died March 8, 1905. 
Berry, Erastus J., died May 15, 1899. 
Blackman, James H., died Nov. 8, 1899, aged 70. 
Blanford, Mrs. Ashton, died Sept. 11, 1904. 
Blizzard, severe, March 12, 1888. 
Boname, Peter D., died Dec. 1, 1890, aged 49. 
Boname, Mrs. Peter D., died Feb. 13. 1904. 
Brewster, Ezra S., died March 22, 1905, aged 50. 
Britt, Michael, died Aug. 28, 1903, aged 50. 
Brodie, John S., died suddenly April 27. 1906, aged 35. 
Brooksbank, Robert, died March 23, 1903, aged 59. 
Brookins, Wm. H., suicided at W. R. 0. Home July 22, 1906, aged 63. 
Brown, Cyrus M., died Sept. 3, 1873. aged 59. 
Brown, VanNess, died from self inflicted wound May 24, 1888. 



356 CHRONOLOGY 

Brown, Mrs. Grace, died May 18, 1905. 

Burdick, EmmaD., murdered, body found buried in swamp Augr. 9,1888. 

Burglars, entered house of Charles Hunt. Fire bell gave alarm Sept. 

8, 1870. 
Burglary, of E. Clarke & Sons store of $1,100 June 27, 1841. 
" Bush, Mike," Italian, killed by blast in Clarke quarry Dec. 27, 1902. 

c 

Canal bridge in village fell under pressure of drove of cattle Aug. 30, 
1850. 

Casey, Mrs. E. M., died March 30, 1903. 

Chenango Mutual Relief, chartered in 1881, transferred to Security 
Mutual, Binghamton, April, 1899. 

Centennial year, Jan. 1, 1876 — ushered in by church bells and martial 
music. Very warm day, doors and windows open, dust flying. 

Church, Frank, of Norwich, killed at Lyon Brook bridge Jan. 1, 1878. 

Church, Captain Wm., died March 18. 1891, aged 81. 

Citizen's Opera House formally opened Oct. 16, 1888. 

Clarke, "Judge" Isaac, died June 5, 1874, aged 77. 

Collins, Geo. H., drowned in river July 4, 1887. 

Collins, William, died May 3, 1891, aged 68. 

Collins, Mrs. Wm., died April 6, 1900, aged 66. 

Collision on Lackawanna, above village, two killed and several se- 
riously injured Sept. 29, 1874. 

Comstock, S. L., died March 6, 1888, aged 53. 

Comstock, Mrs. S. L., died April 7, 1906, aged 52. 

Concert, Old Folks, benefit Presbyterian church, March 3, 1874. 

Corbin, Mrs. D. D., died March 21, 1904. 

Corbin, Eli L., died Oct. 29, 1896. 

Corbin, Mrs. E. L., died Feb. 19, 1894. aged 73. 

Coughlin, David, died suddenly Oct. 28, 1900, aged 59. 

County Fair, held in Oxford Sept. 25, 26, 1849. 

County House and insane asylum burned in Preston May 8, 1890, thir- 
teen lives lost. 

Coville, Edward M., thrown from a sleigh and killed Feb. 7, 1885. 

Coville, J. A., died Jan. 23, 1895, aged 74. 

Coville, Mrs. J. A., died Oct. 17, 1904. 

Cowles, Morillo, died Nov. 27, 1902, aged 83. 

Crandall, Robert, died July 18, 1904, aged 84. 

Crosby, Henry, hanged himself Aug. 6, 1888. Mixed up in Emma Bar- 
dick murder; his wife charged with the murder sent to prison in 
1889 for eleven years. 

Crumb, Orson, died Dec. 27, 1889, aged 68. Veteran. 

Crumb, Mrs. Orson, suicided by drowning in river Aug. 22, 1877. 

Curtis, Bert J., died suddenly Jan. 6, 1884, aged 25. 



CHRONOLOGY 557 

D 

Death of Wm. Butler by drowning in Mud pond, Sept. 2, 1881. 

Death by drowning of Geo. L. Gage and Daniel Fisher in Brackett 
pond, Feb. 27, 1890. 

Death by drowning at South Oxford, of Edward Dibble, of Norwich, 
June 22, 1899. 

Death by drowning of little son of Janet Flang, July 7, 1896. 

Death by drowning of Edward Hall, Dora Hall and Geo. Sholes at 
South Oxford, May 10, 1901. 

Death by drowning in canal, of flittle son of Benj. F. Lounsberry, Sr., 
June 20, 1857. 

Death by drowning of Edwin T. Riley April 17, 1856. 

Death by drowning of little son of Orlando Robinson, July 24, 1854. 

Death by drowning of son of Thomas Witherell, Aug. 9, 1860. 

Death by drowning of Charles, son of Jeremiah Wheeler, Oct. 7, 1852. 

Death of Enos Greenfield, a stranger, by drowning, Nov. 22, 1824. 

Death of Nathaniel C. Thornton by drowning in river April 7, 1901. 

Death of " Pat " Cumber by train near Basket factory March 30, 1897. 

Death from poisoning of a little girl in Farnham's photograph gal- 
lery, Jan. 28. 1864. 

Death of Italian from injuries in Blue Stone quarry, Oct. 24, 1883. 

Derrick, Henry, lost an arm by explosion of cannon, Nov. 8, 1843. Died 
July 19, 1906, aged 76. 

Deyo, James, born a slave, died Dec. 20, 1900. 

Dickinson. Charles G., died Oct. 4, 1892, aged 42. 

Doane, Wm. H., suicided Dec. 21, 1879, aged 47. 

Dodge, Charles M., died Jan. 28, 1904, aged 61. Veteran. 

Douglass, Frederick, lectured Dec. 8, 1864. Orator, formerly a slave. 

Dudley, Benj. found dead in highway, Sept. 12, 1863. 

Dunn, William, died Nov. 3, 1904, aged 70. 

Dunning, Robert, died June 8, 1899, aged 51. 

E 

Earthquake, a slight shock, Dec. 18, 1867. 

Earthquake, two shocks felt Oct. 20, 1870. 

Edwards, Benjamin, died January 5. 1904, aged 82. 

Electric lights first turned on Feb. 10, 1892. 

Elm tree set out in front of postoffie by B. M. Pearne March 11, 1877, 

tree was then two years old from seed. 
Elm trees set out in front of Hotchkiss House Oct. 28, 1895, by Robert 

W. Taft. 
Ensign, Dr. E. L., died at Erieville, Dec. 3, 1903, aged 73. 
Ensign, Mrs. E. L., died June 5, 1896. 
Explosion of boiler, 40 horse power, on Joel Ingraham farm Dec. 11 

1893. killing Joseph Schauer and George Hammond, 



558 CHRONOLOGY 

F 

Fair, Agricultural and Mechanical, organized in Feb. 1859. 

Fasting and prayer, day of, designated by President Taylor in view of 
the alarming progress of cholera in the United States, Aug. 4. 1849. 

Fennell, Michael, died from injuries received in Blue Stone quarry, 
Nov. 22, 1883. 

Ferguson, John H., died June 29, 1898, aged 46. 

Fire, barn of Carl & Cronk, Sept. 15, 1906. 

Fire, barn on Corn Hill farm burned by lightning, July 17, 1866. 

Fire, barn of Michael Casey, Nov. 30, 1866. 

Fire, barn of H. D. Mead, July 7, 1877. 

Fire, barn of George Root, Aug. 11, 1873. 

Fire, barn of Stephen Sheldon, Nov. 16. 1886. 

Fire, barn of Henry Wheeler, July 4, 1876. 

Fire, cabinet shop, J. T. Figary, Jan. 30, 1850. 

Fire, candy shop of Edwin May, house of T. T. Woodley, and stage 
barns of Ethan Clarke, May 27, 1853. 

Fire, carriage shop of C. M. Dodge, Jan. 16, 1884. 

Fire, carriage shop of Dodge & Robinson, Oct. 19, 1876. 

Fire, Clarke block, destroyed Feb. 26, 1858. 

Fire, Congregational church, Nov. 28, 1897. Water works first used. 

Fire, creamery building at Robinson's Mills, May 26, 1906. 

Fire, farm house of J. O. Dodge, Feb 24, 1883. 

Fire, farm house of Mrs. Alice McCall, Jan. 24, 1903. 

Fire, farm house of James Shapley at Lewis' Mills, June 1, 1879. 

Fire, from lightning, two barns on farm of Leroy Hall, Aug. 30, 1905. 

Fire, house of Mrs. E. H. Beardsley on Merchant street, Oct. 31. 1904. 

Fire, house of Thomas Fennell, Jan. 22, 1879. 

Fire, house of M. S. Pierpont and barn of H. B. Morse, Oct. 18, 1876. 

Fire, house of Timothy Rogers, Aug. 23, 1904. 

Fire, house of E. VanValkenburgh on Franklin street, Dec. 26, 1903. 

Fire, house of Widow Winchester, Jan. 26. 1883. 

Fire, large barn of Olin Murray, Oct. 27, 1905. 

Fire, Lewis' Mills, below village, Nov. 18, 1884. 

Fire, Mammoth store, Sept. 10, 1880. 

Fire, Park Hotel, Oct. 28, 1903. Albert Skillman broke a leg in jump- 
ing from window. 

Fire, residence of A. S. Burchard, July 4, 1898. 

Fire, residence of Dr. Geo. D. Johnson, May 17, 1904. 

Fire, old paint shop, Taylor street, Jan 13, 1889. 

Fire, Rorapaugh's livery barn and three horses, and two other barns, 
June 13, 1899. 

Fire, shops of H. C. Howland and H. O. Daniels, July 20, 1886. 

Fire, sled factory, Dec. 5, 1896. 

Fire, stores of D. B. Smith, John Lord and F. E. Billings, Feb. 27,1876. 



CHRONOLOGY 559 

Fire, store of Tony Furnare, May 22, 1904. 

Fire, tollgate above village, March 27, 1867. 

Fire department, Oxford, organized July 1, 1823. 

Firemen's parade and Sappho Hose banquet, June 29, 1906. 

Fire steamer taken to Norwich on call for help, Dec. 28. 1895, Eaton's 

feed store destroyed. 
First fire company organized March 8, 1824. 
First train over Lyon Brook bridge, Dec. 23, 1899. Great crowd out to 

see the sight. 
First trial of Lady Washington hand engine, Oct. 6, 1858. 
First trial of steam fire engine, Oct. 3. 1887. 
Fish, Liiman B., died Aug. 22, 1893, aged 34. 
Fitch, Mrs. Isaac P., died Nov. 24, 1904. 
Foote, Robert E., died Nov. 5, 1904, aged 87. 
Fox, James H., died April 19, 1868, aged 59. 
Fraser, Charles, died Feb. 21, 1900, aged 70. 
Fraser, Martin, died Sept. 9, 1889, aged 34. 
Fraser, Mrs. Wm., died March 6, 1895. aged 72. 
French, Miss Luella, died from burns caused by explosion of gasoline 

stove, Dec. 10, 1900. 
Freshet, water within twenty-two inches of high water mark of 1865, 

Dec. 11, 1878. 
Freshet, water within twenty-one inches of high water mark of 1865, 

Feb. 26, 1891. 
Fulton, Percy E., infant son of Rev. J. M. C. Fulton, died suddenly 

Sept. 13, 1882, 

G 

Gas Co., Oxford, organized, Aug. 9, 1897. 

Gates, A. D.. died May 16, 1892, aged 67. 

Gibson, Robert, died suddenly, Nov. 16, 1879, aged 73. 

Gillman, Geo. F., died Jan. 11, 1898, aged 49. 

Gillman, Ray, son of Charles, drowned, July 2, 1890. 

Gillman, Wm., died suddenly, Nov. 8, 1888, aged 68. 

Godfrey, Mrs. Daniel, killed by lightning, Sept. 4, 1867. 

Gomes, Sylvester, drowned June 6, 1863. 

Grant, Gen. U. S., passed through town on special train, July 30, 1872. 

Greeley, Horace, delivered address at fair, Oct. 4, 1860. 

Guilford " Old Folkes " concert, Oct. 12, 1865. 

H 

Hall, Murray, died Aug. 16, 1891. aged 73. 
Hamilton, J. W., died June 3, 1901, aged 76. 
Harrington. Wm. A., died June 18, 1880, aged 75. 
Harrington, Mrs. Wm. A., died Nov. 5, 1893. 
Hogan, Wm., died April 17, 1896, aged 78. 



56o CHRONOLOGY 

Hogan, Wm., 2d, died Oct. 14, 1904, aged 59. 

Holmes, Clark K., died Dec. 11, 1903, aged 71. 

Holmes, Myron M.. died Nov. 22, 1893, aged 80. 

Hook and Ladder Co., organized June 25, 1878. 

Hotchkiss, Mrs. Samuel, died Nov. 17, 1898. 

Hung her infant and self, Mrs. Maria Herrick, aged 17, Oct. 25, 1878, 

I 
Ingraham, George W., died July 7, 1900, aged 50. 
Illumination of village in honor of Lee's surrender to General Grant, 

April 10, 1865. 
Independent Hose Company organized Oct. 17, 1898, 

J 

Jackson, Fred, colored, mudered his mother Feb. 15, 1879. Died in 

Auburn prison while serving a life sentence, Dec. 17, 1893. 
Johnson, Robert, aged 44, suicided by poison Dec. 29, 1904. 
June, Ira W., ex sheriff, died June 20, 1905 aged 76. 
Justice, Wm. A., died April 3, 1890. aged 75, 

K 

Keeler, Edwin, died April 20, 1900, aged 79. 

Ketchum, Egbert, died May 13, 1885^ aged 60. 

Keyes, George S., died Dec, 17. 1887, aged 28. 

Keyes, James, died June 7, 1904, aged 65, 

Keyes, Mrs. James, died Dec. 10, 1904. 

Kilmer, "Doc," drowned Sept. 11, 1903. 

King, Cornelius O., died Aug. 3, 1906, aged 74. Veteran. 

Knott, Mrs. L. Augustus, died Oct. 21, 1905, aged 60. 

Knott, Luke W., died Jan. 27, 1879, aged 74. 

L 

Lackawanna's first train ran into Oxford, Nov. 5, 1870. 

Lady Washington engine company organized May 6, 1859. 

Lady Washington fire engine received Oct. 1, 1858. 

Lally, Wm. H., suicided by shooting, Sept. 11, 1905, aged 42. 

Leap year calls made by young ladies, Jan. 1, 1872, 

Lee, John, killed by falling from Lyon Brook bridge, Oct. 6, 1870. 

Lillis, Thomas, died Sept. 6, 1903, aged 85. 

Lord, John, for nearly forty years in shoe trade, died Jan. 14, 188^. 

Lord, Mary E., wife of John, died June 6, 1874, aged 53. 

Ludden, Bishop, visited St. Joseph's church, Oct. 10, 1904. 

Lyon, Frank, aged 17, drowned at dam, April 30, 1851, 

M 

Maltby, Mrs. Morris W., died May 12, 1904. 
Marshman, Jacob, died Jan. 24, 1904, aged 74, 



CHRONOLOGY 561 

Masonic convention, Nov. 14, 1906. 

Mass meeting:, temperance. May 12, 1842. 

Memorial Library, formally opened Nov. 15, 1900. 

Merithew, J. S.. died Nov. 22, 1901, aged 53. 

Merithew, Mrs. J. S., died Aug. 8, 1905, aged 58. 

Mevis, Rev. J. W., died suddenly, April 27, 1896, aged 61. 

Mevis, Mrs. J. W.. died February 13, 1905, aged 68. 

Milan. Mrs. Ann, killed by train, Sept. 12, 1883. 

Milan, Martin, died April 11, 1898, aged 70. 

Milier, Albert, of Utica, brakeman, killed at Lackawanna station, Aug. 

6, 1904. 
Miner, Amos, died May 30, 1896, aged 68. 
Moore, Edgar D., died July 22, 1900, aged 38. 
Moore, Lysander, died Nov. 27, 1898, aged 93. 
Morehouse, Samuel B., died May 20, 1904, aged 63. 
Morgan, Gov. E. D., visited Oxford, July 12, 1860. 
Morley, D. D., died June 9, 1905, aged 78. 
Munyan, Raymond, aged 2, fatally burned by candle in jack-o'lantern, 

Aug. 15, 1904. 
Murder attempted, of school girl by Wm. Roberts. Aug. 25, 1884. 
Murphy, John, died Oct. 7, 1904, aged 77. 

Mc 

McCall, Roswell J., died May 26, 1896, aged 44. 

McCalpin, Charles, died Sept. 27, 1900, aged 47. 

McCalpin, Wm., died Feb, 22, 1897, aged 86. 

McCalpin, Mrs. Wm., died June 7, 1900, aged 76. 

McKoon, Merrit G.,a very popular principal of Oxford Academy, died 

Nov. 28. 1854. 
McNulty, John, of Coventry, drowned in canal, April 19, 1884. 

N 

Newton, Wm, S., died Jan, 27, 1892, aged 83. 

Niagara hand engine bought April 25, 1846. Sold to Guilford in May, 
1897. 

Niagara Hose company organized March 14, 1878. 

Noonday meeting at Baptist church, when $100 was raised for starv- 
ing poor of Ireland, March 16, 1847. 



O'Connor. Patrick, died April 27, 1901, aged 63. 

Osgood, Richard, killed on Navy Island in runaway accident, Sept. 

11, 1871. 
O. & W., first passenger train through to New York. Aug. 18, 1873. 
O. & W., passenger station first occupied Feb. 2, 1872. 
O. & W., work first commenced in town July 23, 1868. 



562 CHRONOLOGY 



Packard, Peter M., died Feb. 10. 1903, a^ed 84. 

Packard, Sophia, wife of Joseph E., died Sept. 15, 1901. 

Parachute jump at the fair Sept. 20, 1888, first ever made in this sec- 
tion. Fair ended the following: year, Sept. 19, 1889. 

Park, LaFayette, staked out April 6, 1880. 

Park, Washington, staked out June 4, 1887. 

Parker Thomas, found dead in bed, July 25, 1904. 

Pearsall, Reuben, died Jan. 29, 1903, aged 84. 

Perfect, Samuel, died April 3, 1896, aged 77. 

Pettis, Mrs. T. C, died Feb. 5, 1894, aged 68. 

Phetteplace. Alonzo, died Sept. 8, 1890, aged 59 

Pointer, Wm. T., died Nov. 15, 1901, aged 68. 

Post, Edw. E. Breed, No. 196, G. A. R., organized Jan. 21, 1881. 

PostofiQce burglarized April 16, 1873. 

Postoffice burglarized Feb. 5, 1896 

Postoffice burglarized March 26, 1877. 

Postoffice burglarized May 28, 1877. 

Postoffice burglarized Sept. 12, 1872. 

Puffer, Stephen, died suddenly, Feb. 1, 1889. 

Putnam, Mrs, Ellen, first Superintendent W. R. C. Home, died Sept. 
15, 1901. 

R 

Raabe, George, died Aug. 12, 1887, aged 42. 

Race, Derrick, died Oct. 5. 1903, aged 82. 

Race, Mrs. Derrick, died suddenly Oct. 29, 1905, aged 50. 

Race, Harry, died March 4, 1892, aged 72. 

Race, Henry, died July 9, 1905. 

Race, Joseph, died Dec. 4, 1890, aged 74. 

Race, Wm. B., early resident died Nov. 9, 1882, aged 82. 

Randall, Levi, died Oct. 29. 1903. aged 67. 

Rathbone, J. A., killed at Blue Stone Mill, July 21, 1896. 

Regiment, 114th, passed through on canal boats for seat of war. Ladies 
served lunch at Lewis Hall, Sept. 6, 1862. 

Regiment, 114th, returned home via canal. Ladies served breakfast in 
Lewis Hall, June 19, 1865. 

Regiment, 23d Infty., marched through town on way to camp in Penn- 
sylvania, July 22, 1906. 

Rider. Earl M., died suddenly, Sept. 9, 1904. aged 43. 

Riot, St. Patrick's day, March 17, 1869. 

Roe, George, died suddenly, Aug. 8, 1890. 

Root, Frank L.. died Nov. 11, 1904, aged 26. 

Root, Jas. H., died Dec. 30, 1894. aged 64. 

Root, James J., died Feb. 11, 1892, aged 61. 



CHRONOLOGY 563 

Root, John B., died June 6, 1901, aged 73. 

Root, Joshua B., died Nov. 27, 1891, aged 89 

Root, Mrs. Joshua B., while insane, suicided by hanging, Oct. 9, 1878, 

Root, Mrs. Samuel, died May 9, 1904, aged 94. 

Round Robin Reading Club organized in 1894. 

Rounds, James, killed by train at Robinson's Mills, June 27, 1904. 

Rounds, Joseph, died Dec. 17, 1898, aged 84. 

Rugg, George P., died Dec. 10, 1901, aged 57. 



Sannick, Augustus, died May 3, 1892, aged 67. 
Sannick, Mrs. Augustus, died July 16, 1901, aged 76. 
Sappho Hose ball and banner presentation, Dec. 31, 1874. 
Sappho Hose Company reorganized from Lady Washington Hose Com- 
pany, Feb. 27, 1873. 
Sappho Hose, first parade with carriage, July 11, 1873. 
Saxe, John G., lectured Oct. 20, 1859. 
Smith, Daniel B., died Dec. 31, 1894, aged 66. 
Smith, Lester, died Jan. 26, 1900. 

Smith, Merton B., died suddenly, June 26, 1904, aged 53. 
Snow fell. May 30, 1884. 

Snow fell to depth of three feet, April 20, 1857. 
Snow fell to depth of twenty-six inches, Dec. 9,1903. 
Snow fell to depth of two feet, Oct. 12, 1836. 
Spaulding, E. Judson, mysteriously disappeared July 16, 1896, and no 

trace of him ever discovered. 
Spaulding, William, crushed to death in woods by falling tree, Nov. 

21, 1874. 
Spence, Robt. E., died from self inflicted wounds and disease, Feb. 26, 

1904, aged 56. 
Sperry, Carlton L., killed by falling from Baptist church spire, June 

7, 1899, aged 27. 
Stafford, Elmer S., body found in river April 29, 1906. Disappeared 

Nov. 19. 1905. Aged 54. 
Stafford, Job N., died April 12, 1891, aged 79. 
Steam fire engine received in Nov. 1898. 
Steam packet passed through town on canal, June 17, 1863. 
Stewart, Miss Katie, blind, died Aug. 18, 1906, aged 73. 
St James Hotel opened Sept. 23, 1872. by T. C. Pettis. 
Storm of heavy rain, flooded streets and LaFayettePark, July 21, 1902. 
Storm, severe electric, July 15, 1904. 

St. Paul's church raised over $200 for Chicago fire sufferers, Oct. 22, 1871. 
St. Paul's church raised over $100 for starving poor of Ireland, Feb. 

28, 1847. 
Swan, Mrs. Alma B., died Nov. 25, 1904, aged 92. 



564 CHRONOLOGY 

T 

Taintor, Mrs. Sylvia Fox, died Dec. 30, 1891. aged 78. 

Tansey, Edw. S., died Jan. 13, 1891. 

Tansey, John, died Aug. 4, 1890, aged 52. 

Telegraph, first oflBce, Oxford and Utica, opened, May 3, 1852. 

Tew, Harry, died Aug. 19, 1906, aged 58. 

Tew, James, died July 24, 1902, aged 79. 

Tew, Mrs. James, died Oct. 11, 1906, aged 77. 

Thompson, Mrs. Nancy, died March 22, 1892, aged 86. 

Thorp, Mrs. Mary, died Nov. 13, 1904, aged 90. 

Titus, Mrs. Benj., died Nov. 4, 1906, aged 42. 

Tornado swept through village, June 9, 1906. 

Tucker, Edw., died Oct. 21. 1888, aged 75. 

Tuttle, Miss Emma, died suddenly, Feb. 11, 1906. 

Tattle, Wm. L., died Dec. 8, 1864. 

u 

Union school building first occupied, March 29, 1897. 

V 

Vickburg, surrender of. Great rejoicing in village, July 7, 1863. 
Village incorporated April 6, 1808. 
Volunteers, first for Civil war, left May 7. 1861. 

w 

Ward. Matthew, suicided, Oct. 25, 1880. 

Walker, Charles, died Jan. 9, 1890, aged 92. 

Walker, Chas. B., died Dec. 7, 1894. aged 60 Veteran. 

Walsh, , killed by falling from Lyon Brook bridge, Nov. 10. 1869. 

Warn, James, died Jan. 30, 1892, aged 49 
Water works completed Oct. 18, 1897. 
Webb, Merritt, died May 2, 1889, aged 87. 
Wells, Miss Phebe A., died July 22, 1887, aged 49. 
Welch. Tommy, drowned June 4, 1887, aged 7. 
Wheeler, Gerrit, shot by Neil Brackett, May 30, 1889. 
Willcox, Loran, died March 9, 1886, aged 60. 
Willcox, Samuel, died Nov. 3, 1892. aged 81. 
Willcox, Mrs. Samuel, died July 3, 1901, aged 83. 
W. R. C. Home located at Oxford, Oct. 13, 1894. 

Y 

Youngs, Daniel, found buried in sand bank, Sept. 25, 1876. 
Youngs, Stewart, drowned during flood, Sept. 4, 1905, aged 12. 

Z 
Zero, 30 degrees below, Jan. 11, 1886. 
Zero, 31 degrees below, Jan. 19, 1904. 
Zero, 32 degrees below, Jan. 30, 1873. 




^••'T' — 



fl^ 



INDEX 



565 



How Index learning turns no student pale 
Yet holds the eel of science by the tail. 

—Pope. 



INDEX 



Academy, Oxford 125 

Achorn, Andrew 333 

Adams, A. D 189 

Adame, John 77 

Alli8,Jere 317 

Assessment Roll 355 

Avery, Geo. D 277 

Backus, Capt. John 541 

Bacon, Cyrus A 250 

Barber, D. G 352 

Balcom family 23 

Bartle family 68 

Bancroft, Dr. Reuben 211 

Balloon 87 

Baldwin, Jonathan 90 

Baldwin, Dr. Samuel 365 

Bank, First National 551 

Betts, Zopher 548 

Beardsley, Wm 243 

Bennett, Adolphus B 319 

Bennett, Moses 80 

Birth, first white 22 

Blackman, Elijah 11 

Bowers, John C 452 

Breed, Levi 226 

Brush, Piatt 193 

Brown, Jesse 467 

/irown, Thos 372 

Bruchhausen, Dr. Casimr . . .307 

Bridge bee 117 

Bridge, river 224 

Brooksbank, Robert 232 

Brockett, Hezakiah 165 

Burghardt, Peter 73 



Buckley, John 95 

Burr, Theodore 151 

Business firms in 1835 420 

Bush, Jonathan 195 

Butler, Benj 422 

Bundy, Solomon 477 

Burning of Chenango House. 546 
Burning of Fort Hill House. 409 

Cannon, Benj 322 

Callahan, Rev. Henry 316 

Canal ball 222 

Cary, Anson 88 

Census 396. 418 

Chronology 555 

Church, Bradford 65 

Church, Baptist 471 

Church, Free Will Baptist. .154 

Church, Methodist 168 

Church, Congregational 204 

Church, St. Paul's 215 

Church, St. Joseph's 317 

Church, Universalist 460 

Chapman, Wm. E 376 

Chapman, Nelson C 185 

Chapin, Joel 549 

Celebration, Whig 50 

Clapp, James 516 

Clarke, Ray 328 

Clarke, Dr. S. R 369 

Clarke family 509 

Conover, Cornelius 288 

Conference 339 

Cook, Joseph 50 

Cooke, H. H 235 



566 



INDEX 



Cooley, Elihu 314 

Cole family 46S 

Court of Common Pleas 197 

Cork Island duel 268 

County 5 

Curtis, Major O. H 465 

Death of a burglar 436 

Death from lightning 544 

Dailey, Aunt Patty 156 

Davidson family 237 

Denison family 290 

Dickinson, Joseph 93 

Distillery 143 

Dodge, Solomon 70 

Dodge, Peter and John 292 

Douglas, Geo M. D 179 

Doty, Reuben 162 

Dunne, Wm 411 

Dudley, Daniel 301 

D wight, Capt. J. H 186 

Eaton, Warren 506 

Eccleston, Charles 212 

Edwards, J. M 549 

Exhibitions 385 

Farnham, Capt. Samuel 144 

Farrell, Bernard 220 

Fenton, Capt. Solomon 72 

Fish, Selah H 175 

Fiske, David 438 

Fitch, Ephraim 445 

Flanagan, James 419 

Flood of 1865 241 

Foundry 338 

Fourth of July expenses 196 

Franklin, A. A 329 

Freshet of 1842 434 

Galpin, Judson B 181 

Garnsey, Peter B 150 

Gibson, Thomas 223 

Gifford, Joseph 252 

Gifford, Samuel A 453 

Gile, Wm 105 

Glover, James A 239 

Gordon family 310 

Greek ball 388 



Greene, Frederick 486 

Guernsey, Samuel 523 

Hackett, Josiah 100 

Hatch family 373 

Haynes, Chas. B 221 

Havens, Amos 195 

Havens family 403 

Hitchcock, A. A. ... , 232 

Hinckley, Jared 544 

Hovey, A. C 360 

Hovey, Gen. Ben j 47 

Hopkins, Capt. Frederick . . .476 

Hopkins, Samuel Miles 82 

Hollenbeck, Wm 238 

Hoe factory 545 

Holmes, John 188 

Hull, Andrew J 521 

Hull family 133 

Hunt family 525 

Husking bee 166 

Hyde, Austin 397 

Illumination 121, 165 

Indian antiquities 51 

Indian stories 262, 384 

Independence day 233, 363 

378, 508 

IngersoU, Lambert 214 

Jacobs family 340 

Jewell, Elisha 203 

Joslyn, Dr. Chas 9 

Journal, Miss Hopkins 198 

Journals of Oxford 406 

Judson family 289 

Kellogg, Nathaniel 240 

Ketchum, Lewis 320 

Killed the wrong man 550 

Kinney family 491 

Ladies Village Improvement 

Society 547 

Lee, Dr. D. M 482 

Leonard, Isaac 522 

Lett, Wm 375 

Lewis family 496 

Lobdell, Abijah, Jr 159 

Locke, Nathaniel 367 



INDEX 



507 



Loomis family 44 

Lyon family 78 

Mail service 66, 107 

Main, A. B 538 

Main, Randall 251 

Man in Homespun 163 

Mason, Joseph 285 

Mead, Dr 243 

Mead family 228 

Memorial verses 173 

Mexican War volunteers 305 

Millard, Stephen H 553 

Miller, Andrew 230 

Miller, Epaphras 255 

Military days 492 

Moore, Ben j 354 

Morse, Hezekiah 447 

Mowry family 323 

Murder trial 503 

Mygatt, Henry 429 

Mygatt, William 450 

McCall, E. B 308 

McCalpin, Wm 236 

McFarland family 454 

McGeorge, Rev. H. T 441 

McNeil family 62 

Newkirk, Thos. G 473 

Nichols, Ishmael 459 

Old letters 249 

Olds. Ezekiel 534 

Owen, Salmon W 528 

Oxford village 10 

Paring bee 166 

Packer, Horace 190 

Packer, Dr. Perez 282 

Padgett, John 539 

Pendleton family 439 

Perkins, Erastus 147 

Perry, John 296 

Physician, first 61 

Pigeons, wild 229 

Pioneer life 14 

Powers, Myron 413 

Porter, Milo 367 

Practical jokes 399 



Price, Wm. M 514 

Purdy, Nelson 313 

Rafting 122 

Rathbone, Gen. Ransom 463 

Rathbone, John 152 

Ransom, Rev. J. C 187 

Redmond family 311 

Rector, Geo. C 261 

Read, Horace S 150 

Rhodes, Oliver 191 

Robbins, Myron 475 

Rooiue, Edward A 176 

Root, Ebenezer 540 

Ross, Samuel 390 

Robinson family 414 

Rouse, Dr. Austin 444 

Runyan, Stephen O 143 

Sands, Frederick A 192 

Sands, Dr. Wm. G 300 

Sannicks, Aunt Sally 234 

Sheldon, Stephen A 548 

Sherwood family 331 

Sherwood, Isaac. ....... ..f. . .480 

Sherwood, Lt»wfe; . .gC#^ . . .538 

Shapley, David 178 

Shamway, Daniel 225 

Sill, Daniel 270 

Smith, Joel 283 

Smith, Munson 211 

Smith, Gen. Peter Sken 278 

Smith, Nehemiah 484 

State 5 

Stone, George 383 

Stow, Samuel 546 

Stafford, S. S 536 

Stevens, Judge Henry 203 

Storm, severe 410 

Stratton family 529 

Stratton, Isaac J 500 

Swan, Rev. Jabez 194 

Tavern days 137 

TenBroeck, John 72 

Thorp, Joseph G 504 

Thurber, Caleb 236 

Tillotson, Jeremiah 193 



568 



INDEX 



Town clock 483 

Town expenses 9 

Town meetings 7, 75, 178, 356 

Town of Oxford 5 

Tracy, Hon. John 298 

Tracy. Uri 54 

Traveling, early 107 

Tucker, Daniel 547 

Turner, Stephen 28 

Tuttle, Cyrus 287 

VanDerLyn. Gerardus 520 

VanDerLyn, Henry 393 

VanGaafcbeck. Thomas 203 

VauW a^enen family 488 

Village bell ringer 357 

Viliaerc bv-Iaws 350 

Maj.'ner, Dr. L. P 358 

\V a^ucj Daere 65 



Washburn, John Y 373 

Watson, Alamanzar 275 

Walker, Joseph 146 

Westover family 244 

Weeks, Stephen .271 

Webb, John 253 

Wheeler family 334 

Wheeler. Samuel 532 

Whittenhall family 432 

Williams. Eber 97 

Williams, Aunt Phillis 160 

Willoughby, Bliss 346 

Willoughby, Job 294 

Wright, Enos 158 

Willcox, Ira 348 

Wolf hunt 361 

York, Jeremiah 448 

York, Dr. Edward 371 






ui:i 5 



\y^»