ROBERT B. CABLE was born in New York, March 23,1841. His father, Stephen Cable, was a native of Litchfield Co., Conn., and settled in New York while a young man, about the year 1835, where he now resides.
Robert B., at the age of fourteen, struck out into the busy world for himself, and for some four years was engaged in the provision business in his native city.
In the year 1859 he was connected with the work of constructing the Bergen Tunnel for the Erie Railway, which was the beginning of his railroad career. After the completion of the tunnel he located in Chicago in the provision business, returned to the service of the Erie Railroad in 1863, and has since then been continuously connected with that great thoroughfare, filling various positions in both the transportation and freight departments.
In the fall of 1865 he was appointed chief clerk in the general superintendent’s office, at New York, which position he occupied under the various administrations of the road until 1872, when he was appointed assistant superintendent of transportation, and first located at New York, and afterwards at Jersey City ; and in April,1877, received the appointment of superintendent of the Susquehanna division of the Erie Railway, with office at Elmira, N.Y., where he now resides.
|DR. TRACY BEADLE was pure-minded, generous-hearted, singularly conscientious, decided in his convictions, strong in his ideas, unshaken in his purposes, yet his acts were tempered by a bearing so pleasant and manners so mild and winning as to make all with whom he came in contact love, honor, and trust him. No confidence in him was ever violated. None relying upon him were ever betrayed. He was a true man. Born in the town of Otsego, Otsego Co., this State, on the 21st day of November, 1808, he lived , when a youth, in the lovely and historic village of Cooperstown. Growing up into manhood there, he married, April 2,1833, Mary S., eldest daughter of Ralph and Clarissa Worthington, of the same place. She was born Aug. 26, 1811; her parents were early settlers of Otsego County, emigrating from Connecticut.
He was a student of medicine with Dr. Mitchell, of Norwich, N.Y., and with his uncle, Dr. Chauncey Beadle, of St. Catherine’s, Canada, graduating at Pittsfield, Mass. In the fall of 1835 he came to Elmira, then a small place. At first he lived in a dwelling where now is the Langdon mansion, but soon removed to Lake Street, where he had built a residence, where he lived until his decease, March 22,1877.
During his residence in Cooperstown he had been engaged in the practice of his profession, and also kept a drug-store. His first venture in business in Elmira was the opening of a drug-store, near the store at present occupied by Preswick, Morse & Co., and afterwards moved a few doors above, occupying a store where J.K. Perry is now located. He continued there in the drug business until 1849, when, in company with the late Simeon Benjamin, he organized the Bank of Chemung, which ever since has been among the soundest moneyed institutions of the city. At that time, with a business shrewdness and sagacity characteristic of him, he, with Captain Samuel Partridge, purchased what was then known as the Robert Covell farm, in Southport, containing some 400 acres, which now forms the Fifth Ward of the city. In this investment he realized largely by cutting the land up into village lots and selling.
In religious matters he was ever earnestly interested, and he enlisted with heart and soul in any enterprise or movement where the moral good of the people was to be promoted. Since his residence in Elmira, he had been connected with the Presbyterian Church, which in his death lost one of its most devoted supporters.
Dr. Beadle was very prominent for many years in political life. He was the member of Assembly in 1862 , member at large of the Constitutional Convention of 1867, being selected for the latter position with such men as William M. Evarts, Charles J. Folger, Horace Greeley, and others equally distinguished. He was an influential and respected member of this assemblage of able men. He was one of the military committee for raising troops in 1863.
During the war , Dr. Beadle came forward with patriotic ardor. His mind was alive to the necessities of the occasion. By speech and purse he encouraged the enlistment of men, and was among those who, in most trying times, was undismayed and undisheartened, going from place to place in this district, and rousing the people to a sense of their duty to their endangered country. His influence was great, and his services were largely instrumental in enabling this part of the State to meet the demands upon it for men and means. And while the record of his public life and deeds is thus honorable and cannot be forgotten, above this and beyond all he was a man worthy the esteem of the public for his great sociability. In disposition he was ever bright and cheerful, in his home life peculiarly happy. Home to him was the dearest spot on earth. The one chosen in the struggling days of his early manhood proved a long and faithful helpmeet, the unvarying sweetness of whose disposition and altogether lovely character proving ever to him an unfailing source of cheer and strength. “Dr. Beadle was truly a noble specimen of the Christian gentleman and patriotic citizen.”----(Shankland Cattataugus Union.)
His widow survives him, together with three sons,-- Ralph W., Henry W., Chauncey Moore,--and one daughter --Mrs. Colonel Thompson, of Springfield, Mass.
PATRICK HENRY FLOOD was born in Northampton County, Pa., March 14,1814. His father, John Flood, was a native of Ireland, and came to this country when only a young man. He had five sons and three daughters, of whom the subject of this sketch was the eldest. During the time until he was sixteen years of age Dr. Flood spent his time at home. He received his preliminary education at Bloomsburg and Danville Academy, Pa., and for some two years and a half was a clerk in a general merchandise store at Danville, Columbia Co., Pa., with Colt & Donaldson, followed by a clerkship of two years with General Robert H. Hammond (paymaster of the Mexican army). In the year 1840 he entered the office of Dr. Bonham Gearhart, of Washingtonville, Pa., and began the study of medicine, where he remained for two years, and subsequently entered Geneva Medical College, N.Y., graduating M.D., from that institution in the year 1845, and settled in the practice of his profession at Lodi, Seneca Co., N.Y., where he remained continuously in practice for some twelve years, when he went to Elmira, where he has since resided , continuing the practice of medicine. Dr. Flood during his residence in Seneca County was a member of Seneca County Medical Society, and also of Erie County Medical Society, and was elected one of the curators of the University of Buffalo, which position he still holds.
Since his residence at Elmira, he has been a member of the Chemung Medical Society and the Elmira Academy of Medicine, in some of which societies he has held important offices when duty demanded him to bear his share of the burdens of office.
Dr. Flood was connected with the Democratic party until 1861, when, upon the breaking out of the Rebellion, he became a firm supporter of the Union cause, and since 1862 has been identified with the Republican party. Although seeking no place of notoriety, he has twice been elected mayor of the city of Elmira, twice coroner of the county of Chemung, a member of the Board of Education one term, and is now a member of the Board of Health of the city.
In 1862, Dr. Flood responded to his country’s call as surgeon, 107th Regiment, New York Volunteers, ranking as major, and the same year was made brigade surgeon of the 12th Army Corps, 1st Division,-- subsequently ranking as brevet lieutenant- colonel for meritorious services,--and in April, 1865, was assigned to duty as surgeon in charge of the 1st Division Hospital, which position he held until the close of the war. To give a complete history of his career as physician and surgeon of the army would be to trace his regiment and brigade through the various battles of Antietam, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Sherman’s March to the Sea, Resaea, Dallas, Kenesaw Mountain, Pine Ridge, Peach-Tree Creek, Averysboro’, Bentonville, and Atlanta.
Since his return from military service, Dr. Flood has remained in the quiet practice of his profession in Elmira., zealously supporting all interest tending to educate and elevate the rising generation. He is a man free from ostentation, active, industrious, ardent, and possessing that integrity of purpose worthy of emulation by the young. In the 1837 he married Miss Rachel, daughter of John Schmeck, of Paradise, Northumberland Co., Pa. She was born in the year 1820. By this union there have been born four sons,--John M., a graduate of the University of Buffalo, and now a practicing physician in Elmira; Albert H., a graduate of the same institution as his brother , but was prematurely cut off, dying May 14,1877; Thomas S., a druggist in Elmira; and Henry, a graduate of Bellevue College, New York, finishing his education in medicine at Vienna, Australia, and for the past three years practicing his profession at Elmira, N.Y.; and one daughter, Mary Ellen, wife of David Thro, of DuBois, Clearfield Co., Pa.
Dr. Flood, in the service of his country, was always found at the front when duty required, and no danger confronted so great as to intimidate him from fearlessly giving aid and encouragement to the suffering; and in his profession he ranks with the first, always ready to give aid and counsel to the needy poor as well as to the rich.
ABEL STOWELL. Prominent among the builders of Elmira during many decades of its history was he whose name heads this brief notice. Although recently retired from the active pursuit of his trade, that of a carpenter, in the prosecution of it as a contractor and builder, during nearly a half-century in this place, his hands and brains were employed in the erection of very many of the structures of the beautiful “city of the Southern Tier.” Many of those edifices --- business blocks and private residences, churches and school-houses-- have passed away; some have been destroyed by fire, others charged and remodeled, while a vast number remain, monuments of the genius and industry of their builder.
|Abel Stowell was born July 10,1808, at Petersham, Worchester Co., Mass. In 1826 he removed to Worchester, Mass., and there learned the trade of a carpenter and joiner. He removed to Utica, New York, in 1829; both there and in the adjoining towns he followed his trade until 1832, when he removed to Binghamton, where he engaged largely in contracting and building. Oct. 12,1836, he removed to Elmira, only a few months after the erection of the county of Chemung, and through all the years that followed , down to quite recently , he carried on his business quite extensively. He has for many years been president of the Elmira Mechanics’ Society.
In 1833 he married Miss Elizabeth Stringer, of Madison Co., N.Y. They reared a large family, nine children, of whom seven survive, respected citizens of Elmira, viz: Charles M., who follows the trade and calling of his father; Rachel F., wife of J.E. Larkin, photographer of Elmira; Rufus R., William H., Frank A., John Emory, and Henry C. Frank and John E. are hardware merchants, of the firm of F.A., W.H. Stowell & Co.; William is the senior partner of the firm of Stowell & Young, merchant tailors; and Rufus and Henry are largely interested in the oil business in Western Pennsylvania. Rufus served in the Union army during the Rebellion, in the One Hundred and Forty-Eighth Regiment N.Y. Vols; was wounded and draws a pension. All are useful citizens.
Mr. Stowell has not been an incumbent of public offices, nor a seeker after political honors. With quite an a aversion to public life and party strife, he preferred the more humble ( and not less honorable and useful ) duties of his calling, and the social amenities of his home and fireside. Now, in his seventieth year, still “ hale and hearty,” he can look back over an active and well-spent life, and forward with the prospect of passing yet many years in the home which was the work of his own hands.
Hon. Jefferson Burr Clark was born in Massachusetts, in December, 1812. At the age of about nine years he became an orphan, and during the balance of his minority remained under the care and guardianship of his brother, the late Hon. John C. Clark, a gentleman of considerable distinction in this region a quarter of a century ago. About the year 1833 he entered into the mercantile business at Bainbridge, in this State, with an uncle, remaining there some three years, when he came to this county and settled in the neighborhood of the village of Chemung, where he lived for many years. He was then very largely engaged in lumbering and farming operations with his brother before alluded to, and was successful in securing for himself a well-earned competency. They occupied while there a piece of property well known to all the old settlers as the “ McDowell Flats.”
|In the year1857, Mr. Clark removed to the city of Elmira, where he resided until his decease in the sixty-fourth year of his age. On his removal here he became largely interested in the Elmira Rolling Mills, and continued so to be until the reorganization of the company in the year 1871, aside from which he was engaged in no active business, having retired from all exacting employment, excepting the care of his own property. In 1842 he was chosen to represent this Assembly district in the State Legislature; and faithfully serving the people in this trust, was re-elected to this honorable position in 1846. In 1845 he married a daughter of the Hon. John G. McDowell, who was a native of Chemung. His wife survives him, as also three daughters.
Mr. Clark was a man of sterling integrity, and in the business and social relations of life was honored and respected by all. He possessed strong regards for his friends, a sympathizing nature for those less fortunate than himself, a liberal hand and willing mind to aid the deserving needy, and all his acts were characterized with modesty and unostentation. Endowed by nature with a very penetrating mind and an inflexible will, his prominent characteristics were outspoken honesty, generous impulses, and neighborly kindnesses.
HON. JOHN G. McDOWELL, Judge McDowell was born in Chemung Feb.27,1794, and at that time of his decease, Jan. 1,1866, was nearly seventy-two years of age.
In early life he pursued the mercantile occupation, but his agricultural tastes led him to the farm, which he continued to cultivate during the greater portion of his days.
During the latter years of his life he lived in comparative seclusion and retirement, but formerly he was a man of influence and distinction in this section of the State, and was considered as among the principal citizens of the old Western Jury District. Under the old constitution he was the contemporary in political life with Martin Van Buren, Silas Wright, Governor Marcy, and General John A. Dix, with all of whom he held intimate personal and political relations.
Shortly after the adoption of the constitution of 1821, being then not far from thirty years of age, he received the appointment of judge of the Court of Common Pleas for the then county of Tioga, and at the general election, in 1829, he was chosen member of Assembly from the same county, and took his seat in that body on the 1st of January following. At the next election he was again chosen to the same office. In the discharge of his duties as a legislator, having won the entire confidence of his constituents, and a reputation reaching beyond the limits of his own county, he was, in the following autumn, elected to the State Senate from the district then comprising the counties of Broome, Chenango, Chemung, Cortland, Delaware, Otsego, Tioga, and Tompkins. For four years he acquitted himself with signal ability as a senator and as a member of the court for the trial of impeachment and the correction of errors. Passing through those eventful years when stock gambling in more than one instance tainted the purity of legislation, Judge McDowell returned to private life with a reputation for integrity untarnished by the breath of suspicion. About this period he was appointed the president ( first president) of the Chemung Canal Bank, an institution which procured its charter through his instrumentality.
Under the act for loaning the surplus revenues of the United States, Judge McDowell afterwards received from his personal and political friend, Governor Marcy, the appointment of Commissioner of Loans.
In every relation of life Judge McDowell possessed the faculty of creating strong personal friendship, and his greatest pride and pleasure to the day of his death was to meet and give generous hospitality to the old pioneers. Those to whom he was best known were always his most warmly attached friends. High-minded, open-handed, generous, truthful, those who hesitated to adopt his views and opinions could not but admire his honest devotion to principles, and the earnestness and inflexibility with which he maintained them.
Judge McDowell was just to himself generous to his family and friends, and kind and liberal to the poor. His memory will always be cherished and revered as a true gentleman of the olden school.
DR. HOLLIS S. CHUBBUCKwas born at Ellington, Tolland Co., Conn., March 13,1809. He was the tenth child in a family of twelve children, of Nathaniel Chubbuck and Chloe Eaton. His father came from Ellington and settled in the town of Orwell, Bradford Co., Pa., in the year 1818, where he died in 1825, in the sixty-first year of his age. His mother died also in the town of Orwell, in the year 1832, aged sixty-five years.
|Dr. Chubbuck spent his early life , until eighteen on the farm of his father , and at the age of nineteen began the study of medicine with his older brother, John, at Warehouse Point, Hartford Co., Conn., where he remained for some three years, attending the lecture course at the medical department of Yale College, and graduating M.D., in March, 1831.
He first located at Orwell, Bradford Co., Pa., but removed to Elmira in 1838, and settled in general practice, where he has remained until the writing of this sketch and during his professional career. He has been very successful in the performance of the more important obstetrical operations, having given especial attention to that branch of practice. He is a member of the American Medical Association; of the New York State Medical Society; of the Chemung County Medical Society; of the Elmira Academy of Medicine; and has been president of the two last named a number of times. He has contributed articles on obstetrical operations to the Transactions of the New York State Medical Society, 1869; to the Medical Journal for May 1876; the Transactions of the Southern Medical Society of New York, etc. Dr. Chubbuck was surgeon of the Board of Enrollment for the Twenty-seventh District, New York State, until the close of the war, when he was honorably discharged ; he has been since one of the members of the Board of Examining Surgeons for pensions, and is its present president.
Dr. Chubbuck cast his first vote for Andrew Jackson, and became a member of the Republican party upon its formation; has never sought political preferment, yet, as a citizen, casts his vote for men and principles in his opinion representing justice and reform. In his varied practice in his profession, he has been ever zealous in administering to the wants of those in need of medical assistance without ever expecting remuneration , as well as attending to the wants of those able to pay for his services. During his long-continued practice he has enjoyed the confidence of a large circle of the citizens of the city of Elmira, and is now the oldest practicing physician of the city.
Dr. Chubbuck is a man of strict integrity of purpose in all his business or professional relations, of uprightness of character, genial and courteous in all his ways, unostentatious, seeking rather the private walks of life than public notoriety.
In October, 1831, he married Elizabeth A., daughter of Stephen and Elizabeth Heath, of Warehouse Point, Hartford Co., Conn. By this union there were born three children,--Benjamin S. (deceased); Hollis, died at the age of eleven; and one daughter, Emma E., wife of Clayton R. Gerity, of Elmira.
JUD SMITH was born in the town of Southport, now Ashland, Chemung Co., N.Y, April 14,1818, and is the fourth son of Solomon L. and Julia Smith. Solomon L. was a son of Timothy Smith, a native of Orange Co., N.Y., and emigrated to Cedar Creek, Chemung Co., in the year 1790. Julia, the mother of our subject, was a daughter of Samuel Seeley, also a native of Orange County, and an early settler in Chemung County, who died about 1822 or 1823. Solomon L. Smith died Nov. 6, 1847. Our subject began life as a farmer at an early age, in connection with other business interests, such as running oil, grist, saw, plaster, carding, and clothing mills, distillery, and hotel proprietor, with which his father was identified during his lifetime.
Was married Jan. 26,1849, to Rebecca Mathews, daughter of James Mathews, of Southport (now Ashland) township; to them were born five children, two of whom are married and reside in Ashland.
In politics, Mr. Smith is a Democrat; has served the town as supervisor several terms, and in the fall of 1867 was elected sheriff of Chemung County for a term of three years, which office he filled with credit to himself and satisfaction to the people.
LEVI LITTLE, whose ancestors emigrated to America in company with the well-known Clinton family, of which DeWitt Clinton was a descendant, was born in the town of Blooming Grove, Orange Co., N.Y., Jan. 14,1791. He was the son of James and grandson of Archibald Little. He learned the trade of a saddler and harness-maker, at which he worked some years. He served fifteen months in the war of 1812, and was detailed with his company to guard the city of New York, and was honorably discharged . On the 11th of May, 1816, he married Abigail Smith, of Monroe, Orange Co., N.Y., where she was born in 1795. There were twelve children born to them, eight of whom survive.
In 1819 they emigrated to Chemung County, at the mouth of Baldwin Creek, General Sullivan’s “ old battleground;” and from there to the town of Baldwin, where himself and estimable wife spent the remainder of their lives. They experienced the usual hardships and privations of pioneer life, but by industry and enterprise surmounted the many difficulties of their position. Mr. Little had an ancestral legacy of $300, which is all he ever received other than by his own efforts. He purchased one hundred acres of land of Judge Thompson, who was agent for the proprietors, for which he paid three dollars per acres. Upon this he erected a log cabin, which served as the home of the family from 1819 until 1834, when their circumstances warranted the erection of a frame dwelling, which in turn (in 1857) gave way for the present handsome family residence located between Elmira and Van Etten. Mr. Little was a large contributor towards the erection of the church of North Chemung, and took a lively interest in public affairs in general. Mr. Little died, March 31,1862, aged seventy-one years, after a long and useful career, deeply regretted by all to whom he was known. It was the good fortune of his wife to linger to a ripe old age, and live to see the wilderness transformed into a thriving village, and her sons and daughters its most prosperous and respected citizens, three of the sons holding offices of confidence and trust. The entire fourscore years of Mrs. Little’s life were marked by a more than ordinary power of mind and strength, that up to the last moment of her existence she commanded the admiration of all. Her last days were brightened and made glad in the satisfaction of seeing that the exemplary principles for good she had labored to inculcate in her children had not been in vain, and made them worthy of esteem. She died Feb. 5,1875, in the eightieth year of her age.
LAUREN A. TUTTLE, Prominent among the citizens of Big Flats-- men who by business activity, fair dealing and foresight conduced to the prosperity of the town and village----were the brothers, Lauren A. and William A. Tuttle. Lauren A., the elder, was born at Windham, Greene Co., N.Y., Dec.11803. With the learning obtained at the district school, at the age of sixteen he engaged as a clerk in the country store of his uncle, and at the age of twenty-one was taken into business with him, as a partner. He remained there until July, 1837.
May 31,1832, he married Miss Mary Ann Butler, of Greene County, N.Y.
Having accumulated a capital of $3000, Mr. Tuttle left Windham in 1837, and with his horse and carriage journeyed westward in search of a favorable location for his business.
After visiting several places in Western New York, he settled at Big Flats, and formed a copartnership with his brother, William A.
The firm soon became prosperous in trade with the settlers of the fertile valley and of the well-timbered country surrounding. By close attention to legitimate business they were saved from the snare which so frequently entraps men in prosperity, that of entering into unwise and unprofitable speculation; while their integrity and good faith made them shun debt, which , as a whirlpool, so frequently engulfs the incautious trader. They never were obliged to compromise with creditors by paying a percentage; neither did they distress their debtors, or urge them to trade beyond their means.
Such characters seldom fail to win the respect and confidence of the people. Both brothers have held the office of supervisor of the town, William A. having been elected and re-elected several times, as also to the office of town clerk. For more than twenty years the post-office was kept at their store, one brother or the other holding the office of postmaster. No one wished for a change and no petition was circulated for that purpose while the firm remained.
In every office duty was performed without blunder and without fraud.
Mrs. L.A. Tuttle died at Big Flats, February 8,1838, leaving a child which survived her three months; her two children which were born at Windham died in infancy.
Mr. Tuttle did not marry again. Baptized at Windham, he continued a member of the Episcopal Church, was confirmed by Bishop De Lancey, continued a faithful communicant, and as a crowning act of a long and useful life he contributed the magnificent sum of three thousand dollars toward the erection of St. John’s Church, Big Flats, a beautiful Gothic structure, both an ornament to the village and a memorial that, although he now rest from his labor, his work does follow him.
At the organization of the parish in 1861, Mr. L. A. Tuttle was elected senior warden , and continued in that office until his death, March 19,1875, having worked no ill to his neighbors, but doing justice, loving mercy, and walking humbly with his God.
WILLIAM A. TUTTLE was born at Windham, Greene Co., N.Y., Sept. 10,1810. Was educated in the district school of that place, and like his brother, Lauren A., began life as a clerk in a country store.
About the year 1836 he removed from Windham to Reading, Steuben, now Schuyler Co., N.Y. He began business there at first on his own account, and soon afterwards in partnership with his brother, Perez S. Tuttle. April 17,1838, he married Miss Mary Ross, of Reading, and removed to Big Flats in the autumn, entering into business with his brother, Lauren A.
An unswerving Democrat, he always held office when his party was successful; that of supervisor several times, and more than once was elected town clerk. When that party was in power he was postmaster, but if defeated the office passed over to his brother Lauren.
In his intercourse with his neighbors he was kind and helpful; his counsel was sought in many cases of business embarrassment, or other trouble. His religious education was Episcopal. Baptized into the church at Trinity, Windham ,yet circumstances prevented him from an active member.
His life was without reproach. At his death he left to his family a pattern of domestic virtue worthy of imitation. He died April 4,1864, leaving one daughter, Mrs. Margaret McNulty, of Big Flats, and two sons, William Edgar and Charles O. Tuttle, who with their mother reside in the village of Horseheads. Their brother, Henry L., died in 1862, at the age of fourteen.
The memory of Lauren A. and William A. Tuttle will not soon fade; their good deeds were not “ interred with their bones,” but will bless many generations of grateful citizens..
VARNUM McDOWELLthe subject of this sketch, was born Nov. 18,1795, in the town of Dracut, Middlesex Co., Mass., neat the city of Lowell. While he was quite young his parents moved to Charlestown, N.H., where he obtained a liberal education. During the war of 1812 he served in Captain Warner’s company, and went to Claremont to oppose the British, but hearing that the enemy had passed down the St. Lawrence the troops were dismissed. In 1814 he was drafted to serve as a drummer, but failed to get into active service. In 1816 he started with a horse and wagon, containing a chest of tools, to find his two brothers , who had previously emigrated to New York State. He arrived in the town of Chemung (now Erin) Jan.1,1817, where his brothers had located. He then commenced to clear away the timber and erect a house of pine logs on the farm which he still owns. He married Elizabeth Jay in 1823, a union which has been blessed by six children , all living, except one who died in the West at the age of twenty-two.
Mr. McDowell was the first collector in the town, and for sixteen subsequent years held some local office, when his failing eyesight compelled him to decline further honors. He then turned his attention to the improvement of his farm. Politically he was an old-line Whig until 1856, when he joined the Democratic party, the principles of which he has since advocated. In 1865, at the age of seventy years, he retired from his farm., and with his wife , located in the city of Elmira, there to spend the remainder of an industrious and honorable life. Of a social and generous disposition, he gave with a liberal hand from the plenty with which he was blessed, and always sought to promote the best interests of his town and country. Of the strictest honesty and integrity, both himself and companion are loved and honored by their many acquaintances.
DAVID J. PARK was born in 1798, at what is now Bloomsburg, NY. In early youth his parents moved to Wyalusing, Pa., and a few years later farther up the Susquehanna to Wysox, in Bradford County, where he lived until he was twenty-two years of age. He then moved with his parents to what is now the town of Erin, in Chemung County. They found the country densely timbered , but they commenced, like other pioneers , to erect a home. Four years later his father and mother both died within a week of each other. He was thus left to support a family of sisters in a “howling wilderness,” with no neighbor nearer than four miles. Hardship and privations stared him in the face, but he resolved to remain. With unflagging energy he labored until fifty acres were paid for; by frugality and industry he added acre to acre until he became an extensive land owner.
In 1824 he married Miss Susan E. Park, by whom he had eleven children,--three sons and eight daughters,-- all of whom are living near the old homestead, with the exception of the youngest daughter , who is deceased. Even under the disadvantageous surroundings of his life in the woods, he determined to give his children the advantage of an education. Eight of the ten now living have been school-teachers. His eldest son remembers being often carried on his father’s back part of the way to school.
In politics he was a Jacksonian Democrat; but his highest ambition was to do his part well in his own sphere, and with few exceptions , he declined all public honors and emoluments. In religious faith he was a Presbyterian. He was a man of integrity and of generous impulses. He died at the age of seventy-three, on the farm where he had lived more than half a century. His wife survives him at the present time (1878), with her mental powers still strong, the honored grandmother of fourteen children.
A.H. Parks, oldest son of David Parks , is a man of prominence in the town; was elected town clerk at the early age of twenty-one; since which time he has held the important position of town superintendent of public schools and supervisor ; was also postmaster of State Road Post-office for fifteen years. The station at Park , on the Utica, Ithaca and Elmira Railroad, where he now resides, was named in his honor. Besides being a charter member of Southern Lights Lodge of F.A.M., he has filled other honorable stations in both church and State.
James J.,. the second son , has been twice supervisor of the town, and has held various other positions of honor and Trust.
Byron T., the youngest son, has attained notoriety in the political world by his opposition to secret societies, having been one of the presidential electors on the anti-Masonic ticket at the last election . The sons are all men of character and integrity.
HENRY FARR , One of the pioneer citizens of the town, as well as one of the oldest residents of Chemung County, was Henry Farr, the subject of this sketch.
His parents, Richard and Jane (Quinn) Farr, emigrated from England to the parish of Glenavey, county of Antrim, Ireland, where Henry was born, in 1792, being next to the youngest in a family of five brothers and two sisters. His parents died when he was but five years old. He resided in the place of his nativity until he was twenty-eight years of age, having previously married( Feb. 14,,1815) and became the father of two children. In the year 1822 he turned his face toward America; he landed at Montreal, Canada, but immediately went to Moore, Clinton Co., N.Y., from whence, after a residence of four years, he came to Chemung County. He came first to Elmira, but remained only a few months, removing to the town of Big Flats, where he purchased land and commenced building a home for himself in the wilderness. He continued to reside there until the year 1871, when he ceased his labor and removed to the village of Horseheads, purchasing a residence on the corner of Mill and Pine Streets. There he spent the remainder of his days, enjoying the competence earned by a half-century of toil, and there he passed away from earth, Feb. 7,1877, at the ripe old age of eighty-five.
Mr. Farr was the father of six sons and five daughters, viz: John, born Jan. 12,1816, now residing at Montrose, Mo.; Valentine, born May 15,1818; Elizabeth Jane, born April 15,1823, married D.F. Brown, and died Dec. 12,1865; Esther, born March 5,1826, married A.R. Dupuy, and now living at Bath, N.Y.; Sarahette, born Aug. 17,1828, died May 3,1855; William Henry, born Jan. 28,1831; James E. April 15,1833; George W., born Oct. 2,1836, died April 25,1856; Dayton S., born Dec. 18,1839, died March 23,1841; Mary D., born Oct. 23,1845, married, Nov. 29,1877, Mr. F.H. Fisk, a merchant of Meadville, Pa. Valentine, William and James are residence of Big Flats.
Mrs. Jane Farr was the daughter of Valentine and Betsey McCann. She was born June 15,1798, in Kallade parish, county Antrim, Ireland. Her mother, Betsey Suffern, was of Scotch, descent, but her father was a native of Antrim. In 1815 she married Henry Farr, and was his companion for sixty-two years. On the fiftieth anniversary of their marriage, in 1865, they celebrated their “ golden wedding,” and in 1875, again their children, relatives and friends met to commemorate the sixtieth wedding anniversary of this venerable couple, on which occasion their pastor, Rev. C.C. Carr, on behalf of the three sons present, made a presentation of an elegant gold-mounted ebony cane to Mr. Farr,-- “ a staff to aid him in his declining years.” Two years later, Mr. Farr passed from the River of Life into the Ocean of Eternity. He left a wife, four sons and two daughters to mourn his loss. He was long an active member of the Presbyterian Church, and his life was blameless.
His widow still survives (1878) hale and hearty for one of her years,-- another example of the many of the hardiness and longevity of the north of Ireland race.
REV. CHARLES L. BACON, A.M.,son of James and Eunice Bacon, was born Jan. 12,1813, in the town of Spafford, Onondaga Co., N.Y. He spent his early life in his native town, and in the towns of Jerusalem, Yates Co., and Shelby, Orleans Co.
In early life he resolved on pursuing a course of study preparatory to profession life. Accordingly, he pursued studies preparatory to college in the Academies of Bethany and Middlebury, Genesee Co.
In June, 1834, he entered Madison University, at Hamilton, N.Y., and graduated with honor from that institution in August, 1838. He immediately took up his residence in the State of Michigan, resolving to identify himself with the moral and religious enterprises of that then young and growing State.
He was ordained as a minister of the Baptist Church, Feb. 13,1840. During seven years he labored earnestly and successfully, enduring the hardships and submitting to sacrifices incident to his calling in a new country. He served the churches of Medina, Lenawee Co., and Brooklyn, Jackson Co., as pastor, but extended his labors widely in the newly settled country circumjacent, where he is remembered as an able minister of the gospel. His health failing, in 1845 he returned to his native State, and settled in Mount Morris, in Livingston County.
In 1850 he moved to Trumansburg, Tompkins Co., where he remained fifteen years. In 1865 he moved to Reading, Schuyler Co., where (including about two years at Townsend) he remained about six years. In 1870 he settled at Big Flats, Chemung Co., where he still resides. Thus for forty years he has been an earnest and successful minister of the gospel, having baptized over five hundred persons, the fruit of his own labors; preached six hundred funeral sermons, and married about five hundred couples. When the life of the nation was menaced by traitors he took a decided stand for the Union, and labored day and night to create a public sentiment to sustain the government, and fill the decimated ranks of our army. He has also been a faithful advocate of the temperance reform, and all other causes calculated to elevate his fellow-men.
He had been twice married. His first wife was Miss Mary L. Baker, of Hamilton, N.Y. His present wife was Mrs. Sarah Minier, widow of the late Henry Minier, Esq., of Big Flats; both ladies of intelligence and refinement, and every way qualified to be the soul and centre of a truly Christian home. Blest with a competence, they are spending the evening of life in “ otium cum dignitate,” but ever ready to perform those kindly offices which tend to promote the happiness and well-being of those around them.
REUBEN M. MUNDY, a veteran of the war of 1812, was a native of the State of New Jersey, born near the city of New Brunswick, Feb. 28,1793. He was married on the 4th day of November, 1818, to Hannah Mundy, of Barton, Tioga Co., N.Y., who was born there May 17,1793. The following are the names and dates of birth of the children of Reuben M. and Hannah Mundy: Nicholas S., born at Benton , Dec. 26,1819; Catherine, born at Big Flats, Aug.13,1821; Simeon Lafayette, born at Big Flats, Feb. 10,1825; Mary Louisa, born at Big Flats, Aug. 3,1829; All are now living except Simeon L., who died by casualty, Dec. 18,1853.
Rueben M. Mundy moved into the town of Big Flats in or about the year 1820, and settled upon a farm of two hundred and twenty-five acres, which he purchased of Jonathan Roberts on the 14th day of June, 1820. This farm is now owned by Nicholas S., and to it have been added nearly three hundred acres, making it perhaps the most valuable, as it is one of the most productive farms in the county.
Rueben M. Mundy was a successful farmer. To the business of agriculture he devoted all his energies , and was repaid with prosperity and wealth. In his tastes and habits he was more intent upon attaining celebrity as a good farmer than honors as a politicians, although very decided in his political opinions, which were those of an old-line Whig. Later in life, on the formation of the Republican party, he acted with the Democrats. He was remarkable for decision of character, and by integrity, charitableness, and fair dealing he held a high place in the estimation of all who knew him. He died at Big Flats, Jan. 23,1862, and Mrs. Mundy at Big Flats, April 26,1868.
Nicholas S. Mundy lives on the homestead farm, and cultivates this with its added acres. Like his father, he is proud to be a successful tiller of the soil, which yearly yields him ample returns, enabling him to render aid to many who are the objects of his bounty and munificence. For the past twenty-five years he has a specialty of the culture of tobacco, being among the first to embark in that line of production in the valley. He has devoted a large acreage to this special product, averaging about twenty acres per annum and in the year 1870 had some forty-two acres under cultivation, for the curing of which he has a large number of houses , which are superior both in durability and neatness of finish. Mr. Mundy is active and enterprising and gives promise pf many years of usefulness.
The sisters of Mr. Mundy are Catherine, the wife of Alfred Hughson, of Big Flats, and Mary Louisa, the wife of George H. Owens, Of Elmira.
JOHN TEN BROOK was born in somerset Co., N.J., Aug.5,1767. His father and grandfather, both of the same name, were born respectively Dec. 21,1738 and Dec.9,1715. The latter died at the age of twenty-three years, three months before the birth of his only child. The ancestry has been traced no farther back on the father’s side. The mother of John Ten Brook, of Elmira, Charity Van Neste by name, was directly descended from Sarah Rappelye, the first white child born in what is now New York City, whose birth took place July 7,1625, when the little colony was in peril of starvation. The governor called at the house the day after the birth of this child and inquired of the mother of they had any bread.; she replied that they had none; he, unwilling to accept the answer , searched the house, and found one Indian dumpling which he divided, taking one-half and leaving the other. On the next day a cargo of provisions arrived, and the governor sent to the Rappelyes a measure of flour. John Ten Brook’s father was colonel of a New Jersey regiment of militia in the Revolution; his regiment was called out, and the son could remember to have gone to the camp with supplies for his father. When the war was over the father sold his farm for $9000, and from the patriotic conviction that the government would not allow the holders of its paper to suffer, took the whole sum in Continental money. This was soon worthless. The family removed to the west branch of the Susquehanna, in the State of Pennsylvania, where the subject of this sketch was married in 1793, to Allie Low. Also of New Jersey birth and Holland descent, and settled on wild land one and a half miles northwest of Horseheads, which property he still owned at the time of his death, in 1843. He died while on a visit to Lenawee Co., Mich., and was buried there. His wife died in 1832, and was buried at the Marsh meeting house. Both were members of the church assembling there , and the husband one of the deacons. He was long clerk of the Baptist Church first formed in 1796 at Chemung, and was about fifteen years one of the overseers of the poor of the town of Elmira. Of this marriage were:
1. Anna, born in 1794; married to John Mead , farmer, about 1816; removed to lenawee Co., Mich., about 1833, where both died, leaving children and grandchildren. Both were members of the Baptist Church.
2. Rebecca, born in 1796; married to William McNulty, farmer of Big Flats, about 1820; died on 1821.
3.Catherine , born in 1798; married about 1819 to Jsbez Fisk, farmer of the town of Veteran. Mr. Fisk was a soldier in the war of 1812, and was severely wounded at the sortie at Fort Erie by a ball passing between the neckbone and windpipe, for which he always received a pension. They removed to Lenawee Co., Mich., about 1833. They raised a family of thirteen children. Both are dead.
4. William, born in 1800, farmer; married to Nancy Miller in 1828; removed to Lenawee Co., Mich., in 1832; has been several times supervisor and justice of the peace; has long been a deacon of the Baptist Church and still survives. He has had no children but an adopted daughter. His wife died in September, 1878.
5. Garret, born in 1803; married about 1825 to Hannah Gannon; removed to Lenawee Co., Mich., in 1831, with the first company that went from the neighborhood. And which was nearly two months in reaching their destination. He served as justice of the peace of his township, being the same which contained a part of the village amd now city of Adrian. He went to Mississippi in the war of the Rebellion to aid an adopted son , for which he was too late; his own system became charged with malaria. He died in 1868 and his wife survived him but a week.Both were members of the Baptist Church. They left a considerable family.
6. John, born in 1805, farmer; married to Jane Abison about 1836; removed to Lenawee Co., Mich., about 1845, where he died about 1864, leaving his wife and four children, one having died about about the same time with himself. The eldest son, William, served in the late civil war, in which he reached the rank of captain; was wounded at the battle of the Wilderness, but on recovery returned to duty. John Ten Brook was a member of the Baptist Church, and his widow is now a member.
7. Allie, born in 1807; married to George Livesay, farmer, in 1826; removed to Lenawee Co., Mich., in 1831, where she died about 1867, leaving her husband and a large family. Both were members of the Baptist Church.
8. Margaret, born in 1809; married in 1840 to Alexander Brooks of Factoryville, Tioga Co., N.Y., as his second wife. Her husband died in 1875. She survives and is a member of the Baptist Church in Waverly. Has no children of her own.
9. Lydia, born in 1812, and died in 1814, and was of the few, if not the first buried near the meeting-house which was then being built, but never finished, near the residence of Mr. Joseph Hoystings.
10.Andrew, born Sept. 21,1814; graduated A.B. in 1839; in theology in 1841; pastor of Baptist Church in Detroit, Mich., 1841-44; started the Michigan Christian Herald in 1842; was married in 1842 to Sarah Gilbert of Utica, N.Y., and again in 1868 to Mrs. Emma Smoot, of Washington, D.C.; professor of mental and moral philosophy in the University of Michigan, 1844-51; editor of the Baptist Register, it was removed to New York
City; consul of the United States to Munich, Bavaria, 1856-62; and librarian of the University of Michigan ,1864-77; He has contributed much to periodical literature in the quarterlies and monthlies, and has published a volume entitled “ American State Universities and the University of Michigan,” pp.410,Svo: Cincinnati, 1875. O seven children, he has only a daughter and son surviving.
11. George V.N., born in 1817; graduated A.B in 1842; in theology in 1845; preached in several Baptist Churches in Western Michigan; was twice married; had a son by his first wife, and a daughter by his second, and died at Centreville, Cass Co., in 1856.
|12.Cornelius L., born April 15,1819: was married to Martha Smith, Sept. 26,1844; is a farmer by occupation, but has taught school, and has made some attainments in both vocal and instrumental music. The children are three daughters , named Ann Eliza, Margaret, and Louie, and a son, named John. He lives in the town of Catlin, Chemung Co., in which he is now serving his third term as a justice of the peace, during one of which he was one of the judges of the county. He and his wife are both members of the Baptist Church, and he is now doing religious service as superintendent of the Union Sunday-school in Pine Valley. His wife has been for four years past helpless from paralysis. He is the only member of this large family who has remained in the immediate neighborhood of the father’s first settlement.
HENRY BACKER , the subject of this sketch, was born in the town of Lebanon, Hunterdon Co., N.J. Sept. 25,1815. His father, Matthias Backer, and his grandfather, Christopher Backer, were both born in Hunterdon County. His great-grandfather , Matthias Backer, was born in Germany, and came to this country in 1750. His ancestry on his mother’s side was from Holland. He was the oldest of eleven children. When he was sixteen years of age his father came to Catlin, which was then one dense forest. When he was twenty-two years of age he devoted his time to study , and fitted himself for school-teaching, in which he engages for some time. He has held numerous offices of trust. He finally devoted his whole time to farming and has become a substantial farmer , and by constant labor and good management has acquired a comfortable home. He resides on the old homestead of one hundred and sixty acres.
At the age of twenty-eight he married Julia Gould, an estimable young lady, seven and one-half years his junior. Four children have blest their home, the older two of whom died in infancy. The remaining two have grown to womanhood and engage in school-teaching.
The subject of this sketch is sixty-three years of age, is in good health, energetic, strong will, and has always been an early riser, to which may be attributed his good health and youthful appearance.
Julia Gould Backer, wife of the above was born March 16,1823, in Sussex Co., N.J., the daughter of Gideon and Mary Gould. When Julia was six years if age her father died, leaving her mother with six children.
In 1835 the mother and children came to Catlin to reside. At the age of twenty she was married to Henry Backer. She has always been a devoted wife and a faithful mother. Her health has been of the best until latterly. She comes of a long-lived family on her mother’s side, and has a fine constitution.
satisfactory to the present time.