Chemung County NY
History of Tompkins, Schuyler, Chemung, Tioga 1879
Page 286 - Stephen Tuttle Biography
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1879 Four County History - Table of Contents
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Stephen Tuttle. Among the earliest settlers, and one of the pioneer tradesmen, of Elmira, was he whose name heads this brief sketch. His name, along with those of two others, -Lyman Covell and John Arnot, -stand as landmarks of pioneer merchandising; and a review of their lives is necessarily to recall many reminiscences of the trade and barter of those early days, when each laid the foundation of the fortunes they subsequently acquired. Of the three, Lyman Covell alone remains, -a living link between the past and present.

Stephen Tuttle, the father of our subject, was a native of Connecticut. In an early day he moved westward to Peekskill, N. Y., and later, with the onward march of civilization, to Tioga Point (now Athens), Pa. Subsequently (about 1809) he removed with his family to Wilkesbarre, in the same State. He married Lydia Lyman, of Canaan, Conn., and their family consisted of three children, -Sally, who married Mr. Bennett; Orilla, wife of Dr. Matthew Covell, of Wilkesbarre, and mother of Robert Covell; and Stephen, the youngest, and subject of this notice. Mr. Tuttle died at Wilkesbarre, in 1809. His wife Lydia, survived him many years, and died at Elmira. Sally Bennett died at Fishkill Landing, N. Y.

Stephen Tuttle, son of the above, was born Aug. 4, 1772, in Canaan, Conn. With his father’s family he made the successive moves before mentioned, from his native State to Wilkesbarre, and from thence to Athens, Pa., where he resided but a short time, returning again to Wilkesbarre. He married, at the last-named place, Mary A., a step-daughter of the late Judge Matthias Hollenbeck. She was born in 1774, and died in January, 1861, aged eighty-seven years.

Stephen Tuttle came to Elmira, from Wilkesbarre, in the year 1818. But he commenced his mercantile career many years before his advent in Chemung County, during his residence in Pennsylvania. At Athens he carried on a store, in partnership with his father-in-law, Judge Hollenbeck; and at Wilkesbarre he was not only a merchant, but also carried on a farm. From the time Robert Covell came to Elmira, in 1807, Mr. Tuttle was interested with him in business, until about the year 1830, when they dissolved, being thus associated together for more than twenty-two years, carrying on a business both extensive and profitable, and "winning the entire confidence of a large run of customers." Tuttle & Covell’s store was located on Water Street, just east of the Lake Street bridge, and nearly opposite the old Tuttle mansion, which was afterwards remodeled and changed into a hotel. He was also, and subsequent to his dissolution with Robert Covell, connected with John Arnot, Esq., in business on the corner of Lake and Water Streets. Associated with Guy Maxwell, he built, near the junction of the Newtown Creek with the Chemung River, one of the first flouring-mills in this section of the State, -persons often coming here from Bath, and remoter points, to get their grists ground. "Tuttle’s mills," hoary with age, still stand, being operated by the grandchildren of Mr. Tuttle, who have derived title by devise or inheritance from Mrs. John Arnot, his only child, who died Dec. 6, 1877.

He retired from active business several years prior to his death, on account of paralysis, which rendered him an invalid in his later years. He died in this city (Elmira), Jan. 12, 1851, at the advanced age of seventy-eight years. five months, and eight days. His remains repose, along with those of his wife and daughter, in Woodlawn Cemetery. His granddaughter, Mrs. Mary A. Ogden, is living at High Bridge, N. Y.

Mr. Tuttle was not alone renowned for his successful business life; he was noted for his firmness, his sterling integrity, and his active benevolence. He was the firm friend and supporter of churches and schools, and liberal to the poor, not only giving himself, but inciting and urging others to like charitable deeds. He was a man of robust intellect, and possessed of a strong physical constitution; active and energetic, he was foremost in all enterprises tending to the advancement of the interests of Elmira and vicinity. He was the president of the first board of trustees of the village of Elmira; but through all his long and active life, whether in official position or private station, he contributed largely to the support of religious institutions and whatever else was conducive to good order and the advancement of society.

"Requiescat in pace."

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