Orson Walbridge, the writer of this biography was born on the 14th day of September, 1809, at the town of Burlington, Otsego County, New York, was a son of Stephen and Eunice Walbridge, lived with his parents at Burlington until June, 1819, when they removed to Springwater, N.Y. Arrived at Springwater the 30th day of June, and went to live on the west hill, on lot No. 113, which is now known as the Edward Totten farm; attended school at the old log school house where the house known as the liberty pole school house now is; worked on the farm summers and attended school in the winter; assisted some in clearing the land which was mostly woods when we went there; cleared about fifty acres in the six years we were there, after which my father removed to the Valley on to the farm now owned by R. H. Wiley and where his hop yard now is; continued to live with my parents; worked on the farm in the summer and attended district school some in the winter for three or four years longer; made my home with my parents until the spring of 1881, when they moved on to the east bill near Tabor’s Corners, at which time I left and provided a home for myself in the Valley.
In the summer of 1829 I commenced to work at the carpenter and joiner trade, and assisted in building a store for Z. B. Grover, on the corner where Morris & Grover’s store now stands. The next season worked some at the trade, a part of the time at Dansville, for Jabes and Sedley Sill, on the paper mill being built by them; in the fall engaged in the business of butchering and peddling meat, in company with Solomon K. Lawrence. In the spring of 1831 was elected a constable for the town of Springwater, and was kept quite busy, this being the last year of the law of imprisonment for debt, the law having been repealed to take effect on the first day of March, 1832; and as the merchants and others having outstanding debts were suing and trying to collect and making it lively times for justices and constables, but not very profitable, as the fees were not more than half what they are now. On the 5th day of June, 1831, I was married to Eliza Frost, daughter of Jonathan Frost. She was born in the town of Hartford, Washington County, N. Y., on the 30th day of January, 1809. She came to Springwater with her parents in the fall of 1880. We lived in the Valley until the fall of 1832. On the second day of September, 1832, our first child was born, a daughter. She died when but a few days old. On the first day of November, 1882, we removed up south of the Valley, near where the fish ponds now are, built a log house to live in, and commenced to build a saw mill for Thos. L. Spafard; worked through the winter and started the mill in the spring; employed Samuel Culver to oversee the mill work, and worked with him myself, which was the first of my working at millwright work. I assisted in running the mill the first season, and in the fall rented it for one year, and run it on my own account. About the first of April, 1834, the mill took fire and burned off the upper story, and I was forced to rebuild, and as I could not find a millwright that I could employ, I was compelled to be my own boss, and in a little over two weeks we had the mill in running order again. On the first day of October, 1884, we moved back to the Valley, which has been my home ever since, except a few times going away to do a short job of work. After this I continued to work at carpenter, joiner and millwright work for many years. On the 12th day of February, 1837, our second child was born, Eunice S. Walbridge, who is now living with me in the same house in which she was born. In the spring of 1889, I took a job of building a meeting house for the Christian church on east hill; went up there and built the house and came back in the fall to where I now am. In the spring of 1889, I was elected one of the commissioners of highways of Springwater with Green Waite and Harvey Morley, and served as such for that year. In the spring of 1840, 1 took the job to build the Presbyterian church in the Valley and built it during that summer, and continued to work at the trade as I received calls. In June, 1842, I went to Burns, Allegany County, N.Y., and put up a church frame for the Little John Presbyterians. On the 30th day of June, 1842, our third child was born, a son, George H. Walbridge, who died on the 26th day of September, 1847. In the spring of 18, I got the “Michigan fever,” or a desire to go West and see what I could see; so in April I went up to Hilladale, Mich., and stopped and worked there for a spell, then went to Jonesville and put up the Episcopal church at that place, ,after which I came home about the last of August and was soon taken down with malarial or Michigan fever, and came near to death’s door, but was spared for that time, as my work was not all done. Between 1840 and 1850, 1 was elected commissioner of highways of Springwater for five years in succession, and served the town as such whether good or bad, I leave the people to decide. About this time worked mostly at millwright work. In 1847 assisted in building a steam saw mill for Gilbert and Scribner, in the town of Ossian, Allegany County, and a house for Christopher Ford, where Mrs. Barber Eldridge now lives. In 1848 built over the old grist mill for Thos. M. Fowler, where Wm. Brewer’s south mill is. In 1849, helped to remove the old Fowler mill from the big gull over on the Cohocton stream, and built it up again where the East Springwater grist mill now is. In 1850 built a saw mill for Fowler near the grist mill. Also built a saw mill for Dr. John B. Norton where Wm. H. Norton now lives. In 1851 built an addition to the Fowler mill in the Valley, which was burned the winter following; and in the spring of 1852, D. H. Grover and myself took the contract to build a large mill with three runs of stone, for Thomas M. Fowler at the place where the old mill was burned, which job lasted us all summer. In the spring of 1853 I took a job in company with D. H. Grover to build a grist mill for Waterbury & Head on Neil’s Creek, Steuben County; also a saw mill for Salmon Waterbury on the same creek, and an addition with one run of stones to the grist mill at Liberty Corners for D. H. Wilcox, all of which we completed in seven months time. In the summer of 1854 I built a saw mill for Ithial Nickson on Twelve Mile Creek, Steuben County, which was all the mill work I did that summer, I will now go hack a little. In the spring of 1851, at the town meeting for Springwater, the people saw fit to elect me a justice of the peace of said town, to fill a vacancy, so that I commenced to do business as such justice immediately, and as the railroad was being built through this town it made business quite lively, as fights and other troubles among the workmen were very frequent and they were in the habit of calling for legal help to settle their troubles. One important event I will mention. On the night of the first of January, 1852, the Irish had a dance at the house where Frank Doughty now lives, and as they had some trouble with outsiders, and seeing a number of persons coming towards the building some one in the house fired into the company, and Edwin Barnes was killed, and Wm. Totten, D. G. Smith and others were wounded with shot. I issued warrants and over twenty of the Irish were arrested, examined and sent to jail, but the person that did the shooting could not be identified, and they were all discharged. Had they allowed Rodney Messer to have blown up the house with a keg of powder, as he wanted to, I think they might have got the right one. After this I continued to hold the office of justice until the first of January, 1862, and worked some at my trade and did such official business as I was called on to do. At the election in November 1855, I was elected session justice for Livingston County, and served as such for the year 1856. Now this brings to mind the officers of this judicial district. The justices of the Supreme Court were Thomas A. Johnson, of Conning; Henry Welles, of Penn Yan; E. Darwin Smith, of Rochester; the others name I do not now recall. The county judge was George Hastings, of Mt. Morris; and David Gray, of Livonia, was the other session justice. They have all finished their labors and gone to their reward and I alone am left to tell the story. I will mention some of the prominent lawyers that have passed away that were then in the habit of attending court at Geneseo: Orlando and Truman Hastings, of Rochester; Adolphus Skinner, of Batavia; Luther C. Peck, of Nunda; Martin drover, of Angelica; Benjamin Harwood, of Dansville; Reuben P Wisner, of Mt. Morris; Wm. H Kelsey, Amos A. Handa, Scott Lord, of Geneseo; Harvey J Wood, of Lima; John Wilkinson and Joseph Smith, of Dansville. They are all dead, and there are but few now that I can call to mind living. I will mention a few that were then active lawyers and are still engaged in their profession: James Wood, A. J. Abbott, Solomon Hubbard, John A. Van Derlip, James Adams and Hon. Edwin A. Nash were then young lawyers and were about commencing business. But to return to myself; I continued to work at my trade and do justice business until the fall of 1858, when I was taken with sciatic rheumatism, and was confined to my house all winter, and was not able to do any work, except to attend my garden, until the spring of 1860, when I had so far recovered as to be able to commence working at my trade; and having a call from the trustees of the Universalist society at Liberty Corners, I went and assisted them in putting up a church frame, and then D. H. Grover and myself finished the church for them, which took the most of the summer. In the spring of 1861, I was elected supervisor of Springwater, which was the time of the commencement of the war of the Rebellion, and we had lively times in filling the calls of the President for volunteers, and raising bounties to get them to enlist; but we had very good success in finding troops, and as time passed along until the winter of 1862, I was again attacked with rheumatism, and was confined to my house for a long time. At the town meeting in the spring of 1862, I was again elected supervisor without opposition, though at the time I was confined to my bed by sickness. At the meeting of the board of supervisor that year I was chosen chairman of the board, and served them as such during the year though suffering some from rheumatism. At the town meeting for 1868, Thomas M. Fowler was elected supervisor, and I did not hold any town office for that year. In the spring of 1864, 1 was elected a constable and collector of the town and collected one of the large taxes during the war. In the spring of 1865, I was again elected supervisor of the town, and served at the close of the war. The next year Albert M. Withington took my place as supervisor, and I was again a free man without being a servant of the people or holding any town office. But as time passed on to the spring of 1868, I was again elected a justice of the Peace of the town, which office I have held the most of the time since, and excepting two short vacancies, and am now holding said office, which term will expire on the last day of December next. Having got through with giving my official history I will now go back to 1871. This year I helped erect the Advent Christian church in Springwater, which was about the last I did at such kind of work, though I have worked some at the trade since. On the fifth day of December 1871, my wife died with typhoid pneumonia after we had lived together just forty years and six months to a day, having been married on the fifth day of June, 1831, and since then I have been living with my daughter as house keeper where I am now and where I have lived for over fifty years, and in the same house where my daughter was born. and having gone through with this lengthy though brief description of myself and family, I will close by giving my most sincere and devout thanks and praise to God for his mercy and goodness towards me in sparing my life to a good old age, and for the many mercies and blessings he has daily bestowed upon me as well as to my friends, citizens of Springwater, for the many favors and benefits they have freely bestowed upon me, and my prayer is that God will reward them if I am not able to do so.
I will now mention a family of Dyers that were born in the town of Benson, Vermont. I will give the names of those who came to Springwater to live, as they come in order of age: Lima, born in 1802, came to Springwater in 1882, and died here in 1873; and Horatio Dyer, born in 1805, came to Springwater in 1828, and engaged in mercantile business. He married Electa A. Southworth, daughter of Alva Southworth, Esq. They raised a family of four children, two sons and two daughters. After a few years he quit selling goods and engaged in farming. He was successful in both trade and farming, and in 1884, he sold his farm and removed to Dansville where he and his two sons, Solon S. and Frank, engaged extensively in the mercantile business, in which they continued until his death, which was in 1880, his wife having died a few years previous. The two sons are still continuing the business at the old place. The daughters are also living at Dansville. One is Mrs. Marcus 0. Austin, and the other Mrs. Charles Stephen. Thomas T. Dyer, another of the family first mentioned, was born in 1810 He came to Springwater In 1829, and was engaged in a store of his brother’s for many years. He was also postmaster here for a few years. He finally got married and went to the state of Ohio, where he resided until some eight or ten years since, when his wife died and he came back to Springwater and remained here until his death, which happened in 1882. The father of this family having previously died, the mother came West in 1832, to Richmond, N. Y., where she was attacked with cholera and died, and Lima came to Springwater to live with her brother Horatio. The youngest son of the family, Daniel E. Dyer, was born in Benson, Vermont, on the 22nd day of November, 1817, and remained there until the fall of 1834, when he came to Springwater to live, and where he has made it his home ever since. He first tried farming, then teaching school, after which he tried selling goods by traveling from house to house. He was rather successful in business, in about 1842 or 1843, commenced selling goods at the old store on the corner where Allen & Whitlock now are, and continued the business for ten or twelve years. On the 13th day of September, 18, he married Cordelia H. Day, daughter of Dr. Elisha C. Day. She was born in Cohecton, Sullivan County, N. Y., May 18th, 1817. Dyer was engaged in selling goods at the time the railroad was being built, from 1850 to 1853, and had the most of the Irish trade, and sold a large amount of goods and made considerable money, but soon after this his health failed and he retired from the business, and is now trying to enjoy the fruits of his labors of earlier days, and having no children and no one but himself and wife to provide for, and having an abundance of means, he has taken it upon himself to look after the wants of the widows and orphans, and is very liberal in supplying the wants of such as he considers deserving poor about him; and there are many that will remember with grateful hearts the assistance they have received from him in time of need.
Edward Withington, married his first wife in Stoughton, Mass., and settled in Dorchester, and from there in 1813 he moved to Windsor, Berkshire County, and from there he came with his family to Springwater, in the spring of 1813, and settled on the farm now occupied by Samuel Wheaton. Mr. Withington married for his first wife Nancy Monk, (She was a relative of Bezi Monk late of this town,) by whom he had seven children. He buried three of his children and his first wife in Mass. He married for his second wife Susan Chilson, by whom he had two children, Albert M. Withington and Benjamin Franklin Withington. A sad accident occurred with Franklin. I think it was in 1834, when he was about 6 years old, on returning from school in company with his brother, Albert, they were riding on a buck-board on a two-horse wagon. When he arrived opposite his home he jumped from the wagon, but not clearing the wheel, he was run over and fatally injured, and died the same night. The children of Edward by his first wife who came to Springwater with him were, Nathaniel P., Hiram, Samuel H., and Nancy Monk Withington. Hiram went south to live in 1840, and settled in Memphis, Tenn., where in 1878 he died. Nancy married Hon. Wm. Webber in 1849, and settled in East Saginaw, Mich. He is a prominent lawyer and one of the leading men of the state. Nathaniel and Samuel are still living here with their families, having retired from the active business of life. Albert is also in this place, engaged in the warehouse business, buying and selling grain, and at present in company with George E. Withington, son of S. H. Withington.
Mr. Withington lost his second wife in 1832, some time after which he married her older sister, Lydia Chilson. Mr. Withington’s farm consisted of about 200 acres. When he settled on it in 1831, it was quite new and unimproved, but under his judicious management it became one of the best farms in town. The fall before he moved here he brought from Windsor a flock of about 200 fine Saxony sheep. He in company with two of his sons, Hiram and Samuel, drove the sheep to Albany, and from there to Utica he took them by the Erie canal, and from there to Springwater drove them by land, averaging about 20 miles a day. The sheep were wintered by General S. U. Chamberlain, and Hiram assisted in the care of them through the winter. Samuel stayed through the winter with Jonathan Bassett in Canandaigua, and came on to Springwater in the spring with the family.
Mr. Withington died Sept. 25, 1855, and his wife died Oct. 17, of the same year. There were five heads of families buried the same day that Mr. Withington was buried. A great many of the people died by a terrible epidemic that prevailed extensively in town that season. Samuel and Nathaniel carried on the farm after their father’s death until 1868, when they sold to Allen Becker, and by him it was sold to Samuel Wheaton the present occupant.
Jonathan Frost came to Springwater from Hartford, Washington Co., N.Y., in 1830 He purchased of David Luther the old tannery property near where Maurice Brown lived. He repaired the tannery and went quite extensively into the business of tanning leather and manufacturing boots and shoes, which he continued for about fifteen years, when he sold the property to Joseph C. Whitehead who continued the business for a number of years. But to return to Jonathan Frost and give a brief description of his family. He married Tamor Ballou. They had eight children, two sons and six daughters I will mention them in their order. Elvira married James C. Van Duze. They are now living at Almond village, Allegany County, N.Y. Eliza married Orson Walbridge and lived in Springwater until her death, which was on the 5th day of Dec., 1871. John J. Frost, the oldest son, married Ann Johnson, of Groveland. They are now living in the town of Ossian. Mary M. married John Jennings and lived in Springwater for many years. They are now living at Sparta. Mrs. Mary Jennings died Jan. 3rd, 1887. Rebecca first married George Barber, of Groveland, who died in 1840. After about twelve years she married Rufus Chandler, of Nunda, and they soon after left for California, she crossing the Isthmus on mule back. After remaining at Walla Walla California some three years they returned to Nunda, and he volunteered and went into the Union army where he died, after which she came to Dansville to live, where she remained until her death, May 9th, 1875. Lydia Frost married David Fuller, and after a few years they removed to Wisconsin, where she died some ten years since. Electa P. married John Van Husen, of Avoca. She is now living at Dansville. David, the youngest son, is now living somewhere in Northern Wisconsin. Jonathan Frost died at Springwater, August 4th, 1857, aged 76 years, 8 months and 2 days. Tamor Frost, his wife, also died at Springwater.
Jared Erwin was born in the town of Piermont, New Hampshire, June 12th, 1797, where he continued to reside until about 1885 or 1886. He was married January 1st, 1823. He came to N.Y. state, to Rochester and then to Mt. Morris, in 1886, where his wife died on the 27th day of April, 1838, leaving him with four children, one son and three daughters, viz: Henry, now living at Mt. Morris; Emily married Carrol M. Humphrey now living at Springwater; Hellen married George Baker, and Mary married Calvin Barnes, of Conesus. The two last mentioned are both dead. After a time Mr. Erwin married a widow Arnold who had two children by her first husband, the oldest Linda E., is now Mrs. John D. Clemmons, of Springwater, the other Nathan M. Arnold is living West. After Mr. Erwin’s second marriage and in 1842, he came to Springwater and bought the Ehiakem Brown farm on West Hill, where he spent the remainder of his days. By the last wife they had three children who are all now living. Will give their names, Laura A., now Mrs. Erastus Knowles; Ann Eliza, Mrs. Winfield Janes, now of Boston: and William, now at Geneseo. Jared Erwin was a man of influence and besides being a first class farmer, he held some offices in town; was justice of the peace for a number of years, and was truly a peace maker, for he always discouraged lawsuits. I believe he did not issue but one summons during his term of office, and then he got the parties to settle so that he never tried a case. He died on the 28th day of September, 1871. Mrs. Erwin survived him and continued to live at the old homestead until July 12th, 1884, at which time she also died.
Amos Root was born September 2nd, 1796, in the state of Vermont, came West and finally settled at Livonia, and after a time married Roena Hale, who was born October 81st, 1794, and after living at Livonia for a time they moved to the state of Ohio, and not being satisfied with the country came back and stopped at Springwater, about 1827, and settled on a farm now owned by Jacob Snyder. About 1831 he bought the farm where James M. Root recently lived, and moved on to it, where he remained until his death, which was a number of years since. His wife survived him for a considerable time and then died. When Root came to Springwater he was quite poor but after removing to the last mentioned farm he was successful in business, and after a few years was able to purchase other farms adjoining and build a fine residence, and was well prepared to enjoy his declining years, but time waits for no one and he was called to rest. They had eight children, five sons and three daughters. I will mention them. Aaron H. married Hannah Wilcox. He died long ago. Amos S. married Harriet Parshall. He died a few years since his wife still survives. James M. married Adilade Hopkins. They are now living in the village. Zara B. also married and died a number of years since. Frank is still living in town, married to a Miss Holmes. The oldest daughter, Julia Ann, married Levi Brockway and is now living on the east hill within a mile of her old home. Fanny married Nelson F. Snyder. She died a few years since. Lucina married Henry Parshall and is now living in Michigan.
Prentiss W. Shepard
Prentiss W. Shepard was born in the town of Cohocton, Steuben County, N.Y. on the 2nd day of July, 1829. After a few years moved to Naples, and married Anna Briggs in March, 1565. He came to Springwater and bought the H. H. Faskett farm on east hill. He was very successful in farming, and after a few years was able to buy other farms adjoining. Three years since he moved to Lima for the purpose of educating his children. He has three, one daughter, Mina M. Shepard, and two sons, the oldest William W. has just become of age and his father has given him a fair start by giving him the old homestead in Springwater, containing one hundred and fifty-seven acres of lend with good farm buildings; also three good horses, two colts, four cows and other young stock, and purchased new furniture to furnish his house, and all that is necessary for house-keeping except a wife, and if reports prove true he will find one for himself. The other son Vern L. is a minor, I believe about eleven or twelve years old, but his father has another farm of one hundred acres adjoining the one given to William, which he says is to be reserved for Vern L. when he is of age. He also has a six thousand dollar farm in Lima.
Levi Brockway Jr.
Levi Brockway Jr. was born in the town of Otsego, in the county of Otsego, N.Y., on the 9th day of April, 1816, where he resided until the 2nd day of March, 1832, when he came to Springwater, where he settled on the east bill, on the farm on which he has remained ever since, and on the farm his father, Levi Brock way Sr., had lived for two years previous, and where he died many years since. Levi Jr. was married on the 26th day of June, 1840, to Julia A. Root, a daughter of Amos Root, of Springwater, with whom he is still living. They have raised a family of four children, one son and three daughters, who are all married and now living within a few miles of the old homestead. Edgar married a Miss Hicks, Zalida married James M. Hudson, Hannah married Ezra Willis, and Zaide married John Salter. They arc all in comfortable circumstances. Mr. Brockway is one of our substantial farmers; has a good farm with nice buildings and comfortable surroundings, and they are well prepared to enjoy the fruits of their labors in their old age and declining years.
Ephraim Rowley came from Jamestown, Chautauqua Co., N.Y., to Springwater in 1838, and engaged in the business of running a sawmill for Andrew Spafard, and being a first-class sawyer he was in good demand as such and had charge of a number of mills in town, and continued in the business as long as he was able to do the work. He married Mary Ann Jones, by whom he had ten children, three sons and seven daughters. I will give their names. Caroline, who married Henry Barber; Hiram, Augustus B., Mary, Jane, Polley Ann, Milo, Fidelia, arid Elizabeth. There are but two now living in town, viz: Polley, Mrs. Ami Robins, and Milo, the youngest son. He married a Miss Reynolds. They have four children, Jennie, Mrs. J. S. Stark; Eugene, Charles and Nellie. Milo is 53 years old, and has had much experience in running sawmills both water and steam power, is now a carpenter and joiner by trade. Has assisted in building some very fine buildings for the past few years in and about Springwater. Ephraim and his wife are both long since dead.
Elisha T. Webster
Elisha T. Webster was horn at Granville, Washington Co., N.Y. November 29th, 1818. Came West with his father Elisha Webster, and family in the fall of 1830, and settled in Conesus, where he continued to live until 1845, when he came to Springwater, and purchased a farm at what is now the village of Webster’s Crossing on the Erie railroad, and built a sawmill, and in addition to farming, went extensively into the business of sawing lumber and shingles. He was married in 1846, to Anna M. Clemmons who is still living. They have had two children, one daughter and one son. The daughter married Harvey P. Hill, and the son married Clara Moose. They are both engaged in selling goods and general merchandise at the crossing. After the railroad was built in 1852, Webster was very active in business and assisted much in building up the village and making it quite an active business place, and a good market for grain and other products. He got a Post Office established there and he was the first postmaster. Though now sixty-eight years old he is as full of life and push as his age will allow him to be.
Maurice Brown was born at Richmond, N.Y., May 31st, 1806. He was a son of Parley Brown. He was married to Marinda Fox on the 5th day of May, 1831, and came to Canadice to live in March, 1836, and remained there until 1851, when he moved to Springwater east hill, and lived on the hill until 1859, when he came to the Valley, where he now lives and has remained since he came. He is a lawyer by profession, held the office of justice of the peace both at Canadice and at Springwater for a time, and was postmaster at Springwater for a term of years. He had a family of eleven children, four sons, and seven daughters. Only one of the sons are now living, Dr. John P. Brown of Tuscarora, Livingston County, N.Y. The others are dead long since. Of the daughters, five are living, four in Springwater and one in West Sparta. The oldest daughter, Mrs. D. B. Waite, and one younger, died a number of years since. Mrs. Brown the wife and mother died at their home in Springwater, on the 27th day of August, 1884. Since the above was written Maurice Brown died March 25th, 1887.
Prominent among the names of the early residents of West hill, is that of Ira Whitlock, who came into this town in 1886. He was born in Granville, Washington county, N.Y., where he passed the early years of his life. He was educated at the old “Granville Academy,” and after attaining his majority, he went to New York City, and for several years was employed as engineer on the Hudson and East rivers. In 1828, he came to the town of Conesus, where he engaged in the mercantile business. In 1836, he removed to this town, and in the following year was married to Miss Amelia Stuart, and settled upon what was known as the “Stoddard Redmond” farm, at the Liberty Pole, where he remained until his death, which occurred Sept. 2, 1886. Mr. Whitlock was a man of more than average intellectual ability, and from the first commanded the respect and confidence of the people. As early as 1839, he was elected cam-missioner of highways, and subsequently as assessor and justice of the peace, and in various other positions of public trust, he faithfully served the interests of the community until prevented by the infirmities of advancing age. As a surveyor his skill and accuracy were proverbial. During the active years of his life he probably surveyed more land, determined more ancient boundaries, and settled more knotty and disputed questions in that line than any other man in the country. Naturally a close observer and endowed with rare judgment and discrimination, his decisions were seldom questioned. Bold, fearless and outspoken in his convictions of right, and withal a man of uncompromising integrity, he was for many years one of the nastier spirits of the community in which he lived.
Parker H. Pierce
Parker H. Pierce was born in Little Compton, R. I., Dec. 11, 1794, removing to Boston, Mass., in 1812, where he was married to Hannah Withington, Feb. 23, 1818. He was a merchant in Boston until 1838, when he removed to Springwater, where he purchased the Zaddock Grover farm, on which he lived until 1863. He died in Springwater, June 23, 1875, and his wife March 31, 1878. His children were Parker H. Pierce, Jr., who died in St. Louis, Aug., 1872; Hannah Elizabeth, wife of Rev. Daniel B. Woods, of St. Louis, Mo.; Wm. Henry and Geo. A., who reside in Springwater; Eliza Jane, wife of Robert McCarthy, Esq., of Syracuse; and Sarah W., who married Marcus 0. Austin, in 1857, and died in Springwater, Dec., 1859.
Wm. Henry Pierce
Wm. Henry Pierce was born Dec, 27, 1826. at Boston, Mass. Came to Springwater with his parents in 1838, and worked upon his father’s farm until 1845, when he went to Boston. Was engaged in mercantile business there and in St. Louis till Jan, 1869, when he removed to Syracuse, and engaged in the wholesale hardware trade with his brother-in-law, Robert McCarthy. In 1869, owing to ill health, he was obliged to relinquish business, and returned to Springwater, where at that time he was also connected in business with his brother, Geo. A. Pierce, and where he has since resided.
Josiah Norton son of Daniel Norton, was born in the town of Otisco, Onondaga county, N. Y., and came with his parents to Springwater, in 1825 or ‘26, and after residing in and about Springwater for a number of years, he went to Canandaigua to live, and after a few years he married Elizabeth Clark in about 1873. They came to Springwater and settled at the north end of the valley, at a place where his father once lived in early days, and where they are still living. They have no children but are comfortably situated, and to all appearance are enjoying themselves as well as though they were blessed with a large family.
Daniel Mead was a native of the county of Limerick, Ireland, where he remained until 1840, when he emigrated to America, and after living in different places until 1858, he came to Springwater and bought a small farm of twenty-five acres of land, and commenced farming, and by diligence and good management, in a few years he was able to add to his farm until he now has one hundred and fifty-five acres of land, comfortable farm buildings and well provided with stock. He has also considerable money invested in lands at the West. He has four children, two sons and two daughters, all living in western states, and he and his wife are now living alone and enjoying the fruits of their hard labor, and their comfortable surroundings in their old age and declining years.
John Frazer a son of David Frazer, was born August 1, 1818, and is now living on the old farm on which his father settled in 1810. He is a well-to-do farmer, and besides his farm here he has a large amount of land in the western states. He has never married, but lives with his sister, Jane, a maiden lady, who has remained at the old home and place of their birth. They were a family of eight children. I will give the names of the remainder: Palina, now living in Erie, Penn.; James died in 1838, Elizabeth died long since, David died at West Sparta a few years since, Wm. G. is now living in Iowa, Minerva is now living at West Sparta, and is married to a man by the name of Canada.
Ozias Humphrey moved from the town of Sennet, Cayuga Co., to Springwater in the year 1836, and lived on West Hill near the Liberty Pole corners until his death in 1856. He was born in Simsbury, Connecticut, in the year 1789. He married Parnal Douglass of New Hartford, Conn. They had nine children, Leora, wife of John Wilhelm, of Conesus. Harvey D. resides at Webster’s Crossing, N. Y.; Aranda K. died in 1877, in the town of Birdsall, N.Y.; Lucy Ann married Willis Clark, of Sparta, and died in 1868; Esther M. married David Crittle, of Holly, Mich.; Correll M. resides in Springwater; Enphrasia married John M. Baird, of Holly, Mich., Mary L. died in 1852 aged 19 years; Charles resides in Almond, Allegany Co, N. Y.
John Weidman was born in the town of Sparta, Livingston Co., N.Y., on the 16th day of November, 1827. He was a son of Jacob Weidman, and one of a family of twelve children, all now living. He married Mary Ann Hartman, on the 24th day of March, 1849. In 1852 he bought the old Wadams farm, where Ezra Willis now lives, and moved to Springwater on to the said farm, where he lived for a few years, when he sold and bought a large farm of about three hundred and ten acres, on the south part of West Hill, which was mostly wild or unimproved land, but by faithful attention to business and much hard labor he has the farm well cleared, and has erected large and elegant buildings, where he can live and enjoy the fruits of his labors in his declining years. He and his wife are both hale and hearty, and bid fair for ninny years of happiness. They have six living children, Andrew, Joel, John, Jay, Mark, and Matie.
The following biographical sketch of Joel Hudson, who is still living, was written by himself for the Springwater Enterprise in 1883, he then being in his 89th year: I was born in the town of Chatham, Columbia, N.Y., on the 10th day of October, 1794. In 1799, my father went to the town of Scipio, Cayuga County, and bought 145 acres of heavy timbered land with no improvements. In the winter of 1800, we moved to Scipio with an ox team, and were about three weeks on the road. In the spring, father put up a log house with one room, about 18 feet square. For the want of boards he split out and hewed stuff to lay the upper and lower floors. He had bargained with a man the summer before to chop the timber on three acres of his land. He burned the brush, and planted it to corn in the spring, among the logs, and had a good crop. We brought two good cows with us from Columbia County, and the second spring after we moved they both died, which to us was a great loss, as we had left no others except a two-year-old heifer. Cows were very scarce; none for sale, and not much money to buy with. There were then eight in our family. Times were very hard, for there was no market short of Albany. It was almost impossible to get leather there, and we had to go the most of the time without boots or shoes. We cleared our land as fast as we could without hiring it done. When I was about 15 years old my father cut his leg very bad and bled almost to death, and never had good health after that. I was the oldest son and had to take charge of the business, and I well recollect that I took as much interest in it as I ever did of my own.
It was some eight or ten years before we had any addition to our little house. We built a log barn too. All the settlers in that part of the town had log houses and barns. The tools used seventy-five years ago were very different from those used now. If our young men of the present time should see such a plow as the first one I remember seeing, they might not guess what it was made for. The iron part, called the shear, was flat, with cutter fastened to the forepart of the shear which went up into the beam and was keyed on top. There was a piece of wood fastened to the hind part of the shear, called the chip; the handle was fastened to the beam. The mould-board was made of wood split out of a winding tree, and was fastened to the plow, which raised and turned over the ground not much better than a cultivator tooth. The auger that the carpenters used had no screw to it, and they had to begin the hole with a gouge. Wagon tire was made in as many pieces as there were fellies in the wheel, and was piked on so as to break joints on the fellies. They did not know that a tire could be put on whole. The buggy seats were set on wooden springs. There were men who followed teaming from Auburn to Albany, drawing wheat, pork and potash. Their price generally for taking wheat to Albany was 75 cents a bushel. Some of them had six heavy horses on one wagon. Their wagons had three widths of tire on the wheels which were about six inches thick. I understand that such wagons went free on the turnpike as they packed the road.
Near the first part of September, 1814, I was drafted, to go to the front at Buffalo. My mother and sisters said that I must not go, for if I did I would never return. They influenced father to hire a substitute for me. We were ordered to meet at the Cayuga bridge on a certain day; so we fitted out my substitute with a knapsack, a blanket and some provisions, and I went out with him to the place of meeting. He was a man who was in the habit of drinking to excess sometimes, and the captain refused to accept of him. I was at first at a loss what to do, but concluded that I would not go home and be called a coward; so I shouldered the knapsack and went on to Buffalo. When we got there we had nothing to cook our meat in, so we had to borrow of the people living there for a number of days. They were very willing to lend, as they had been burned out that year. I think that there was then not a house in Buffalo that was worth $400. After the Erie battle there were two companies ordered to guard the prisoners to Greenbush near Albany. Our company was one of them, and we were glad of the arrangement. We were tired of being in Buffalo, for we drew nothing to eat but fresh beef and hardtack, and that was very hard. We could not eat it until we soaked it in cold water. It was not fit for a dog to eat. We drew each morning, I think, a half pint of whiskey. I did not drink much of mine. I used to give some of it to the prisoners. I should have much rather had thy worth of my whiskey in something fit to eat. The prisoners that we guarded were Germans, and said that they had been hired by their government to the British and pressed into the service; that they did not want to fight Americans, nor would not if they could avoid it. After we started with our prisoners we fared better. We drew potatoes by the tops to eat with our beef. We traveled, I should think, 20 miles a day. We shut our prisoners in a barn at night, two of us to guard them. We had to go back to Batavia and were then discharged without any pay, which seemed to me to be wrong, for our company’s home was in Cayuga county, and probably not half of them had any money. How they got home I cannot tell, as I did not go home with the rest of the company. I had some money with me, but not half as much as I needed. I started for home on foot, for I could not pay fare on the stage. It was near 100 miles. I recollect, and always shall as long as I remember anything, the last morning, when I was some thirty miles from home. I got a scanty breakfast, such as I could pay for, and started off. I thought I must get home before I could get anything more to eat. I traveled as fast as I could until some 2 or 8 o’clock P.M. I was then some ten miles from home. I was very hungry and thought I could not get home unless I could get something to eat. I did not know what to do. Not a cent of money. I did not know how to beg-I had never reached that-but after a while I ventured into a farm house, and told the woman that I had been soldiering, and had been discharged without receiving any pay; that I had no money, and if she would let me have something to eat I would pay her when I could. She set on the table some cold boiled victuals and bread and butter. If she had cooked all day she could not have suited me better. It seemed to me the best dinner I ever ate. I told the woman that I would pay her for the dinner as soon as I could. She told me I need not pay anything, that I was welcome to them. I then put on for home much refreshed. I was very glad to get home again, and my folks appeared to be very glad to see me. In the summer of 1817, I came out to this town and bought 40 acres wild hand. In 1819, 1 shouldered my ax and pack with some provisions and clothes, came out to this town again, and chopped off a piece of said land, and cut logs to build a long house. After harvest I came back, cleared off the piece chopped and sowed it to wheat, and put up the body of a house. The next winter I moved out with my wife and child, to a house near my land. In the spring I put a slab roof on my house, laid the floors, and moved in it, where we lived until fall without any chimney.
I have added to my little farm as could pay. I have been permitted to live here to see and assist to bury almost all of my old friends and acquaintances. There are very few living that were here when I moved into the town of Springwater. I once was young but now I am old. I have been blessed with good health for the most of the time, for which I am truly thankful.