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Biography of Daniel S. Buck

Daniel S. Buck was a noted hunter. He took 300 acres of land for which he paid with the bounties received for the destruction of wild animals, $60 for each wolf and $75 for each panther, of the latter of which he killed eleven in one year. He made hunting his business while game lasted and some seasons made more than his neighbors did at lumbering. While in Afton we spent an evening very pleasantly with his genial son Noble, who is now well advanced in years, listening to the recital of his father’s adventures while on hunting expeditions; but two must suffice to illustrate his prowess. At one time, about 1811 or ’12, he, in company with Robert Church, followed a panther to its lair, which was in a ledge of rocks, about five miles south of the village of Afton, in the town of Sanford, in Broome county. The passageway to the den was about three feet high and two feet wide, and terminated at the distance of 24 feet in a cave about 20 by 30 feet and 11 feet high. His dog led the way into the den, and soon returned very weak from the loss of blood from a severe wound in the throat. Buck took from his neck a handkerchief and tied it around his dog’s throat, and having stationed Church at the entrance of the cave with an ax in hand to assail the panther if it followed him out, he proceeded into the den himself with his rifle. He threaded the narrow passageway on his hands and knees. At its terminus...

Biographical Sketch of David Pollard

David Pollard came in from Norwich, Conn., in 1790, and settled on the east side of the river, one mile below Afton, on the place now occupied by William Landers. He made a small clearing and built a log cabin and then sent for his family, consisting of his wife Polly, and six children. He died here December 30, 1830, aged 85, and his wife June 9, 1821, aged 69. His children were Polly, who married Richard Church, Lucy, who married William Olden, Cynthia, who married Heman Kelsey, Thomas, who moved to Seneca Falls some fifty years ago and died there, David, who married Polly Landers and lived and died on the homestead, Joseph, who married Polly Pool, and settled about a mile west of Afton, on the north end of the farm now owned by his son Luman C. Pollard, and after becoming too feeble to work it sold it to his son Jeremiah, (who is now living in California, to which State he removed in 1849,) and removed to the village, on the east side of the river, where he died March 13, 1859. Only two grandchildren are living in the county, Luman C. and Lysander Pollard, both in...

Biography of Abijah Stevens

Abijah Stevens came in from Connecticut, and settled on the east side of the river, about one and one-half miles above Afton, on the farm now occupied by the widow of John Carr, where both he and his second wife, Esther, died, the former May 9, 1844, aged 87, and the latter January 1, 1832, aged 76. His children were John, who married Clara Landers and settled where Jonathan Farnsworth now lives, and died there, he and his wife, the former March 9, 1861, aged 73, and the latter November 11, 1877, aged 84; and Harvey, who removed to Ohio, children by his second wife. He had one child by his first wife, Lydia, who died September 1, 1822, aged 76, viz.: Sally, who married Samuel Hinman and died on the homestead. Abraham Benton, settled on the site of Afton, on the west side of the river, on a portion of the farm now occupied by Luman C. Pollard. His house stood just east of the railroad track. He was the first settler on the site of the village, on the west side. He died here August 3, 1816, aged 53, and Desire, his wife, who afterwards married William Beardsley, January 24, 1858, aged 85. Heth Kelsey, a Revolutionary soldier, settled in the upper part of the village, near the mouth of the creek which bears his name, where he kept a tavern. He afterwards removed to Coventry and lived with his daughter and died there February 5, 1850, aged 94, and Rhoda, his wife, November 26, 1838, aged 80. His children were Russell, who married Fanny Mersereau, of...

Biography of Oliver Easton

Oliver Easton came in from Wilmington, Vt., in 1809, and settled on Long Hill, where Matthew Long, from Vermont, with a large family of grown-up children, was the first settler at an early day. Easton settled on the farm now occupied by his grandson, Henry Devillo Easton, about three miles north-west of-Afton. He leased 60 acres of gospel lands, which he occupied till his death December 11, 1839, aged 74. Delight, his wife, died January 5, 1860, aged 86. He carried on farming and lumbering, mostly the latter. His children were eleven in number: Chauncey, who married Lucinda, daughter of Taft Pollard, (an early settler from Vermont, on the farm now occupied by Hiram Landers,) and settled and died at Ayrshire; Ebenezer N., who studied for the ministry and removed to Andover, Mass., where he married when well advanced in years and died; Jesse C., who married Irene, daughter of Seth Stone, and settled in the village of Afton, on the east side of the river, where Fayette Benton now lives, and who afterwards removed to Wellsville, N. Y., where he now resides, aged 80; Louisa, who married Stephen Williams, and settled in the south-west part of the town, and afterwards removed to Coventry, where she died; Lester, who married Asenath, daughter of Luke Nichols, and settled and died on the homestead, where Devillo Easton now lives; Lucretia, who married Heman B. Smith, for several years a merchant in Afton village, where she still resides; Rufus, who married Prudence DeWolf, and settled in Windom, Pa., and died in Afton while on a visit, September 10, 1845, aged 37; Riley,...

Biography of Richard Church

Richard Church came in from Brattleboro, Vt., in the fall of 1788, and settled on the east side of the river, one-half mile below Afton, on the place now owned by the heirs of Levi Church and Andrew Johnston and Joseph Angell, the latter a son-in-law of Billings Church. He was a son of Col. Timothy Church, a Vermont sufferer, who did not settle here, but acquired land as such, on 300 acres of which Richard settled, and which, after the latter’s death, in the spring of 1813, was divided between two of his sons, Billings and Levi, Billings’ portion being that now occupied by Andrew J. Johnston and Joseph Angell, and Levi’s that occupied by his heirs. Richard brought with him his family, consisting of his wife Polly, daughter of David Pollard, and one child, Billings, then an infant. Billings married Nancy, daughter of Ebenezer Landers, and settled on the homestead, where he lived till advanced in years, when, in the spring of 1857, he sold his place to his nephew, Devillo C. Church, and went to live with his daughter Frances, wife of Enos M. Johnston, with whom he died January 7, 1871, aged 82. Richard’s children, who were born after he came here, were: Col. Ira, who married Angelia Atherton, sister of Cornelius Atherton, and settled about a half mile above Afton, on the east side of the river, on the farm, a portion of which is owned by Stanton T. Donaghe, afterwards purchasing the Peck farm, about a mile below Afton, on the east side, now owned by Ransom Merrill, and subsequently the farm which...

Biographical Sketch of Joel Hatch

Joel Hatch built a machine shop on Handsome brook, a mile north of the village, in 1812. He also set up the first turning lathe in the town, probably the first in the county, for turning the various parts of spinning wheels. It was a primitive affair, and consisted in a cord wound around the article to be turned, with one end attached to a spring-pole overhead and the other to a foot-piece. By the alternate action produced by the pressure of the foot and the spring pole the article revolved backward and forward. This contrivance was the best that was in use for many years. None of the Hatches are living here now. Joel Hatch, Jr., was the author of a History of the Town of Sherburne, published in 1862. He died Dec. 27, 1864, aged 73, and Melona, his wife, May 14, 1846, aged...

Biographical Sketch of James Anderson

James Anderson settled in the south-west part of the town, on the farm now occupied by Roderick Fuller, where he died April 14, 1832, aged 62, and his wife, Electa Kelsey, Sept. 2, 1848, aged 74. His son Stephen also died in this town May 2, 1853, aged 55. Richard Jackson settled at a very early day at Sherburne Four Corners, where his father kept a tavern. He died in the first house north of the corners, Jan. 17, 1821, aged 67, and Sarah, his wife, Oct. 20, 1834, aged 74. John Smith settled on the Cyrus Hartwell farm, where he was killed in his door-yard by a young team, Aug. 16, 1810, aged 49. His wife, Lydia, survived him many years. She died July 14, 1854, aged 84. Jeremy Warriner and Benjamin Lyon settled at Sherburne Four Corners, where the latter died Nov. 10, 1854, aged 87, and Hannah, his first wife, May 16, 1806, aged 35, and Debora, his second wife Nov. 10, 1859, aged 80. Warriner removed to Hamilton and died there Jan. 14, 1868, aged 83. Simeon Paddleford erected in 1804 the first machine for carding wool, a mile below Sherburne village. This is said to have been one of the two first machines in the...

Biographical Sketch of John Guthrie

John Guthrie settled on the south line of the town, and after the death of his wife Polly, who was a daughter of Abner Purdy, (April 30, 1821,) he removed to Sherburne village. Stephen Kelsey settled on the Thompson Fisher farm, in the south part of the town, and died there Sept. 9, 1807, aged...

Biography of Devillo White, M.D.

The original of this sketch, Devillo White, of Sherburne, Chenango county, N. Y., was born Feb. 11, 1801, and was married to Caroline Pratt, oldest daughter of Joshua Pratt, Esq., (one of the respected pioneers of the town,) in 1824. Devillo White’s early life was passed in a hotel kept by his father, and was not of a character that generally precedes a record so full of interest and usefulness as his proved to be. At the age of 23 years, after having sowed his share of the wild oats of his day, he found himself educated and qualified to assume the arduous and responsible duties of a physician, but without means to purchase his saddle-bags to begin with; but his indomitable will and determination overcame all obstacles in his pathway and he finally settled down to his life-work, resolved to succeed professionally and financially. After over fifty years of active practice, we find he has fully succeeded in his purpose, standing high as he does in his profession, and having amassed a fortune second to none in this section. In politics he was always a fearless and zealous advocate of the principles of the old Whig party, and afterwards was warmly attached to the Republican party, ready and eager at all times to do battle for the cause whenever opportunity presented itself. During the late war, when the country was trembling for its very existence, he gathered together all the means he could and invested the same in government securities, and even borrowed money of his more timid neighbors, who had no faith in the success of our...

Biographical Sketch of Levi Follett

Levi Follett came from Winchester, N. H., in 1798 or ‘9, and settled in the south part of the town of Hamilton. He removed thence within a year about a half mile south, to the north edge of Sherburne. He bought of John Watts 50 acres on lot 41, to which he made subsequent additions, and resided there till his death April 29, 1830, aged...
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