Biographies extracted from the small manuscript written by Orson Walbridge in 1887 on the Early History of the Town of Springwater New York.Read More
Collection: Early History of the Town of Springwater Livingston County
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. 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...Read More
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...Read More
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...Read More
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. 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...Read More
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...Read More
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 arc 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,...Read More
Ira Whitlock. 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...Read More
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.,...Read More
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...Read More
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, and 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...Read More
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...Read More
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...Read More
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...Read More
Dyers Family. 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...Read More
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