Location: Batavia New York

Letter from Frederick Follet to Henry R. Schoolcraft

Letter from Frederick Follet to Henry R. Schoolcraft Batavia, Oct. 25, 1845. Dear Sir My private and public duties together prevented my making a visit to “Fort Hill,” until the 22d inst. and I proceed to give you my ideas of that formation. The ground known as “Fort Hill” is situated about three miles north of the village of Le Roy, and ten or twelve miles northeast from Batavia, the capitol of Genesee county. The better view of “Fort Hill” is had to the north of it, about a quarter of a mile, on the road leading from Bergen to Le Roy. From this point of observation it needs little aid of the imagination to conceive that it was erected as a fortification by a large and powerful army, looking for a permanent and almost inaccessible bulwark of defense. From the center of the “Hill,” in the northwesterly course, the country lies quite flat immediately north, and inclining to the east, the land is also level for one hundred rods, when it rises nearly as high as the “Hill,” and continues for several miles quite elevated. In approaching the “Hill” from the north it stands very prominently before you, rising rather abruptly, though not perpendicularly, to the height of eighty or ninety feet, extending about forty rods on a line east and west, the corners being round or truncated,...

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Stone Bill, or Tomahawk

The pointed mace, found in the early North American graves and barrows, is uniformly of a semi-lunar form. It appears to have been the Cassetete or head-breaker, such as we can only ascribe to a very rude state of society. It was employed by warriors prior to the introduction of the agakwut and tomahawk. All the specimens examined have an orifice in the center of the curve for the insertion of a handle. Its object was to penetrate, by its sharp points, the skull of the adversary. This was not done by cutting, as with the agakwut or mace, but by perforating the cranium by its own gravity, and the superadded force of the warrior. In an attack, it must have been a powerful weapon. A specimen (Figure 1, Plate 11) obtained through the intervention of F. Follett, Esq., from a small mound on the banks of the Tonawanda, near Batavia, New York, is of the following dimensions. Length, eight inches: breadth, one and a half inches: thickness, about one and a quarter inches. The material is a neutral-colored siliceous slate, exquisitely worked and polished. Its weight is half a pound. Another specimen (Figure 2, Plate 11) from Oakland County, Michigan, has both the lunar points slightly broken off, yet it weighs six and a half ounces. It is of the same material, but striped. It is, in all respects, a stouter instrument....

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Biography of Seth Ingalsbee

Seth Ingalsbee is now living retired at Wheaton, Kansas. His had been a long and useful career, and he is now past eighty-eight years of age. He served as a soldior during the Civil war, and came to Kansas a few years later and identified himself with the homesteading era in Pottawatomie County. Mr. Ingalsbee is of early English and of Revolutionary stock. There is a record of military service in almost every generation. The founder of the family and his remote ancestor was John Ingoldsby, who came from England and was a Colonial settler. Mr. Ingalsbee’s great-grandfather was Ebenezer Ingalsbee. He fought with the English army during the French and Indian wars, and was still in the British service when the Revolution broke out. He sided with the Colonists, and was commissioned a captain in the Revolutionary forces. As a precaution against being tried for desertion in the event that he should be captured by the enemy, he changed his name to Ingalsbee, the form of spelling which had ever since been practiced. Mr. Ingalsbee’s grandfather was also named Ebenezer Ingalsbee and also had service as a soldier in the Revolution. He was born at Worcester, Massachusetts, in which colony the family first located, and a number of years after the Revolution he emigrated to Western New York. He was a farmer and shoemaker and died in Cayuga...

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Biography of Frederick Cook

FREDERICK COOK A MAN who has reflected great honor upon American institutions, is the Hon. Frederick Cook, ex-secretary of state of New York. He is a striking representative of the best type of a German citizen whose leading traits of character have been fully developed upon American soil. He was born on the 2nd of December, 1833, at Wildbad, Germany, a noted watering place in the famous Black Forest district. His father was a contractor, a man who intended to have given his son Frederick the advantages of a thorough collegiate course. The boy was placed at the best school in the neighborhood, and his youthful years were earnestly devoted to the elementary branches of learning. The industrious young student was increasing rapidly in knowledge from year to year, with the brightest prospects before him, when suddenly a dark cloud overshadowed his opening literary career and dashed to the ground his hopes of obtaining a complete collegiate education. When he had reached his twelfth year, his excellent father, who had taken so deep an interest in the instruction of his promising son, died, leaving a family of eight children. By this irreparable loss the happy home was broken up and the children scattered abroad. Without a father’s watchful care, Frederick was left at this tender age almost entirely to his own resources. But with a brave heart and an...

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Biography of Robert A. Maxwell

ROBERT A. MAXWELL THE HON. Robert A. Maxwell, superintendent of the insurance department, was born in Washington county, N. Y. , in 1838. He is a son of Alexander Maxwell, of Jackson, a prominent citizen of the town, and an intelligent and wealthy farmer. Robert was given the advantages of a liberal education by his father. After receiving a thorough instruction at the common schools in his neighborhood, he was sent to the normal school at Albany, where he finished his education at the age of eighteen. His rare qualities as an educator were unfolded while attending this excellent institution, and so he soon became principal of the union school at Greenwich, N. Y. Subsequently he taught school at Kenosha, Wisconsin. Determined to relinquish a professional career for mercantile pursuits, he removed to Chicago and engaged in the commission business – buying and selling grain and produce. For seven years he was an active member of the board of trade in that enterprising city. But too close attention to business, and climatic influences combined to impair his health; and coming east, he settled at Batavia, N. Y. Soon after his settlement in his new home he invested his ready capital in the malt business, and became a successful and public-spirited merchant, closely identifying himself with all those interests which are conducive to the welfare and prosperity of his adopted...

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Biography of Charles Betts

Honorable Charles Betts, Freeport, is one of the most prominent figures of the Stephenson county bar, and his long association with legal affairs gives him the colloquial title of “Judge” Betts. He is called the Nestor of the bar, and is now living in an honorable retirement from professional life. He was born in Batavia, Genesee county, New York, June 13th, 1825, and up to the time of his admission to the bar his life was passed in the Empire state. His educational privileges eminently fitted him for the profession of his choice. At all times he has made the most of his opportunities, and endowed by nature with, strong mentality, his advance has been rapid and commendable. While still a youth he began the study of law in his native state with Honorable Heman J. Redfield and Honorable Benjamin Pringle as his preceptors, and completed his course in the office of Hon. Isaac A. Verplanck and General John H. Martindale, of Batavia. The counsel and assistance of these distinguished gentlemen and able attorneys had great influence in moulding his character and educating him to a standard of excellence in the profession before him, from which he has never deteriorated. Honorable, high-minded and faithful through inbred moral principles, he early gave evidence of fitness for that high career that was opening before him. He was esteemed and loved, not more...

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