Collection: Genealogy and Biography of Ontario County New York

Biography of Clark Forster

Clark Forster, whose family has been closely identified with the agricultural interests of Ontario county, New York, for many years, is considered one of the most successful fruit growers of the district, making a specialty of apple culture. Discover your family's story. Enter a grandparent's name to get started. choose a state: Any AL AK AZ AR CA CO CT DE DC FL GA HI ID IL IN IA KS KY LA ME MD MA MI MN MS MO MT NE NV NH NJ NM NY NC ND OH OK OR PA RI SC SD TN TX UT VT VA WA WV WI WY INTL Start Now William Forster, father of Clark Forster, was born in England in 1792, and came to this country in 1817. For somewhat more than a year he lived in Massachusetts, then, for a period of two years, made his home in Clyde, New York, and finally decided upon Seneca, Ontario county, New York, as his permanent home. He obtained employment on the farm of Edward Hull, whose farm he managed for ten years, and then purchased one hundred and thirty. acres of land a half mile east of this farm, and occupied it until his death. He was very successful in its cultivation and left it in a fine condition to his sons. Mr. Forster married, September, 1823, Mary, daughter of George and...

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Biography of William B. Forster

William B. Forster, who is engaged in general farming in the town of Seneca, Ontario county, New York, occupies a high position in the literary circles of that section of the country and is also prominently identified with its religious life. William D. Forster, father of William B. Forster, was born at Halls Corners, Ontario county, New York, March 29, 1830, and is the oldest living person born at that place. He attended the common schools of his native township and supplemented this education by attendance at the sessions of Alfred Academy. He then engaged in teaching, and taught schools in the south for a period of two years. With the exception of these two years, all the active years of his life have been occupied in cultivating the soil, in which pursuit he has been remarkably successful. He has owned, and resided on, the farm on which he now (1910) lives for fortyfour years, and the products have always been of the finest quality of their kind. A considerable portion of it is devoted to the growing of fruit, for which the soil seems to be especially adapted. , in following the course of events. He married, May 1, 1867, Matilda J. Britt, born in the town of Catskill, Greene county, New York, March 3, 1837, died February 10, 1910. Children: William B., see forward; Elizabeth May, and...

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Biography of Walter L. Fay

Walter L. Fay, who has been prominently identified with manufacturing interests for many years, is a son of Edmund B. Fay, who was born in Fulton, Oswego county, New York, and was finally engaged in the wholesale dry goods business in New York City. Walter L. Fay was born in Auburn, Cayuga county, New York, his mother’s home, February 5, 1859. He was educated in the Pingry School, Elizabeth, New Jersey, from which he was graduated at the age of eighteen years. He immediately entered upon his business career, working for his father for a short time, then, in 1879, entered the employ of D. M. Osborne & Company, Auburn, as an office boy, receiving a salary of fifty cents a day. He commenced at the bottom of the ladder, and by his faithful attention to the duties entrusted to him, he mounted steadily until he had attained an important position in the office. At the expiration of four years he accepted a position with A. W. Stevens & Son, the senior member of this firm being a pioneer in the field of thresher and steam engine building. After working for this firm for thirteen years, Mr. Fay started in business for himself, associating himself in a partnership with Ernest S. Bowen, the firm doing business under the name of Fay & Bowen, and manufacturing bicycle spokes and spoke...

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Biography of Dr. Daniel A. Eiseline

Dr. Daniel A. Eiseline, who has filled a number of public offices in connection with his professional career, is of the first generation of his family to have been born in this country, his ancestors having lived in Germany. John Eiseline, father of Dr. Eiseline, was born in Bavaria, Germany, from which country he came to America in 1867, bringing his wife with him, and located at Canandaigua. He was a shoemaker by trade and followed that occupation until his death, in 1897. He married Elizabeth S. Lindner, and had six children, of whom three died in infancy. Those living at present are: Daniel A., see forward; Elizabeth, and Harold D., the two last named living with their mother in Canandaigua. Dr. Daniel A. Eiseline, son of John and Elizabeth S. (Lindner) Eiseline, was born in Canandaigua, Ontario county, New York, June 10, 1868, and was named in honor of Daniel F. Alverson, a prominent citizen of that town. His preparatory education was acquired in the public schools of Canandaigua and Canandaigua Academy, and he then matriculated at the University of Buffalo, from the medical department of which he was graduated in 1896. For four years prior to becoming a student at the Buffalo University he was employed as a clerk in various drug stores in Canandaigua, and immediately after his graduation he removed to Shortsville and established himself...

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Biographical Sketch of James Beattie

Herbert Beattie, whose family has been well known in New York state for a number of generations, belongs to that class of citizens of this country, who form the bone and sinew of the entire body. They are descended from Scotch ancestry, and have brought the sturdy bodies of that country, as well as the thrifty and practical habits of their ancestors, and combined them in the manner best adapted to the needs of their new home with the modern methods which are so rapidly introduced into agricultural pursuits in America. (I) James Beattie, the immigrant ancestor of Herbert Beattie, was born in Scotland in 1764, and died in this country in 1840. He was evidently a man of authority in many directions in his clay, and was one of the founders of No. 9 Presbyterian Church, in 1807, served as an elder for many years, and was holding that office at the time of his death. He married Jane...

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Biographical Sketch of David Beattie

(II) David, son of James and Jane (Grieve) Beattie, was born in Scotland, April 6, 1799, and died on the family homestead in Ontario county, New York. He was but three years of age when he came to this country with his parents. In 1828 he purchased the land, for farming purposes, which has since been considered the family homestead. He married Dorothy, daughter of Adam Turnbull. Their grandson, Herbert Beattie, has at the present time in his possession a “peace pipe,” dated 1671, which was dug up by Adam Turnbull on the farm now (1910) owned by William...

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Biographical Sketch of William Beattie

(III) William, son of David and Dorothy (Turnbull) Beattie, was born on the family homestead, December 16, 1830, and died there, January 14, 1893. He was engaged in farming throughout the active years of his life, and for many years served as a trustee of the Presbyterian church, of which he and his wife were devout members. He married, June 9, 1858, Mary E. Barnes, who was born in Yates county, New York, January 22, 1827, and died May 10,...

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Biography of Herbert Beattie

(IV) Herbert, son of William and Mary E. (Barnes) Beattie, was born on the family homestead in Ontario county, New York, March 23, 1866. For a time he attended the district school, but as the health of his father was impaired, he was frequently obliged to remain away from the school sessions, and take charge of the farm management, while still at a very early age. This interfered with the acquisition of knowledge from books, but he has overcome this difficulty in a great measure by his keen powers of observation, and the deep thought he has given to all matters of importance since his early youth. To a certain extent it was beneficial to him to be obliged to depend upon his own resources from earliest youth, as it strengthened his inventive faculties and executive ability, and this is, in a great measure, the foundation of his successful career as a farmer and fruit grower. The farm consists of one hundred and twenty acres, fourteen of which are devoted to orchard purposes, and the entire acreage is cultivated with the greatest care and in the most progressive manner. Modern methods are adopted wherever practicable and the results of this course have been most satisfactory. The dwelling house, which is commodious and comfortable, and all the outbuildings are kept in excellent condition, and it is one of the most...

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Biography of Rev. James T. Dougherty

When De Nonville and his French army, in 1687, destroyed the Indian village of Gannagaro and Gaudougarae, the inhabitants were driven eastward and formed a village near the foot of Canandaigua Lake, which village and lake have since then borne that name. Among the Indian inhabitants in those days were many Catholics, some of them Senecas and most of them Hurons and Algonquin captives, the result of fifty years of missionary labor of the zealous Jesuits. Even in our day the beads and crucifixes given the Indians by the missionaries are still picked up on the sites of the old Indian towns. Following the revolution and the white settlement of western New York, Canandaigua became a prominent center of commerce and government, and no doubt many Catholics were among the pioneers. The family of Hugh Collins came as early as 1823, others followed, and there are traditions of lumber wagons leaving here Saturday afternoons to bring the people to the Sunday mass at St. Patrick’s in Rochester. About 1840 Rev. Bernard O’Reilly, of Rochester, said the first mass in Canandaigua in the Patrick Doyle house on Antis street. Mass was celebrated in various homes for the following few years. At length, in 1844, a lot was purchased by Father O’Reilly from Thomas Beals, and in the fall of 1846 the pew books give the following list of pewholders. On...

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Biographical Sketch of George C. Dorsey

George C. Dorsey, owner of a large wholesale produce business in Geneva, Ontario county, New York, is the son of Upton Dorsey, who was born in Hagerstown, Washington county, Maryland, in 1814. He removed from Seneca county to Geneva, New York, in 1838, and took a prominent part in the public affairs of his day, having served as justice of the peace for a number of terms. He died in 1856. George C. Dorsey was born in Ovid, Seneca county, New York, in 1834, and received his education in the common schools of Geneva, New York. For a number of years he worked on the home farm, then commenced his business career at the age of twenty-six years as a clerk in a grocery store. Subsequently he entered into a partnership with his elder brother, William A., in the grocery business, the firm operating under the name of W. A. Dorsey & Brother. This association was in force until 1866, when Mr. Dorsey bought out his brother and became the sole proprietor and manager of the business. In 1882 he retired from the grocery business and established himself as a wholesale produce merchant, with which enterprise he is identified at the present time (1910) . The business is in a very flourishing condition, and the integrity and upright and progressive business methods of Mr. Dorsey are evidenced in the...

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Biographical Sketch of Frank A. De Graff

Frank A. De Graff, manager and one of the proprietors of the leading stationery and book stores in Canandaigua, New York, is, as his family name indicates, of Dutch descent, and has inherited the thrifty and businesslike traits of his ancestors. Groat A. De Graff, father of the man whose name heads this sketch, for some years followed the occupation of farming in Gorham, New York, and removed to Canandaigua about the year 1870. He established himself in the book and stationery business, in which he was eminently successful, and with which he was connected for many years. Frank A., son of Groat A. De Graff, was born in Gorham, Ontario county, New York, August 4, 1864. He was educated in the common schools of Canandaigua and in Canandaigua Academy. The first step in his business career was an assistant to his father in the book and stationery business, of which he thus acquired a thorough knowledge in every detail. he then became associated as a partner with T. M. Emerick, and succeeded to the business of his father. In 1894 he sold his interest in this concern to his partner, and was a commercial traveler for the wholesale stationery trade for a period of ten years. In 1904 he formed a partnership with McGreevey & Sleght, establishing the firm of McGreevey-Sleght-De Graff Company, dealers in stationery, hooks, etc.,...

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Biography of Charles Danford Bean

Charles Danford Bean, attorney and counselor at law in Geneva, Ontario county, New York, is a member of a family that has been domiciled in New York state for several generations, and their history and that of the family seat is a more than usually interesting one. Maple Hill, the homestead, derives its name from the thickly-wooded land upon which the house stands, and has many historic associations. The mansion was originally erected in 1834. and was at that time a twostory structure; successive owners added wings and rebuilt and remodeled the house, which has sheltered and extended hospitality to many distinguished guests, among them being: Gideon Lee, General John B. Murray, ex-Governor Myron H. Clark, George H. Stayner, of New York, and the Rev. Joseph W. Walker, of England. The eastern front of the grounds is laid out to form a monogram of the Greek letters, Phi Kappa Psi. The “Indian Oak,” a magnificent specimen of forest growth which received its name from the fact that it was formerly a favorite meeting place of the Indians, was blown down in 1876. The enormous trunk was removed and a granite rock placed on the site and this will be later replaced by an appropriate monument to Chief Red jacket and his contemporaries. Another forest giant on this estate has a very curious origin and interesting historic association. At the...

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Biography of Dr. Henry Foster

Dr. Henry Foster was born in the town of Norwich, Vermont, January 18, 1821. He was the son of Henry and Polly (Hubbard) Foster, who were the owners of a farm of six hundred acres of intervale land, and were apparently established for life in a beautiful home. As one of a family of seven children, Dr. Foster spent a happy and healthful childhood. When he was fourteen years of age financial reverses came to the family and they removed to western New York and from thence to Ohio, where the boys of the family made a home and cared for the others. Dr. Foster was graduated from Milan Academy and the medical department of the Western Reserve College. After his graduation he went to a water cure with an invalid brother, and became so much interested in the system that, for three years, he was the physician in a similar establishment in New Graefenberg, New York. Dr. Foster was converted in childhood and his religious life deepened and became the center of his being and action. He asked : “Lord, what wilt Thou have me do?” The outcome of his prayerful waiting was his coming, in 1849, to Clifton Springs, where he had learned of a sulphur spring and a tract of land reserved by the purchasers of the “Holland Patent,” and Dr. Foster bought this tract and...

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Biography of Charles C. Davison

Charles C. Davison. who has been prominently connected with the milling industry in the state of New York for many years, is a son of Ozmer L. Davison, who came to New York from New England and spent the greater part of his life engaged in agricultural pursuits. He died at Odessa, New York, in 1900, and his wife died in 1896. Charles C., son of Ozmer L. Davison, was born in Odessa, Schuyler county, New York, June 22, 1868. He was graduated from the Odessa high school, then studied and was prepared for college at Cook’s Academy, and matriculated at Cornell University. After a few days’ attendance of the lectures at the university, finding that a life of study did not appeal to him, he accepted a position in a flour mill at Ithaca, New York, and at the end of one year returned to Odessa, where he also found employment in a flour mill and finished learning the trade of milling. He then went to Elmira, New York, remaining there for one year, and after a year and a half spent in traveling as an expert miller, he went to Trumansburg, Tompkins county, New York, where he remained one year. He again returned to Odessa, where he purchased a mill which he operated for a period of three years, then sold and went to Geneva, New York,...

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Biography of Dr. Jay Byington Covert

Dr. Jay Byington Covert, one of the leading physicians of Geneva, Ontario county, New York, while still young in years, has already attained a foremost rank in the medical profession. His quick perception, sound judgment and thorough training, command the respect and confidence of all who know (1910) him, and he is held in the highest estimation by his fellow citizens. The fact is amply evidenced in the record of his daily life. He has devoted his life to a noble profession, and in all professions, but more especially in the medical, there are exalted heights to which genius itself dares scarcely aspire, and which can only be gained by long years of patient, arduous and unremitting toil, and inflexible and unfaltering courage. To this eminence Dr. Covert has risen, and we feel confident that this opinion will be sustained by his professional brethren, the best standard of judgment. Dr. Nelson B. Covert, father of Dr. Jay Byington Covert, was born in the town of Ovid, Seneca county, New York, January 22, 1840, and died at Geneva, New York, in November, 1908, at which time he was the oldest physician in the town. During his earlier years he attended the common schools, and was prepared for college at the Seneca Collegiate Institution at Ovid. He then became a student at Cleveland Homoeopathic College, from which he was graduated in...

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