Annals of Oxford.

Better the rudest work that tells a story or records
a fact, than the richest without meaning. --- RUSKIN.

Theodore Burr.


    Theodore Burr who came in 1793, built the first bridge in this place in 1800, the mill now owned by Fletcher & Corbin, the dam which still stands, and the building now occupied by the Memorial Library at an early date. He patented and built the first arch bridge across the Susquehanna, and at that time was the most distinguished architect of bridges in the country. At that early day hardly a bridge crossed the Susquehanna from Binghamton to Baltimore that he did not build, and even now at Harrisburg one stands with his name cut in one of the stones dated 1813. In April, 1818, he advertised in the Oxford Gazette, that he had "devoted eighteen years of his life to the theory and practice of bridge building exclusively, during which time he had built forty-five bridges of various magnitude, with arches from 60 to 367 feet span."

    Mr. Burr lived in Oxford several years and then removed with his family to Northumberland, Pa., where he and his wife died. Their children were: HENRY, GEORGE, CHARLES, MARILLA, PHILA, who married Silas MARSH, a merchant in Oxford form 1816 to 1826; ASENATH, married Simon G. THROOP; AMANDA, married January 18, 1816, Charles CATLIN of Wilkesbarre, Pa. All except Asenath, removed with their parents to Pennsylvania.

Gloom is upon thy lonely hearth,
Oh, silent house! Once filled with mirth;
Sorrow is in the breezy sound
Of thy tall poplars whispering round. --- HEMANS.

John Rathbone.


    John RATHBONE, brother of Gen. Ransom Rathbone, came from Oswego soon after the war of 1812, opened a store which he conducted some ten years, and then removed to a farm in Cortland county, not being successful in business here. He built on the site of the residence now occupied by S. H. MEAD, a large and elegant mansion for those days which later became known as the "McKOON house," a portion of which still stands in the lane in rear of Mr. Mead's house. The house fronted the east instead of the street, and was of such prominence that it was made the subject of a wood cut, the original of which is given below:

    The modern method of illustrating, fifty or sixty years later, gives, on another page, a finer view of the old "mansion." It was after Mr. Rathbone's time occupied by Peter SKEN. Smith, who laid out a great deal of money on it, and later by Judge McKoon , who had a little stone law office on the lot in which later a select school was conducted. After Judge McKoon disposed of the house it sheltered tenants by the score. Could the old "mansion" tell the tales and changes that have occurred since its erection the Annals of the town would indeed be deeply interesting. In 1872, Counsellor Horace PACKER purchased the property, made two houses of the one and removed them to the rear of the lot.


    In a history of the town of Sangerfield, the following of local interest appears:

    "On the 30th day of March, 1801, an act was passed by the state legislature to open and improve a certain road from the dwelling house of Benj. WILSON, in the town of Oxford, Chenango county, in the nearest and most direct route that "circumstances would admit of," through the towns of Norwich, Sherburne, Hamilton, Sangerfield and Paris, to intersect the Genesee turnpike, near the house of Jedediah SANGER, in Whitestown. Three thousand shares were subscribed for at $20 each, making a capital of $60,000. Amos MUZZY of the Huddle, was one of the two directors in the town, and David NORTON at the Centre the other-both tavern keepers. It was at first expected that the road when it reached Sangerfield, would run through the Centre on the east side of the swamp, because it was really the nearest, most direct and level route through it; but Mr. MONTGOMERY, an active and energetic settler of much wealth and influence, lived and had a tavern on the road starting from the east part of the Huddle and running westerly two or three miles out of the way which was already made. This passed by the village stores, was handy to the taverns of Messrs. Muzzy and himself, and although leaving David Norton out in the cold, would be on the whole very fine for the stronger parties concerned in the new turnpike. Of course these circumstances and the superior influence and power behind, clearly admitting of no other route, the road was opened and gates erected on the longer, hillier and poorer one. It had been used only a year or two as a turnpike, when the entire line was thrown up and surrendered to the town as a failure. Nobody would travel on it and David Norton was pleased. It is still often referred to in conveyances describing land on its line, as the "Oxford and Chenango turnpike, formerly so called."

How still the morning of the hallow'd day!
Mute is the voice of rural labour, hush'd. --- GRAHAME.

Free Will Baptist Church.


    The Free Will Baptist church of Oxford, in the south east part of the town, was organized April 15, 1848, by Elder Cyrus Steere of McDonough. The first baptisms were on April 16, 1848, when the following persons were baptized into membership: Henry MEAD, Henry HACKETT, Julia HACKETT, Squire RATHBON, Sally RATHBON, Ethan R. CLARKE, Darwin A. COLLIER, Giles MANWARRING and Samuel SANNICK; these together with Deacon Joseph OGDEN, Joshua B. STONE and wife, Asa W. RHODES, who was the first church clerk, Samuel M. KINNEY, Derrick RACE and Harriet RACE, Samuel MANWARRING, James LOWE and Nancy MOREHOUSE were the first members.

    On May 20th, of the same year the First Free Will Baptist church of Guilford, offered themselves as a body to unite with the Oxford church and were received into membership. The first settled pastor was the Rev. Noah D. WILKINS, who commenced his pastorate in 1849. The church services were held in the schoolhouse of District No. 4, (the Miller district), until 1855, when they were held in the school house of District No. 18, (the Carhart District).

    On the fifth Sunday in June, 1855, the first church edifice was dedicated; the Rev. Daniel McKOON preaching the dedication sermon.

    The first pastor after the church was erected was the Rev. Ethan R. CLARKE.

    Many of the old New England customs were enforced in this church during its early history, such as a committee to visit those who were absent from church more than a limited number of Sundays in succession, also to see that each member did not deviate from the rules of the church.

    Much of the inside wood work of the building was basswood, and from that fact the edifice was known as the "Basswood church." The church was totally destroyed by fire February 5, 1874. A singing school was held in the evening, which closed at nine o'clock, and it was supposed the fire which was discovered at midnight, originated from the stove. The organ, clock, chandelier and other fixtures were removed. There was an insurance of $1,000 on the property. Within a week steps were taken to rebuild and the present building was erected during the following summer and dedicated on December 22, 1874, the sermon being preached by the Rev. Dr. G. H. Ball of Buffalo, afterwards founder and president of Keuka College.

    In December, 1879, Sarah GIBSON, widow of Robert Gibson, deeded to the trustees of the church the house, now used as a parsonage, and lot containing twelve and one-half acres of land, valued at $1,000.

    In 1889, the church received a legacy of three hundred dollars from Mrs. Mary A. MOORE. This church still keeps up its organization.

    On October 19, 1904, the church was again threatened by fire. Dry bush and leaves had caught fire and spreading reached the church, but the timely discovery and help at hand subdued the flames after damages to the amount of $25, had been done to the edifice.

A perfect Woman, nobly planned
To warn, to comfort, and command.

"Aunt Patty" Dailey.


    "Aunt Patty" Dailey was born in the town of Brookline, Vt., on the 17th of March, 1784, "St. Patrick's day at six o'clock in the morning,: as she used to say. In January, 1809, she married John CHURCH, who came from Great Barrington, Mass., and settled on the Andrew McNEIL farm, now owned and occupied by Mrs. Alice McCALL. His first wife, whom he married in Massachusetts, was a HOLLENBECK, by whom he had seven children; his second wife, mentioned above, was Patty THAYER, by whom he had two children, Erastus and William. Mr. Church died October 23, 1825, aged 63. He had been a prosperous farmer, and after his death "Aunt Patty" deeded the farm to her son William, which was unfortunate, as he was not successful, and finally lost the place. On Christmas Day, 1827, "Aunt Patty" married John DAILEY.     In 1795, when Mrs. Dailey was eleven years of age, her father came with his family from Vermont and settled upon the present site of the village of Bainbridge; which, as she described it, was a "huckleberry plain with but one house upon it." Deer were plenty, and bears were numerous. "Wolves," she said, "would howl enough to make the hair rise on a body's head." She taught school there in 1802, and was the first teacher in Sidney. When she came to Oxford, the old building was still standing, which was erected upon the site of the old fort, where the Baptist church now stands. At that time there was no church here and hardly enough dwellings to call it a village. Said "Aunt Patty" "Oxford was a very thickly wooded country. As you came in sight of the village from the east, the first house on the right side of the road and next above the house of Patrick HOGAN, for many years the tavern stand of William BUSH, was a log house occupied by Walter SIMMONS. On the farm of James BURKE, Priest CAMP, a Presbyterian minister, once lived. Where stood the David BIXBY house (now removed) was a frame house owned and occupied by Levi SHERWOOD. Next to that, but on the opposite side of the road and much further down, was the house of Uri TRACY, a framed dwelling. The nearest house to that, on the same side of the street, was a dwelling built by St. George Tolbud PERRY; but the building burned down and the VAN WAGENEN house stands on the site of the one burned (now occupied by Mrs. L. BOLLES). Across the road, where Charles W. BROWN now resides, was the house so familiar to all as the home of Dr. Perez PACKER, but built by, and the occupied by Nathaniel LOCKE. Next, on the west side of the road, was the old one-story dwelling, which was torn down to make room for Wm. H. VAN WAGENEN's house (the late residence of Dr. Geo. DOUGLAS). This same old building, the first frame house in the village, was erected in the year 1794 and used as an academy. Between this building and the Henry R. MYGATT house once stood two dwellings: one was occupied by Harry LUDLOW, and the other stood on the very spot where the late Mrs. Sarah VAN WAGENEN lived (now residence of Mrs. Susan E. CURTIS). A house once occupied by Stephen O. RUNYAN, was moved by Stephen GREENE, to whom it was sold, to Greene Street. Upon the ground from which the building was taken, John TRACY erected the house known so well, now owned and occupied by John R. VAN WAGENEN."

    During her life "Aunt Patty" witnessed wonderful changes wrought from the wilderness. From a score of poor tenements, with their inhabitants struggling against poverty she had seen Oxford rise to a beautiful, thriving, wealthy village. The latter years of her life she passed in widowhood and lived with friends and relatives, where she was always welcome; residing winters with nieces in Pennsylvania, returning summers to her old home in Oxford. Wherever she went she was every ready to lend a helping hand in spinning, knitting, or sewing. She never had a headache, to her freedom from which she attributed the rare preservation of her sight, hearing, and memory. She had a remarkable memory, and could tell the locality and general appearance of every house that was in Oxford when she came here in 1809. "Aunt Patty" was a frequent and ever welcome visitor at the bedside of the sick, and is kept in sweet remembrance by those who have been to the "dark brink" 'and returned, and has also a bright record with those who have "gone before." She died at Hooper's Valley, N. Y., Nov. 19, 1882, in the 99th year of her age.


    ENOS WRIGHT, a native of Connecticut, was among the first settlers of Oxford. He was energetic, persevering, and industrious, enduring hardships incident to the pioneer of this country he aided in no small degree in converting the rude forest into fertile fields of luxury and abundance. He lead an honest and examplary (sic) life and his faith was strong in the Christian religion. He died April 14, 1847, aged 79.

A heart to resolve, a head to contrive, and a hand to execute.

Abijah Lobdell, Jr.


    Abijah Lobdell, Jr., was born in Johnstown. N. Y., of an old Revolutionary family. After clerking in Albany he came to Oxford in 1808 and opened a general store. In 1810 he married Sally BURGHARDT, who died January 28, 1861, aged 69., The first Episcopal service in town was held in their house. Mr. Lobdell was one of the first vestrymen of St Paul's church, and also a trustee of Oxford Academy. His brother John was his partner here, and in 1812 went on to Buffalo with goods, which were destroyed when that city was burned, barely escaping with his life. He and a companion were six weeks coming back through the almost unbroken forests, following a trail and marked trees. Later John Lobdell went to New York, read law, and finally located in Louisana, while his brother removed with his family to Utica and conducted a flourishing drug business in the "Checkered Store" on Genesee Street, still an old landmark and now used for a tobacco warehouse. In 1835, his health failing him, the family returned to Oxford and purchased a farm a mile below the village, which is still owned by his youngest daughter and only grandchild. Children:

    MARY ANN, died unmarried.

    JANE ELIZA, married John F. HOPKINS.

    SARAH MARIA, married George W. GODFREY. Child: Augusta C.

    JAMES HENRY, died unmarried.

    HELEN M., only survivor of the family, still resides in Oxford.

What! Mothers from their children riven!
What! God's own image bought and sold!
Americans to market driven,
And bartered as the brute for gold!

"Aunt Phillis" Williams.


    "Aunt Phillis" Williams, who was born a slave on July 4, 1772, at Poughkeepsie, N. Y., and died at Union, N. Y., February 16, 1883, in her 111th year, led an eventful life which dated back to the days of the Revolution. She was owned by Gerrit STORMS of Poughkeepsie until she reached the age of 41, and had a husband and five children. The husband bought his own and eldest son's freedom, but both were lost at sea while endeavoring to earn money to buy "Aunt Phillis'" and the rest of the children's time. About this time she, with her infant daughter, Dinah, with other slaves, was taken from Poughkeepsie by her master, brought to Oxford, sold at auction, and bid in by Judge Uri TRACY. The infant Dinah went with the slave, served in bondage, and, when strong and robust, worked in the fields like a man, remaining with Judge Tracy until the State abolished slavery in 1827. She married a man named CRUZER at Union, and died November 4, 1901, aged 96. Phillis, in later years, lived with different families in town until she became blind, and then removed to Union to end her days with her daughter. She often related that General Washington stopped overnight at the residence of her master, Gerritt Storms, in Poughkeepsie, and that the tories robbed her master's house of money and valuables, after which they took Storms out and hung him to a tree, leaving him to die. His mistress cut him down with a jackknife and saved his life. She also remembered a man on horseback giving warning of the advance of the British soldiers, and of her going with her mistress to the bank of a creek and burying their silverware, with what little money they had.


    The following shows that the subject of education was not wholly neglected in the early days of the town:

    To the Commissioners to Superintend the schools in the Town of Oxford in the county of Tioga.

    This certifies that in division of the moneys appropriated for the support of schools to the several Towns in the County payable to your Order as followeth (Viz.) the sum of thirty-five pounds one Shilling and Six pence as soon as the same may be receiv'd from the State Treasurer and the further sum of twenty Six pounds eight shillings and one penny by the first day of April next.

Dated at Union, 4th June, 1796.

    Reuben KIRBY, John WELCH, Ephraim FITCH, Elijah BURK, Lodawick LIGHT, Supervisors for Tioga County.


    A lady, who resided on Clinton Street for many years, employed a faithful colored maid addicted to use of words and expressions, the definition of which she did not understand. The first day of employment, after arranging the dinner table, she called the mistress to inspect it, saying: "Mrs. G., please look over the table, I don't know whether it is non compos mentis or not." A few days later, wanting a small piece of linen cloth, she inquired, "Mrs. G., please can I peruse your rag bag?"

He has been bred i' the wars. --- SHAKESPEARE.

Reuben Doty


    The first of the name of Doty in America was Edward Doty, also records as "DOTEN." Edward was a passenger on "The Mayflower," and married, in 1634, Faith CLARKE at Plymouth, Mass., where he died in 1655. He left a comfortable estate and nine children, six sons and three daughters.

    Warren Doty, a descendant of Edward, born April 23, 1768; died February 13, 1838. Sarah, his wife, born May 13, 1772; died July 30, 1862. Place of birth and death of either not known.

    Reuben Doty the eldest of the five children of Warren and Sarah Doty, was born November 5, 1792, and died April 26, 1878, in Oxford. He married Almira WILLOUGHBY, of Oxford, born January 8, 1798; died March 13, 1874, in Oxford. Mr. Doty was a cooper by trade, and, during the War of 1812, served his country, for which he was pensioned. Children:

    CHARLES W., born June 11, 1819; died May 12, 1868; married Eunice COOPER.

    WILLIAM R., born September 28, 1822; died September 4, 1871; married Alzada BOWERS.

    NANCY M., born November 1, 1823; died August 6, 1901; married (1) John HUBBARD; married (2) Henry S. FRASER.

    WILLARD H., born October 20, 1825; died May 19, 1893, in Cooperstown, where he married.

    SARAH ANN, born February 15, 1828; died in childhood.

    FRANCIS H., born June 2, 1831; died in childhood.

    LOUISA M., born January 5, 1833; died in childhood.

No story is the same to use after the lapse of
time; or rather, we who read it are no longer
the same interpreters. --- GEORGE ELIOT.

Man in Homespun.


    One day during the '20's a stranger drove to the tavern on the west side in this village. He had a load of hides, was dressed in coarse homespun and not very possessing in appearance. As the landlord met him at the door he inquired:

    "Have you accommodation for my team and dinner for me?"

    "Well, it is past our dinner hour," replied the landlord, "and we have nothing warm. But put out your team and I'll step into the kitchen and see what we can do."

    The stranger drove to the barn and mine host went in search of the cook, to whom he said:

    "A stranger, poorly dressed, has just drove in and wants dinn'er. Don't stop to warm anything up, but just clear off a place on the table and let him eat here."

    "It won't take no time to start the fire again," was the reply. "And, whether he is poor or rich, any man who had driven far to-day needs a warm meal. I'll get it in a very short time, and he can eat in the dining-room."

    "No," said the landlord, "he probably hasn't much money and a cold meal will serve him as well as any. Don't bother about the dining-room, let him eat here."

    The cook, though demurring, hastily arranged the meal as directed, and served to the stranger upon his return from the barn. It was wholesome and heartily partaken of without any word of comment. Upon completing his dinner the man in homespun went to the barroom door and called the landlord outside. Taking a large roll of bills of high denomination from his pocket, he said:

    "I'll now pay my score. I always make it a practice when traveling to show my money as little as possible especially in a barroom among strangers. Though you know me not, you probably have heard of me, I am Mr. PRATT of Sherburne, and, having business in Oxford, thought it was useless to send my man with the hides when I had to come the same way. I keep these clothes to wear when I leave home with a large sum of money, for I am not so apt to be noticed by unprincipled persons, your meal, though cold, has satisfied me.

    The landlord, through embarrassment, exclaimed: "Why, Mr. Pratt, if you had only mentioned your name before----"

    Mr. Pratt interrupted by saying: "Now, no apology is necessary. Clothes don't always determine the man. I have better ones, but preferred to wear homespun for the reason I have already stated. I shall remain here over night, and take out your pay from this bill."

    The landlord replied: "Mr. Pratt, I am very glad to be your host, and hereafter I shall not enter hastily in judgment upon future strangers who enter my door. The best the house affords shall be yours during your sojourn with me, and upon any future visits you may choose to make our town. The lesson I have learned this day will never be forgotten."

    Mr. Pratt was hospitally cared for during the remainder of his stay, and returned home the following morning with a better opinion of the landlord than he had on his arrival.

And though the warrior's sun has set,
It's light shall linger round us yet, ---
Bright, radiant, blest.

Hezekiah Brockett.


    Hezekiah Brockett was born in 1757 in Connecticut. In 1776 he was enrolled in the Continental army, and was one of the few that followed the bold and adventurous "Mad Anthony" WAYNE in 1779 up the heights of Stony Point on the Hudson. He was one of the honest, earnest, God-fearing, hard-working forefathers, with the axe in one hand and the rifle in the other, who made the long, lonely journeys toward the setting sun, with the comforts and many of the necessities of civilization left far behind. The old veteran died April 11, 1851, in Oxford, at the age of 94, and was buried with military honors. The stars and stripes, which in life he loved so well, shrouded his coffin; the booming cannon echoed from hill to hill as his bier passed along; military with glittering muskets and muffled drums formed a guard of honor to the cemetery. Volleys of musketry were fired over his grave, and the old veteran was left to sleep peacefully, waiting the last great roll call.


    Village Illuminated. --- On the 1st of March, 1815, the village was illuminated in the evening on the return of peace with England. William M. PRICE delivered an oration on the occasion in the Academy.

When we laughed round the corn-heap with hearts all in tune,
Our chair a broad pumpkin-our lantern the moon.

Husking and Paring Bees.


    One of the few pleasures of our forefathers was the husking bee, which occurred in the fall of the year, an event looked forward to and long remembered when past. The corn having been gathered into the barn and sheds in great piles, neighbors and friends, sometimes to the number of a hundred, gathered by invitation in the evening, husking frequently three or four hundred bushels of corn. When red ears of corn were discovered the finder, whether male or female, was entitled to a kiss, which often created much merriment. Tin lanterns hung here and there furnished the light for the occasion. The chief course of the supper served was pumpkin pie, big fat ones in all their golden glory.

    The principal method of preserving apples was by drying. They were first pared, and quartered, then strung, and placed upon racks in the kitchen to remain until dry. This work made another evening of fun and frolic in the shape of a paring bee. When the company had assembled all sorts of devices were used in preparing the fruits and large quantities of apples would be placed upon the drying racks at one of these gatherings. Seeds of the apple were placed upon the hot bricks of the old fireplace, properly named, and eagerly watched until they snapped for either an ill or good omen. An unbroken paring was waved three times around the head then dropped to the floor, and the letter it formed was the first in the name of the future wife or husband. At the close of the work a substantial supper, one of the old time kind would follow, and often games and dancing ended the event. At the close of one of these bees on the East hill, as the boys and girls were returning through a piece of woods to their homes, a mischievous neighbor secreted himself with his dog near their path. As they approached he caused the dog to howl and the girls, as well as the boys, hastily took to the trees. After a few moments some of the bolder ones descended, where they found one of the boys, more timid than the rest, sitting on the ground with his feet and arms around the trunk of a tree, supposing himself in the branches safe from danger. His comical appearance brought on such a hearty laugh that all thoughts of fear were driven from their minds.


    THE ENGINE WAS HOUSED. --- One summer's day in 1823, during the building of the river bridge by Jonathan BALDWIN and Thomas BROWN, Daniel SHUMWAY, foreman of the fire company, had the hand engine taken to the river for trial and placed it near where the Fort Hill mill now stands. Mr. Shumway, who held the pipe, threw water on Mr. Brown, who was on one of the bridge abutments, where he could not easily escape. This act aroused the ire of Mr. Baldwin, well known for his quaint expressions and terrible wrath when provoked, who shouldered a broadax and confronting the foreman, exclaimed: "By ----, Daniel Shumway, you let a drop of water fall on the hem of my garment and every man in town will have an engine!" Mr. Shumway threw no more water that day and the engine was immediately housed.

See the Gospel Church secure,
And founded on a Rock!
All her promises are sure;
Her bulwarks who can shock?

Methodist Episcopal Church.


    Methodism in Oxford sprung up as it as it did everywhere in those early days, probably through the efforts of the circuit rider. As near as can be learned its beginning in Oxford dates about the year 1815, and that two years later an organization was effected in what is now known as the VAN WAGENEN barn, and the building still remains on the premises of Mrs. Lemuel BOLLES on Albany street. In this building, and at the homes of the members of the society, they gathered for worship until the society was incorporated, September 24, 1831. The church records contain the following reference to the organization at that time.

    "The male persons of full age belonging to the Methodist Episcopal Church in the village of Oxford met at the Academy in said village, where they steadily attended for divine worship, … for the purpose of electing nine discreet persons as trustees, to take charge of the estate and property of the said church and to transact all affairs relating to the temporalities thereof."

    The preacher in charge, Rev. James ATWELL, presided at the meeting, and was assisted by William E. CHAPMAN. Bliss WILLOUGHBY, Nathaniel WILLCOX, Caleb SEBURY, Everett JUDSON, Gardner B. LEWIS, Elias WIDGER, William E. CHAPMAN, George H. KING, and Daniel DUDLEY were elected trustees.

    Shortly after they purchased the old Academy building on the corner of Merchant's (street) Row and Green street, long since destroyed by fire. They worshipped there until 1841, when the present edifice was erected under the pastorate of Rev. William P. PEARNE, brother of Mr. B. M. Pearne of this village. Its cost was approximately $3500. The corner stone was laid with appropriate ceremonies on June 24th of that year, and the church was formally dedicated to the service of Almighty God January 27, 1842.

    The church building still stands, though many times remodeled. The edifice was repaired and improved under the pastorate of Rev. Hiram GEE, in 1856; also during the pastorate of Rev. S. F. BROWN, in 1872, when over $1100 was expended; in 1880, under the pastorate of Rev. L. W. PECK, D. D., when the basement and front was remolded. The front elevated entrance was removed and an inside vestibule built, with steps at either side leading to the auditorium. The cost at this time was about $1100. In 1886-7 the church was entirely remodeled. The exterior was modernized by the removal of the steeple and the erection of a spire and tower. The front entrance was made convenient and artistic. A side entrance was also made on the east side, through the east tower. The old galleries were removed from the interior, and the church otherwise re-arranged as it is to-day. The whole effect was to make it more convenient and to greatly improve the architectural beauty.

    The beautiful cathedral glass windows are all memorials of those who have been identified with Oxford Methodism. They were made from designs specially made for this church. Entering the auditorium at the left the first window bears the name of Phebe A. ROOME and Margaret ROOME, the gift of Mr. Henry C. Roome of New York, in memory of his mother and sister. The next window was provided by Mr. and Mrs. W. J. MOSIER, and in addition to their own names it bears the names of two deceased sons. Since that time Mrs. Mosier has gone to her Heavenly home. The next bears the inscription, "In loving memory of Bliss WILLOUGHBY and his descendants." and was provided by Mr. W. D. Willoughby of Oxford. The last on the east side was given by Mr. George P. YORK of Westfield, N. Y., in memory of his grandparents, "Isaac J. STRATTON and Rachel, his wife." Passing across the room and returning toward the door, the first window is the gift of Mr. Charles B. DUDLEY of Altoona, Pa., in honor of his parents, Daniel and Maranda Dudley. The next bears the names of John and Mary E. LORD, and was the gift of Mrs. Irene Lord of Oxford. The next is a husband's tribute to the memory of his departed wife, and was the gift of Mr. George RECTOR of Blue Earth City, Minn., and bears the name of Sarah Rector. The last is in memory of the sainted colored sister, known as Aunt Sally SANNICK. It was provided for by the income of a bequest she made to the trustees of the society.

    What life was in the early days of the society is best described by Sister Eliza P. EATON, the oldest member in both actual years of membership as well as age. Mrs. Eaton is now about eighty-eight years of age, but her memory retains a strong grasp upon the events relating to the church in the period when she joined, about 1838. She said the Methodist revival meetings were usually dubbed "the crazy meetings." Owing to the strong antipathy her friends had to these meetings, she and her friends would steal into them. In this way she became converted and finally joined the church. In those days there were times of trouble with ministers. One instance was that of Rev. John BAILEY, who while preacher in charge of this church was confirmed in the Episcopal Church in Greene. Sectarian lines were very closely drawn in those days, and the discovery that the pastor was sureptitiously (sic) preparing for the Protestant Episcopal ministry caused a sensation. He was speedily discharged from his duties on the advise of Rev. Leonard BOWDISH, pastor of the church at Norwich. Another pastor had certain eccentricities, which at times gave the female members of the congregation much concern.

    One of the ablest men who had presided over the church was Rev. William WYATT, pastor in 1847. Rev. Mr. Wyatt, in his memoirs, discourses interestingly about his experiences in Oxford. The most important incident was the conversion of Judge McKOON. The incident is best related in Mr. Wyatt's own words:

    "Judge McKoon, one of the best and most prominent lawyers in the place, had formerly attended the Episcopal Church, of which his wife was a member. He now came to our church. One evening after preaching we gave an invitation to any who wanted religion to come to the altar for prayers. Five or six little boys came out and occupied the seat; no one else came. The Judge was in the congregation and deeply penitent. He had made up his mind to go forward that night and seek the Lord, but when he saw those little children take the place his resolution well nigh failed him. It was a matter of surprise and talk among all the people that he should leave the Episcopalians and join himself to the Methodists; it drew the attention of the whole community. He said to himself: 'An ex-judge of the county, where I have presided for a long time, a prominent lawyer at the bar, a man full fifty years old, and go forward and seek God with those little children.' This caused a great struggle. He had tried many causes, given judgment in intricate and difficult cases, but a case so difficult, yet so important in its findings and issues had never been brought before him. He stood on trial before the bar of his own conscience. It was to him not a matter of dollars and cent to be estimated by the usual standard of loss and gain, but a matter of life and death. … Judge McKoon went forward that night, found the Lord, and became a power in the church."

    Mr. Wyatt, in his book, referred to Oxford as a village with one hundred and seventy dwellings, but they were eastern people brought up in the land of steady habits and all taught to go to church, which most of them did. The churches were all filled every Lord's day with a very intelligent and well disposed people. He also preached at a place called "South Woods" (now South Oxford, or the Basswood Meeting House), and at "Norwich Hill" (now called North Guilford). Several young men were sent out from this church to preach the gospel, among whom were Otis KNIGHT and Orville MEAD, the latter being a grandson of Everett JUDSON, one of the first trustees of the church.

    The following list includes all the pastors of the church since 1827: Henry PECK, 1828; --- MANSFIELD, 1829; John SNYDER, 1830: James ATWELL, 1831; William BOWDISH and --- STOWELL, 1832; Henry HALSTEAD, who was the first stationed pastor, 1833-4; John BAILEY, 1835; Lyman SPERRY, 1836-7; George HARMON, an eccentric yet powerful man, 1838-9; Jared C. RANSOM, a great revivalist in his day, 1839-40; William H. PEARNE, D. D., 1841-2; Lyman SPERRY, 1843-4; William BIXBY, 1844-5; L. L. KNOX, 1846; William WYATT, 1847-8; Bostwick HAWLEY, D. D., 1849; Zechariah PADDOCK, D. D., 1850; Solon STOCKING, 1851-2; A. S. GRAVES, 1852-3; J. T. WRIGHT, 1854; Hiram GEE, 1855-6; L. H. STANLEY, 1857; A. T. MATTISON, 1858-60; William R. COBB, 1860-1; Dwight WILLIAMS, 1862-3; William C. BOWEN, 1864-5; William G. QUEAL, 1866-7; T. P. HALSTEAD, son of Henry Halstead, a former pastor, 1868-70; S. G. BROWN, 1871-2; F. L. HILLER, 1873; H. V. TALBOT, 1874-6; J. K. PECK, A. B., 1876-8; S. C. FULTON, Ph. B., 1878-9; L. W. PECK, D. D., 1880-2; J. W. MEVIS, 1883-5; A. W. COOPER, 1886-91; William G. SIMPSON, William C. FRISBIE, A. H. LITTELL, Henry KILPATRICK, I. N. SHIPMAN, and Frederick A. LENDRUM have been pastors since 1891, in the order named.

    The church benefited from time to time from several bequests, from those who had prized it as a church home, and desired to perpetuate its power and influence.

    Perhaps it would not be amiss to insert here a reference to the pure life and holy character of the colored sister, Aunt Sally SANNICK. Although a former slave, she was one of the most devout and self-sacrificing members. She was one of the earliest members and died in 1882.


    JOHN HARRIS, formerly a sea captain, was an early resident of Norwich, and it was he who surveyed the road from Oxford to Sherburne.


Kind reader! Take your choice to cry or laugh.
--- BYRON.

Memorial Verses.


    An old custom in which to perpetuate the memory of a deceased friend or relative was for some one who thought they had a poetical turn of mind to describe the manner of death in verse. These memorials were sometimes twenty or more stanzas in length, were printed on slips of paper and distributed among the relatives. The following lines were written by Daniel HOLDRIDGE on the accidental death of Abner STARKEY, which occurred in Oxford March 2, 1847:

  Look, friends and neighbors, one and all, 
  How sudden death may on us fall; 
  We are not safe, nor yet secure, 
  Nor shall be while our lives endure. 

  A dreadful scene of late took place, 
  And now I will relate the case: 
  Himself and wife to Oxford went, 
  'Twas there he met the accident. 

  His horse was standing in the shed, 
  He went to get him as 'tis said; 
  The horse took fright and out he came; 
  He tried to hold him, but in vain. 

  Upon the horse's neck he hung; 
  Against the sign-post he was flung; 
  'Twas there he met the fatal blow 
  Which caused him pain an death also. 

  They took him up and then with care, 
  To a physician did him bear;- 
  Upon examination found 
  That he'd received a mortal wound. 

  Then for his friends they quickly sent, 
  Without delay with speed they went, 
  But oh! Alas! They could not save 
  Their friend from an untimely grave. 

  His parents and companion too 
  Were striving something for to do 
  For this dear man, and give some aid 
  That would relieve his aching head. 

  The funeral sermon then was preached 
  By a good man-'twas Elder LEACH; 
  The rites performed, and all things done, 
  They then cosigned him to the tomb. 

  His name to you I'll now make known, 
  'Twas Abner STARKEY, John's own son: 
  In Smithville town he did reside; 
  In Oxford town, 'twas there he died. 


    JONAH MOORE, a settler of McDonough, was drowned in the Chenango river at Oxford about the year 1815, under circumstances which induced the belief that he met a violet death at the hands of parties unknown.

Men, some to business, some to pleasure take;
. . . some to quiet, some to public strife.
--- POPE.

Selah H. Fish.


    Selah H. Fish was born May 8, 1812, in Springfield, Otsego County, N. Y., and came to Oxford in 1847. He was first married June 6, 1833, to Maria BROWN, born October 14, 1811; died July 19, 1834. Mr. Fish's second marriage was March 12, 1837, when Amy BROWN of Fly Creek, Otsego county, N. Y., became his wife. She was born June 27, 1817, and died December 10, 1893, in Neenah, Wis. Mr. Fish was a shoemaker and worked at that trade for many years in Oxford, and was also deputy sheriff, which office he effectually filled for several terms. He took much interest in the Oxford Band, of which he was a member, and was often referred to as the father of that organization. On September 20, 1861, Mr. Fish, with seven members, enlisted in the Regimental Band of the Anderson Zouaves, then encamped near Washington, but returned home early in the following spring, having been discharged on account of ill health. Mr. and Mrs. Fish left Oxford in 1885 to reside with their children at Neenah, Wis., where he met an accidental death April 7, 1887, on the Wisconsin Central railroad. Child by first wife:

    EDGAR A., born July 12, 1834. In the U. S. Navy during Civil war. Died November 27, 1871, in South Oxford.

    Children by second wife:

    MARIA L., married Luke M. ROBINSON of South Oxford.

    HENRY C., died February 14, 1845, in Cooperstown, N. Y.

    JOHN J., married Chloe M. BRADLEY of Mogadore, Ohio. Now County Clerk of Winnebago county, Wis.

A brave man struggling in the storms of fate.
--- POPE.

Edward A. Roome.


    Edward A. Roome was born October 26, 1802, in New York city, and for a number of years was a commission merchant. He was an ardent Henry Clay Whig and, while acting as marshal of a political procession, was knocked from his horse and sustained a fracture of the skull, from the effects of which he never fully recovered. During the spring of 1846 he and his partner undertook a journey to what was then considered the far west, in order to procure each of them a farm. After visiting the extreme western part of the state they returned east through the Chenango valley. Being captivated by its beauties, they concluded to purchase farms adjoining each other in this town. Subsequently Mr. Roome bought the farm of Andrew NcNEIL, now owned by Mrs. Alice McCALL, while his partner engaged to purchase the BRUSH farm adjoining, now owned by O. M. WESTOVER. Returning to New York, he removed his family to Oxford in the fall of that year. As the Erie railroad was not at that time completed the family and goods were transported via Erie and Chenango canals, in a boat commanded by Captain George BALCOM, afterwards the famous Baptist evangelist. Henry C. Roome, the eldest son, in speaking of the trip says: "How well I remember my first impression of Oxford as I entered the village, tramping along the towpath by the side of the horses towing the boat. How dark and gloomy the 'hole in the wall' appeared; how tall and massive the steps leading up to the office of The OXFORD TIMES in the building which stood on the site of the First National Bank edifice; and with what awe and wonder I gazed upon, to me at that time, the ponderous elbow-jointed printing press, and with what feeling of supremacy, born of my superior years, I looked upon the youngster engaged in play with a newspaper on the counter." Mr. Roome and family took board with Colonel Otis J. TRACY and the following spring removed to the Brush farm having paid forfeit to Mr. McNeil for not completing the purchase of his farm. After an experience of three years in farming he became tired of it and sold to William E. CHAPMAN, moving into the village so that he could educate his children at the Academy. Mr. Roome occupied with his family the old INGERSOLL house, which stood on the corner above Riverview cemetery, and which was demolished in 1903. After a year or two he purchased a house on Mechanic street. The effects of his injury becoming more and more severe, he was transferred to the Bloomingdale Asylum, New York, where he died April 18, 1855. Mr. Roome married, in 1833, Phebe HYER of New York City, born in 1811, and died March 28, 1874, in Oxford. Children:

    SARAH, born May 1, 1836, in New York city; died May 5, 1874, in Blue Earth City, Minn.; married April 20, 1856, George C. RECTOR.

    HENRY C., born in New York City, married March 1, 1864, Mary J., daughter of Dr. Austin and Jane (PERKINS) ROUSE. Residence, Jersey City, N. J. Mr. Roome enlisted during the Civil war in the 89th N. Y. S. V., was promoted to be captain, and finally became major. While endeavoring to save his regimental colors in a charge made against the enemy's works on September 27, 1864, he was taken prisoner and placed in Libby prison. Afterwards he was transferred to Salisbury, N. C., from when he was released in February, 1865.

    ANGELINA, born March 7, 1840; died March 25, 1902, in Hastings, Neb.; married July 22, 1875, George C. RECTOR.

    BENJAMIN F., resides in New York City.

    MARGARET H., born in 1847; died October 11, 1869, in Oxford.


    At the town meeting held in 1796 Ephraim FITCH was chosen supervisor, and it was

    Voted. That Nathan CARPENTER and James PHELPS be pound keepers and that their yards be pounds the year ensuing.

    Voted. To give four pounds for each wolf's pate killed in this Town.

    Voted. That hogs be free commoners yok'd and ring'd.

    In the same year we find the record of "Marks of Creatures":

    Isaac SNELL's mark is a square crop off the right ear and a slit in the end of the same.

    David SHAPLEY's mark is a half penny the underside of the right ear.

    Samuel HUNT's mark a half penny the under side of the right ear and under side the left ear a half crop.

    Joel SPRAGUE's mark a square crop off the left ear and half penny under side the same.

    Anson CARY's mark is a swallow's tail on the right ear.

    Shubel COY's mark is a smooth crop off the right Ear and a half penny under it.

    Jonathan BALDWIN's mark for creatures is a hole in the right ear.

    Green HALL's mark is the end of the right ear cut off square apply'd for this 7th June, 1796.             Sign'd Elihu MURRAY, Clerk.


    DAVID AND HANNAH SHAPLEY came to this town in 1800 and began construction, in the then unbroken wilderness, of the home where they lived and died. The son, John, born May 5, 1810, married Naomi WHEELER, and died July 18, 1882.

Consider, man; weigh well thy frame,
The king, the beggar, is the same;
Dust formed us all. Each breathes his day
Then sinks in his native clay.
--- GAY.

George Douglas, M. D.


    The Douglas family dates its origin as far back as the eleventh century. The first Douglas that settled in America was one William Douglas, who landed in Boston, Mass., but later moved to New London, Conn., where he built the first frame house, which stood until 1865. William Douglas, grandfather of the subject of this sketch, was a captain of a military company during the Revolutionary war.

    Dr. George Douglas, long a practicing physician in Oxford, died at his home on Washington park October 9, 1906. The doctor had been in feeble health for several months. He stood high in his chosen profession, and was a member of the Congregational Church.

    Dr. Douglas was the son of Hon. Amos and Miriam (WRIGHT) Douglas, and born at Franklin, N. Y., May 7, 1823. He married February 17, 1858, Ada E. FRINK of Fabius, N. Y., who died March 8, 1864. His second marriage occurred June 14, 1866, when he married Jane A., daughter of William MYGATT of Oxford, who died November 24, 1894.

    Dr. Douglas was educated at the Delaware Literary Institute at Franklin, graduating in 1840. He read medicine with Dr. Francis HINE in his native town and later with Dr. CLARK at Smithville Flats, and in 1842 entered Geneva Medical College, and in 1844 the medical department of the University of the City of New York, graduating April 14, 1845. He began the practice of his profession at Smithville Flats, and in 1846 came to Oxford and entered into copartnership with Dr. S. R. CLARKE in the drug business, which was dissolved in June of the following year. In August, 1860, he, with William H. VanWAGENEN, purchased the stock of drugs and medicine of Dr. Clarke, his former partner, retiring from the firm after a few years. Dr. Douglas still continued the practice of medicine in Oxford until his removal to Brooklyn in 1877, where he remained two years, and then returned to this village, and in 1887 purchased of William H. VanWAGENEN the residence on Washington Park.

    Dr. Douglas, in July, 1864, was appointed Surgeon of the Board of Enrollment of this Congressional district. During the year 1887, accompanied by his daughter, he spent several months in Europe. He was a member of the New York State Medical Association, and the Chenango County Medical Association. In 1871 he was elected an honorary member of the California State Medical Society, and was a member of the Centennial International Medical Congress held in 1876 at Philadelphia. He was ex-president of the Rocky Mountain Medical Association, a member of the World's Medical Congress held in 1887 at Washington, in 1890 was a delegate from the American Medical Association to the World's Medical Congress, which assembled in Berlin, Germany, and was also a member of the first Pan-American Medical Congress held in 1893 at Washington.

    Dr. Douglas was survived by one daughter, Mrs. Ellen McDONALD, who had been his companion and attendant at home and abroad for many years.

Allured to brighter worlds, and led the way. --- GOLDSMITH.

Judson Galpin.


    Judson Benjamin Galpin was a descendant of Benjamin and Rebecca Galpin, who settled at Woodbury, Conn., in 1680. The family has been traced back to the Huguenot war in the early part of the sixteenth century, when the De Galpins were driven from Paris, some went to Switzerland, others to Germany and England. Those who fled to the latter country dropped the "De," and the Galpins in America came from that line. Philip and Caleb Galpin, sons of John Galpin of Bristol, Somerset county, England, came to New Haven, Conn., in 1650, and were the first of that name in America. The Galpin coat of arms consists of a Bear "passant," on a field of argent mounted upon a banner of ermine, which in turn is surrounded by three fleurs-de-lys.

    Mr. Galpin was the eldest son of Benjamin and Polly (JUDSON) Galpin. He was born May 15, 1816, at Washington, Conn., died February 20, 1893, at Oxford; married May 16, 1841, Catherine Jane, daughter of Alfred and Sarah (HAMLIN) HAWLEY BROWNSON, born December 2, 1818, at Warren, Conn. On the 16th of May, 1891, Mr. and Mrs. Galpin, with their children, quietly celebrated the golden anniversary of their wedding at the family residence on Clinton street, Oxford.

    Mr. Galpin at the age of seventeen years entered the printing office of the New Haven (Conn.) Palladium, under the now almost forgotten apprentice system, as an "indentured apprentice." He was an apt scholar, and in January, 1838, when the five years of his apprenticeship were ended, he, with James F. BABCOCK, became publishers of the Palladium. The partnership was dissolved in October, 1839, but he remained in the office until May 14, 1841. The following month at the earnest solicitation of Elisha N. HAWLEY, Mrs. Galpin's half-brother, he with his young wife removed to the neighboring town of Greene. A journey in those days that was thought to far be west and a considerable undertaking. In that village Mr. Galpin and Mr. Hawley conducted a general merchandise business for nearly four years, when, in 1845, a yearning for his chosen profession induced him to come to Oxford and engage upon THE TIMES. Later he became associate publisher with Waldo M. POTTER, who in after years became a leading State officer in North Dakota. On March 4, 1848, Mr. Galpin became sole proprietor and had full charge of the paper for forty-five years, until impaired health compelled him to lay down the stick and rule and submit the management of the office to his eldest son, Theodore B. Galpin. During the long years as publisher THE TIMES never failed to be issued on the regular publication day, was seldom behind the usual hour, and he was absent but twice on that day during his service of nearly half a century. His journal stood prominent among the leading interior newspapers of his day. His published opinions, we are told, "always commanded the respect, if not the adhesion of his readers." Mr. Galpin was faithful to his trusts, true to his friends, and conducted THE TIMES for the best interests of the town and its welfare, and the files of the paper are a fitting memorial to his integrity.

    For nearly forty years Mr. Galpin conducted a book and stationery business in connection with the printing establishment, and at his death was the oldest business man in town.

    He was a regular attendant at the Methodist Episcopal church, of which he was a member and trustee, and was clerk of the board for many years.

    Public spirited, he gave generously to all that would benefit the village or town, and no subscription paper passed unsigned by him that would help a townsman in distress. Public office he never sought nor ever held. Of a quiet, retiring disposition, he was ever found at his place of business, yet enjoyed the companionship of friends and neighbors who entered his home or office. His children, all born in Oxford, are:

    THEODORE BROWNSON GALPIN, born "Ere pinks were carnations and roses all double," from a boy up has always been identified with THE OXFORD TIMES. Like most printers, who have achieved success, he has passed through the various elements of carrier, devil, compositor, pressman, foreman, and country newspaper editor. The only intervals that occur to break a continued connection with THE TIMES were his attendance at Oxford Academy and two terms at Cazenovia Seminary. Even in the days when he was attending the Academy he was wont to divide his time out of school with work at the office, and many a night during the Civil war he put in long hours as rollerboy on the Washington hand press, which still has a retired nook in the office and at an age quite, if not past, the century mark. At the close of his school days at Cazenovia, Mr. Galpin began his active connection with the paper, which has never ceased to this day. Through the medium of THE TIMES, he stands for his home town first, last, and all the time, which sentiment has generally been appreciated by his townsmen. He conducts his business in a practical and progressive manner, his policy being to give the reader spicy local news, and advertisers the best possible service. He realizes that advertising is done for the purpose of securing results. Accordingly his efforts have always been directed to making THE TIMES service bring results, and in this he has been notably successful. When Mr. Galpin retires at night and hangs his hat on the wall his family are all in.

    HENRY JUDSON, married Mrs. Eva B. WILLIAMS of Fulton, N. Y., youngest daughter of Horace Nelson and Matilda (VAN VALKENBURG) SABIN.

    FLORRIE GEE, married John N. WALKER, son of John and Mary (SAWTELLE) Walker of McDonough, N. Y. Now resides at Warsaw, N. Y. Children: John Galpin, connected with the Electric Signal and Switch Company at Pittsburg, Pa.; Robert Sawtell, stenographer for Warsaw Blue Stone Company, Warsaw, N. Y.; Alfred Brownson, died September 16, 1889, in infancy; Catherine, died September 28, 1891, in infancy; Agnes Louise.

    JENNIE HARRIET, married Henry STARKWEATHER, son of John H. and Anna Starkweather of New Haven, Conn. Now resides at Pittsburg, Pa.


    Laborer's wages in 1826 were from forty to sixty cents a day. Fresh beef was four cents a pound and fresh pork three and a half cents. "Locofoco" matches twenty-five cents per box, for what are now sold for a cent. Cord wood, one dollar per cord; flour, four to ten dollars per barrel; tobacco, forty cents per pound, and whiskey thirty-five cents per gallon.

He lives who dies to win a lasting name.

Nelson C. Chapman.


    Nelson C. Chapman came in 1846 to Oxford from Norwich, and with his brother-in-law, Joseph G. THORP, succeeded Ira WILLCOX in the general mercantile business conducted at the brick store on Fort Hill. For a period of ten years they were prominent and successful business men of Oxford. Having disposed of their goods to Miller & Perkins, they engaged in banking for a short time in Clinton, Iowa, but finally became extensively engaged in the lumbering business at Eau Claire, Wis., where, by indomitable energy and sagacity, they secured a fortune. Mr. Chapman's large business interest directed him a few years later to St. Louis, where he became prominent in business circles and very influential in public affairs. He died in that city September 12, 1873. Elizabeth A., his wife, died May 6, 1876, aged 58. Children:

    GILBERT, deceased.

    FLORENCE A., born July 3, 1847, in Oxford; died December 2, 1900, in Paris, France; married October 21, 1869, at St. Louis, Henry ALCOCK, Esq., of Leamington, Warwickshire, England, who died in 1893. Children: Mary, Gilbert, died shortly after his father; Nelson, died in June, 1900; Harry, lieutenant of the English Navy, and Vivian.


    NELSON C., resident St. Louis, Mo.

That chastity of honor which felt a stain like a wound.
--- BURKE.


Capt. Joseph Hawley Dwight.


    Captain Joseph Hawley Dwight was born at Great Barrington, Mass., September 13, 1785. Soon after arriving at the age of 21 he went to Bridgewater, N. Y., and in 1812 entered the United States army as ensign. During the war he was engaged for the most time in active service on the frontier, and toward the close as quartermaster to the 13th Reg't of Infantry, in which position he served faithfully. At the close of the war he resigned his office and resided at Unadilla Forks, N. Y., Schenectady, and Utica until 1840, when he came to Oxford. Here he entered into copartnership with the CLARKEs, under the firm name of E. Clarke, Son & Co., which was dissolved May 1, 1843, by his withdrawal. Captain Dwight was known and esteemed for his strict integrity, and beloved by all for his benevolence of heart and hand. His death at the age of 60 followed a carriage accident which occurred August 6, 1845. Catherine CLARKE, his wife, sister of Ethan Clarke, born April 17 1793, in Stonington, R. I., died June 11, 1840, in Oxford. They had but one child, Henry William, who died in infancy.


    DAVID DAVIS was one of the early settlers of the town, but very little is now known of him, except that he had two daughters, Cornelia, married Joseph LOBDELL, and Lucinda, married Francello STUART.

Of manners gentle, of affections mild;
In wit a man, simplicity a child.
--- POPE.

Rev. Jared C. Ransom.


    Rev. Jared Comstock Ransom was born at Warren, Herkimer county, May 24, 1803, and early in life became a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. In 1834 he was given an exhorter's license, and in 1836 a local preacher's license; the same year he joined the Oneida Conference, and in 1869 became a member of the Wyoming Conference. His pastoral record was Sharon, Brookfield, Otego, Chenango Circuit, Butternuts, and Oxford. In 1839, on account of feeble health, he was superanuated and came to Oxford, purchasing the house and land on State street, which he occupied till his death. He devoted much time to agricultural pursuits, and officiating for absent pastors. He was firm in his duties and convictions, highly respected and esteemed in this and adjoining communities. His services were frequently required at wedding and funeral ceremonies, and an incomplete record from November 3, 1839, to June 2, 1879, shows that he officiated at 327 weddings; and from January 15, 1837, to June 12, 1877, he preached 583 funeral sermons. In November, 1879, Elder Ransom was stricken with paralysis on his right side, and died July 5, 1882, aged 79. His first wife was Ann Amanda COOK, who died December 25, 1828, leaving three sons. On August 2, 1840, he married Mary PRESTON of Oxford, who died December 28, 1858.

    CHARLES C. RANSOM, eldest son of Rev. J. C. Ransom, was employed several years in the office of THE OXFORD TIMES. He was cordial and pleasant in manner, and possessing good-natured mirth attached many friends, especially among those of his own age. On leaving THE TIMES office he secured a position on the Erie railroad. On February 21, 1856, an accident occurred at Cascade bridge by which he lost his life. He had signaled a train across the bridge and with a lamp on each arm attempted to get upon a car; his foot slipped and was caught under a wheel, which passed over him, severing an arm and leg from the body. He was taken to Susquehanna, where he survived for four hours, suffering little pain and in full possession of his senses until he calmly expired.

    Norman K. Ransom, brother of the above, a prominent citizen of Richfield Springs, died at that place March 13, 1872.


    The COMMON SCHOOLS of the town celebrated Washington's birthday at the Congregational church in 1844. Music was furnished by the Tyrolean Band, and the exercises consisted of examinations of the scholars in arithmetic and grammar, followed by addresses from Revs. PERRY, BURIS, and SPERRY. Eighteen of the twenty-one districts were represented by teachers, who were accompanied by 460 scholars. Nearly 100 more children and 300 adults were present.


    JOHN HOLMES died in Oxford, May 12, 1849, in the 90th year of his age. He entered the Revolutionary army at the age of 16, and served until the conclusion of the war. He came to this town when there was but one dwelling where the village now stands, and resided there until his death. Esther, his widow, died March 21, 1863, aged 86.

Ay, sir; to be honest, as this world goes, is to be one
man picked out of two thousand.

Addison Dudley Adams.


    Addison Dudley Adams, son of Platt and Clarissa (DUDLEY) Adams, was born in Durham, Greene county. He received his elementary education in the public schools of his native town, and on finishing his school work moved to Oxford and engaged in mercantile business in the Fort Hill block. After remaining here a few years he removed in 1839 to Greene, where he conducted a general dry goods business. He married Mary, daughter of John and Mary (WELCH) PERRY of Oxford. Mr. Adams held the position of supervisor of the town of Greene for several terms. His death occurred in 1878. Mrs. Adams died January 27, 1905. Children:

    PLATT, married Claire VARLET of Paris, Francis, and resides in New York City.

    JOHN P., married Claista WEAVER of Syracuse; resides at New York City.

    WILLIAM A., married Mary RULE of Belleville, N. J.; dead.

    REUBEN A., died in infancy.

    AUGUSTUS WILLARD, resides in Chicago. He held for two years the athletic championship in the United States at putting the sixteen pound shot.

    EMILY C., married Romeo M. WILBUR of Sioux City, Ia.; now resides in Greene.

A heap of dust alone remains of thee,
'Tis all thou art, and all the proud shall be.
--- POPE.

Horace Packer.


    Horace Packer, born in Norwich, January 2, 1812, came to Oxford in 1839. He was educated at the district schools of his native town, at Oxford Academy, and Madison University at Hamilton. He read law with Judge McKOON in this village, was early admitted to the bar, and began the practice of law, in which by untiring and indomitable spirit he gained a prominent position among distinguished competitors. In November, 1846, he married Mary A. TISDAL of Little Falls, N. Y., who died seven months afterwards.

    Through life and to his last days, Mr. Packer was a diligent student, and much of a philosopher. In the study of sacred and polite literature, history and the classics, he was probably equalled by few or none in our midst. His ready and accurate familiarity with the ancient philosophers, the incidents of their early lives and the spirit of their teachings was a surprise to those verifying his statements by knowledge or research. To those who knew him by a mere superficial acquaintance there can be but a small idea of the originality, brilliant wit and conversational powers that for many years made him a central figure in social life, and always a delight in family gatherings.

    Losing his wife so early, his long, solitary life unblessed by those graces which come from the love, sacrifice, and sympathy of the home circle to the husband and father, there was yet displayed in his life in a remarkable degree an almost knightly courtesy and kindness to all, high or low, with whom he was associated. For young men he was especially considerate and thoughtful; helping them forward into notice and self-confidence.

    Always active, though for some years in delicate health, his final sickness lasted but about ten days, and his death, which occurred from lung disease, was unexpectedly sudden. He died at his residence in this village November 10, 1881.


    OLIVER C. RHODES, born June 16, 1769, in Westerly R. I., came to Oxford in 1814, where he resided until his death, which occurred April 23, 1846. His wife, Eunice PENDLETON, born December 15, 1776, in Westerly, died October 10, 1854, in Oxford. They bought the farm now owned and occupied by their great grandson, Oliver John Rhodes, north of the Woman's Relief Corps Home. Among their children was OLIVER, 2d, born December 26, 1803, in Westerly, R. I., and died February 11, 1893, in Oxford, on the farm on which he had resided seventy-eight years. He married February 5, 1841, Marie Louisa PERRY, daughter of Deacon John Perry, born February 3, 1812, in Smithville, N. Y., and died March 4, 1903, in Oxford. Children, none of whom survive:

    ELLEN MARIE, married Thomas PECK, who met an accidental death on the railroad.

    JOHN P., married Rufina PIERCE. Children: Carrie Ellen, married William FOX; Oliver, John, married Emma C. WHITED of Binghamton, now living on the old homestead; Belle Bond died at the age of 12.

    OLIVER, 3d, died in infancy.

Whose remembrance yet lives in men's eyes.

Frederick A. Sands.


    Frederick A. Sands, son of Judge Obabiah and Elizabeth (TEED) Sands, was born in Bainbridge, February 19, 1813. He was a student in Oxford Academy in 1828. As early as 1835 he was a clerk in a store at Unadilla, and later engaged in business under the firm name of FELLOWS & Sands, which was soon changed to WATSON & Sands. In 1840 he returned to Oxford and entered into business with his brother-in-law, James W. CLARKE. In 1856 he returned to Unadilla, and a few years later, on the death of his father, Mr. Sands, who was executor and trustee of the estate, abandoned his mercantile pursuits and devoted himself to the affairs of the estate.

    On the formation of the First National Bank of Oxford, Mr. Sands became interested with James W. Clarke, and an old personal friend, Henry L. MILLER, and others, and was one of the original directors and the first cashier of that institution. Mr. Miller and he were lifelong friends, and they were buried at the same hour and on the same day in March, 1886. At the death of Mr. Sands it was said of him. "Few men have done so much business with so little litigation." His papers were "models of neatness and brevity, and always as correct as care and labor could make them." With this scrupulous exactness went also a fine integrity.

    Mr. Sands married (1) Maria, daughter of Sherman PAGE, who died two years after the marriage; married (2) in January, 1841, Clarissa A., sister of Henry R. MYGATT of Oxford, who survived him only a few months.


    FRANCES MARIA, died September 20, 1841.

    CLARA MYGATT, married Senator Frank B. ARNOLD; died June 3, 1881.

    HENRY, married (1) 1872, Eveline INGERSOLL; married (2), 1885, Ada WILSON.

    BELLE, married Samuel S. NORTH.

    J. FREDERICK, married Clara Louise PELLETREAU.


    JEREMIAH TILLOTSON, born in 1776 in Rutland, Vt., came to Oxford after obtaining his majority. He married in this town and shortly afterwards moved to Greene, where he died in 1852. He was a soldier in the War of 1812, and rendered gallant service until the close of the same. Children:

    JEREMIAH, married Lovicy LOOMIS of Greene, who died November 7, 1877, in Oxford, aged 71. He inherited a fortune while yet a young man, but through high living and a generous disposition he was left penniless in his old age, and died September 11, 1898, aged 94, at the County House in Preston.

    SABRINA, married William RACE of South Oxford.

    SILAS, married Eunice SMITH of Rutland, Mass.


    PLATT BRUSH settled in Greene as early as 1802. He removed to Oxford in the spring of 1810, where he practiced law. He finally returned to New York from whence he originally came.

Everyone cleaves to the doctrine he has happened upon as to
a rock against which he has been thrown by tempest.

Rev. Jabez S. Swan.


    Rev. Jabez S. Swan, better known as Elder Swan, was a native of Stonington, Ct., and when the British fleet bombarded that place in 1814 served as powder monkey to the cannoneers that defended the town. At the age of 22 he was a licensed preacher; but thinking himself insufficiently educated, determined to take a theological course at Madison University, Hamilton, N. Y. To reach the college he rode 250 miles on horseback. Having $100 saved from hard work, and a young wife earnest and active as himself, he leased a cabin for nine dollars a year and began housekeeping. Every Sunday while at college he rode twenty miles to preach before a congregation that paid him fifty cents a sermon. On other days he earned three shillings at felling trees and cutting timber. In 1827 he was graduated. In such a school of heroic self-denial, Elder Swan was fitted for the work to which, during the next fifty years, he applied himself. Fifteen thousand persons were converted under his preaching, and in one of his earliest pastorates, covering a period of three years, he baptized 1800 persons. He became insane at the time the lamented Garfield was assassinated, and until his death, which occurred at New London, Ct., November 19, 1884, at the age of 85, his mind was under a cloud. He was pastor of the Oxford Baptist Church from 1839 to 1842. During one of the revival meetings he was holding here, Asa BEARDSLEY, a noted character, and of very dark complexion, went forward. Elder Swan, on seeing him among he penitents, exclaimed: "The devil has turned over another black ace!" The following is an extract from one of his sermons:

    "I was preaching once over on the borders of heathendom, between Guilford and Oxford, and in my audience saw a hard shell Baptist, who had said that 'if Christ had gone through his cornfield on Sunday and picked ears of corn, he would have had a supreme writ on him before he slept.' I knew he was there and I told the story. A half crazy fellow sat upon the pulpit stairs, and, as I finished, he looked up and said: 'Well, Elder, he would have to go to the devil to get the writ, wouldn't he?' Yes, said I, and it would have been an eternal journey."


    JONATHAN BUSH lived on Merchants street at a very early day and owned considerable land in the village. Washington Park was once a cornfield owned by his son. It can be said of him:

"This man came to this country at an early day,
Where nothing dwelt, but beasts of prey,
And men as fierce, and wild as they."


    AMOS HAVENS was an early settler in the eastern part of the town. After his death the family moved to Bainbridge. Among his children were: WILLIAM, CHAMPLAIN, URSULA, married Job IRELAND; MARY ANN, married and went west; CALISTA, was a deaf mute; and FREDERICK, was blind, having destroyed the sight of one eye by doctoring the other, which was accidently destroyed by a knife.

Neither fish nor flesh, no good red herring. --- SIR H. SHEERS.

Fourth of July Bill.


    The following is a copy of a bill incurred by the committee of nineteen who superintended the celebration of Independence Day in 1838. It will be noticed that they did not recklessly use the funds on beer and cigars:

4th July committee, To T. ORCUTT, Dr.

June7thTo2 Bottles wine………………………...$2.00

8"" do do ………………………..............2.00
Soda ……………………………….......25
15"1 Bottle wine……………………….....1.00
July3"Expenses paid bringing boughs …..........25
"""2 pitchers Lemonade ……………….....1.00
"4"4 Bottles Rum at 4/-……………….......2.00
"""6 do Brandy ……………………...........3.00
"""9 do Wine 8/- ……………….................9.00
"""6 Bowls 8 Sugar 4/- ……………….......3.00
"""6 Bowls & Sugar 4/- …………….….....3.00
"""Crackers & Cheese ……………….........50
"""Segars ……………………………….....50
"""Beer …………………………………....25
"""6 drinks ………………………………...37
"""16 pitchers Lemonade ……………........8.00
"""punches ………………………………...50
"""1 Tumbler Broke………………………..25
"""1 Bottle Wine………………………….1.00

22 Diners for Revolutionary Soldiers....
3 " Clergy...............................................
19 " Committee.......................................
18 " Musicians…………………...........62.00

We have strict statues and most fitting laws.

Court of Common Pleas.


    The first Court of Common Pleas held in Chenango County was convened at the schoolhouse in Hamilton in June, 1798. The first business transacted was the admission of Thomas R. GOLD, Joseph KIRKLAND, Nathan WILLIAMS, Stephen O. RUNYAN, Nathaniel KING, Arthur BRESEE, Peter B. GARNSEY and Medad CURTIS, to practice as attorneys and counselors in this Court. The second term was held in Oxford, in October, 1798; and after this the Courts were held alternately at Oxford and Hamilton until the formation of Madison county. The Court met three times a year to transact county business. The Judges were authorized to open the Court on Tuesday, but not to hold beyond Saturday of the same week.

    The first Circuit Court was held July 10, 1798, at which Justice KENT, after Chancellor, presided. No business was transacted at this sitting of the Court, as will appear from the subjoined copy of the clerk's minutes:

    At a Circuit Court held at the Academy in the town of Oxford in and for the County of Chenango, on the 10th July, 1798, before the Honorable James Kent, Esquire, one of the Justices of the Supreme Court of judicature of the State of New York.

    Hon. James Kent, Esq.
    The Court opened by proclamation.
    The court adjourned for one hour.
    The Court met pursuant to adjournment.

    Hon. James Kent, Esq.
    The Court adjourned sine die.

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