Annals of Oxford.

Here shall the Press the People's right maintain,
Unawed by influence and unbribed by gain;
Here patriot Truth her glorious precepts draw,
Pledged to Religion, Liberty and Law.
--- STORY.

Journals of Oxford.


    During the past ninety-nine years Oxford has had seven distinct journals or newspapers published within its borders. Many made heroic efforts to live, but died in infancy; two or three were merged into other papers and have thus lost their identity.

    But one now remains, THE OXFORD TIMES, which in its seventieth year, has nothing of senility in its appearance, but like old wine improves with age. A large increasing circulation proves this to be a positive fact, and its success comes simply because it has reflected the happenings and championed the interests of Oxford and the county of Chenango. As a write states: "The scrupulousness with which THE TIMES has adhered to the cause of local interests has not always been to its immediate pecuniary advantage, but its publishers have the satisfaction of knowing that its stand is approved by its home advertisers and that it is therein strengthening its foundations for future permanency."

    The first journalistic enterprise launched in Oxford saw the light of day in the month of October, 1807. It was owned and edited by John B. JOHNSON and bore the name of THE CHENANGO PATRIOT. It existed but three or four years, and then died a natural death. The issue of October 17, of that year, contained extracts from the New York Gazette of October 4 and 7. Among other interesting items were: "By the arrival of the British brig 'Tom Barry,' in the short passage of 36 days from Scotland, the editors of the New York Gazette have received London and Glasgow papers to the 27th of August."

    "Pope Pius VII., by the authority of Almighty God, and of the Saints Peter and Paul, has executed sentence of excommunication against the Emperor Napoleon, for want of due reverence to his majesty, and other acts of usurpation and violence."

    But not withstanding all this the village of Oxford was moving on in the full title of successful settlement. The age of pot and pearl ashes, and black salts, had arrived; and the columns of the President, a village journal that appeared shortly after the Patriot, and soon went thence, published by Theophilus EATON, announced:

    "The trustees of the Associated Presbyterian Society, Uri TRACY, Stephen O. RUNYAN, and Amos A. FRANKLIN, notwithstanding the rumors of war, and the excommunication of the emperor, will receive subscriptions to the new church, without further delay."

    The Oxford Gazette was stared in 1814 by Chauncey MORGAN, who published it until March 5, 1823, when George HUNT became proprietor. June 23, 1824, Ebenezer NOYES became associated with Mr. Hunt in its publication. In February, 1825, it was sold to HOWARD & CARLISLE, and shortly after Mr. Morgan again became proprietor, who sold to William G. HYER, in 1826. In September, 1826, Benjamin CORRY came into town, from some place south, astride a pair of saddle-bags and riding a very fine gray horse. He was emphatically a business man, and purchased the Gazette, editing it very acceptably for a few years, when the publication was discontinued. Mr. Corry married Leafa BALCOM, daughter of Francis Balcom, and soon after moved to Watertown, N. Y., when he continued his editorial career for several years.

    The Chenango Republican was started in 1826 by Benj. CORRY, who sold to Daniel MACK and Wm. E. CHAPMAN Dec. 10, 1828, and on Sept. 22, 1830, Daniel Mack became sole proprietor. March 3, 1831, Wm. E. Chapman and T. T. FLAGLER commenced a new series, and soon after changed its name to the Oxford Republican. In 1838, Mr. Chapman became sole proprietor. During the next few years it was successively published by J. Taylor BRADT, Benj. WELCH, Jr., and R. A. LEAL. In January, 1843, Charles E. CHAMBERLAIN became associated proprietor with Mr. Leal, and in August of the same year Mr. Leal again became editor and proprietor, Wm. M. LEWIS doing the printing. R. A. Leal died in January, 1844, and his brother LaFayette became proprietor. In 1847 it was merged with the Norwich Journal, and published as the Chenango Union.

    The Chenango Whig was published a short time in 1835, by Denison Smith CLARK.

    The Miniature, a small monthly, as issued from the same office.

    THE OXFORD TIMES was founded in the fall of 1836 by a joint stock company, and was for some time conducted by H. H. COOK , a lifetime resident of Oxford. In 1841 it passed into the hands of E. H. PURDY and C. D. BRIGHAM, from whom it was in turn transferred to Waldo M. POTTER, in 1844. The following year Judson B. GALPIN became associated proprietor with Mr. Potter. In 1848 Mr. Galpin assumed entire control of the paper and continued its publication till his death, February 20, 1893, marking a continuous connection of forty-eight years with THE TIMES. The paper then passed into the hands of his eldest son, Theodore B. Galpin, who has been connected with the establishment from early youth. In January, 1894, Mr. Galpin disposed of one-half interest to Wellington ALEXANDER, who retired from the firm in September, 1899, and commenced the publication of the Oxford Press. July 1, 1906, C. Edward SNELL, foreman of THE TIMES, purchased the Press and merged it with THE TIMES, under the firm name of Galpin & Snell. THE TIMES was then enlarged to an eight page journal and many improvements made in its make up.

    The Oxford Transcript, commenced in 1853 by George N. CARHART, was published about six months.

    The Chenango Democrat was commenced November 19, 1863, and published but a short time.


    The Fort Hill House, a noble looking three-story structure, with large columns in front, and one that would now do credit to any city, which stood on the site of the residence of William M. MILLER; together with the store of Rufus BALDWIN, hat store of Peleg GLOVER and cabinet shop of John Y. WASHBURN, extending nearly to the river, burned on the morning of May 13, 1839, making the largest fire Oxford ever experienced. Charles H. CURTIS was proprietor of the house and shortly after the fire went west, finally settling in Chicago at a time when he could count every man in that city. He accumulated a fortune which at one time was estimated at $3,000,000. During the summer of 1885 he lost heavily in speculation, and on January 12, 1886, his lifeless body was found in the lake, and it is supposed that he committed suicide.

The storm is past, but it hath left behind it
Ruin and desolation.

Severe Storms.


    On Saturday evening, September 17, 1853, a thunderstorm broke upon this part of the Chenango valley. The rain commenced falling at 10 o'clock and poured without cessation until 3 A. M. Sunday morning the river was raised over its banks and swept along, a turbid flood at average high water mark. A good many crops of corn on the low flats were flooded or carried off. Clarke's creek overflowed its banks, filling the Chenango house cellar, and discharged its surplus over LaFayette square into the canal. It put the Maine law in force in Landlord HAMILTON's cellar, emptying sundry barrels of liquor and mixing it with rather dirty water. The canal bank gave way near the aqueduct above the village. The Fly Meadow brook, running into the river from the west, near Clarence MINER's, was so high and rapid as to carry off all the bridges above the plank road, and the plank road bridge was so much undermined as to be impassable. All the dams on this creek, except SHELDON's, were swept out as far up as LEWIS's in Preston. The shop at WAIT & GUERNSEY's upper dam was carried away, and the dye house at their factory. The Lyon Brook carried away all the bridges above the river road, and cut out BEMIS's dam. His mill was also injured, and logs and lumber floated off. The Padgett book swept off Charles PADGETT's dam and sawmill, and four bridges, as well as crops and fences.

And him who, with the steady sledge,
Smites the shrill anvil all day long.



    William Dunne, born November 2, 1815, in Kings county, Ireland; died March 6, 1895, in Oxford; married (1), in Ireland, Catherine PIERCE, who died February 15, 1850, in Oxford; married (2) in Oxford, Sarah FLANAGAN, sister of James Flanagan, born March 15, 1822, in Kings county, Ireland; died in 1890, in Oxford.

    Mr. Dunne came to New York city in 1847, and the following year to Oxford., Having perfectly learned the trade of a blacksmith, he had no difficulty in finding a position open in the shop of Charles and Fred B. McNEIL, where, by honest toil and strict integrity, he remained a number of years. Then desiring a shop of his own he, with his family, moved to South Oxford, where, having hired a shop of POWERS & SMITH, carriage makers, he did their work and a general blacksmith business besides. In 1857 he purchased a farm in the McNeil neighborhood, where he passed the remainder of his days. Mr. Dunne was a man of indomitable industry and perseverance; a man of thrift, whatever he did was well done. Children by first wife:

    MARY, born in Kings county, Ireland; married James BOLGER and resided in Norwich. Children: Catherine, William J., James, Henry.

    MICHAEL P., born in Kings county, Ireland; married Mary A. MOORE in Oxford, whose death occurred February 25, 1906. Followed the trade of his father and successfully conducted business in Tyner and later in Oxford. Now retired and living in the village. In 1903 visited his birthplace in Ireland and returned with many a rare curio, which, added to the relics and collection of coins already in his possession, makes an interesting exhibit. Children: Sarah E., teaching in New York city; William H., a prominent business man of Norwich; James E., married Alice FLANAGAN of Smithville Flats and has two children, Dr. Charles M., successfully practicing dentistry in Norwich, and Mary A., engaged for a number of years teaching in Brooklyn, married January 1, 1906, Benjamin W. MOORE of Brooklyn.

    PATRICK H., born in Kings county, Ireland; married Miss CALLAHAN in Detroit, Mich., where he now resides. Has five children.

    Children by second wife, all born in Oxford:

    MARTIN J., married in Detroit, where his family resides. Now veterinary surgeon in the Philippines in the employ of the U. S. government. Has three children.

    MARGARET, married Michael POWERS and resides in Oxford. Children: William, married Helen HOGAN and has two children; John, Sarah, Martin, Clara, Clarence, Edward and Nellie.

    AGNES, married in Oxford Robert KAHL; born in Germany; died September 29, 1889, in Oxford. Children: Robert and Martin.

    NELLIE, resides in Oxford. Unmarried.

    CATHERINE, married in Oxford, Joseph GALLAGHER. Children: William, Thomas Duane, died February 12, 1906, aged 20, Nellie, Theresa, Joseph, and Catherine.

    THERESA, married in Oxford, Francis CULLEN; died in Preston.

    ANNA, resided a number of years in New York, now living in Oxford. Unmarried.

The life given us by nature is short; but the memory of a well-
spent life is eternal.



    Myron Powers, a native of Dutchess county, was a miller in Norwich for several years, until 1843, when he moved to Greene and purchased a farm of 125 acres. After remaining there a term of years he bought a farm in South Oxford, upon which he passed the remainder of his days. Early in life he married Gertrude WILLSON, and of their nine children six grew to maturity, among whom was Alanson W., a resident of South Oxford.

    Alanson W. Powers obtained his mental training in the public schools of Greene and Norwich, and then learned the trade of wagon maker, and has followed it since. In 1849 he located in South Oxford and began the manufacture of wagons, sleighs and carriages, and in the excellency of his work he soon became well known throughout a large territory of the surrounding country. Mr. Powers has served in official capacities as postmaster, excise commissioner and inspector of election, and advocates the Republican principles of government. In religious belief he is a member of the Baptist church, and is also a member of the Oxford Lodge, No. 176, F. & A. M. He married in 1850, Miss Emily BARTOO, daughter of Hiram Bartoo of Greene. Children:

    MYRON E., born February 1, 1861, in South Oxford; died November 15, 1900, in Oxford; married Jessie SHELDON of Oxford. Children: Percival S., Kathryn A., Kenneth W. Two children died in infancy.

Method is the hinge of business and there is no
Method without order and punctuality.



    William Robinson came to this country about 1636 and settled at Dorchester, Mass.

    His son, Samuel Robinson, married Mary BAKER. His son, Rev. John Robinson, graduated at Harvard College in 1695, and was a minister of the church at Duxbury, Mass. He removed to Lebanon, Conn., where he died November 14, 1745. His wife was Hannah WISWELL. Their son, John Robinson, was born April 16, 1715. Died at Bozrah, Ct., August 21, 1784. His wife was Thankful HINKLEY. Their son, Samuel Robinson, born June 7,1752, in Lebanon, Ct., died March 2, 1815, in South Oxford; married 1 Priscilla METCALF of Lebanon, Ct., born July 29, 1759; died May 20, 1850, in South Oxford. They first settled at Bozrah, Ct., and removed to Oxford in 1800. Mr. Robinson was a direct descendant of one of the Pilgrim Fathers. On his arrival in Oxford he engaged in farming and milling and became known as a most prosperous farmer. Their children, all born in Lebanon, Ct.:

    FAITH, born July 23, 1781; died March 1, 1863, in Oxford. Unmarried.
    JABEZ, born April 9, 1783.
    ANDREW, born January 20, 1788; probably died in Texas.
    DAN HYDE, born October 11, 1795.

    Jabez Robinson, son of Samuel and Priscilla (METCALF) Robinson, removed to South Oxford in 1808. Born of Revolutionary ancestors and in the same year in which was consummated the independence of his country and which saw her take her place among the nations of the earth a recognized power; bred in the stern school of economy which the great struggle had necessitated, and his youthful mind filled with those sterling tales of patriotism which fell from the lips of the heroes who had so lately offered their all upon the altar of their country, he was well prepared for the subsequent scenes and trials of life, as a pioneer in a new and sparsely settled country. In the second great struggle of the then infant country to preserve and to perpetuate the liberties won in the Revolution, he entered the service of his country in the forces raised by his adopted State, was promoted to the rank of brevet Major, and remained until the close of the war.

    In 1834 Mr. Robinson was elected sheriff of this county, and in all the various stations which he was called upon to fill from time to time, was faithful, deserving and fully adhering to the tenents of his early education. His farm lay on both sides of the Chenango river, and in the course of time he erected a grist and saw mill. He furnished employment of the poor, took honest toll, and left a record that was unblemished. His death occurred February 25, 1864, at the age of 81 years. Mr. Robinson married (1) July 10, 1810, Maria TEN BROECK of South Oxford, died April 4, 1818; aged 29 years. Married (2) February 7, 1819, Ann TEN BROECK, sister of first wife; died June 8, 1873, aged 75 years. Children by first wife:

    FRANCES, born October 28, 1812, in South Oxford; died October 19, 1859, in Houston, Texas; married Alvin S. PERKINS. Child: Sarah Maria, married Rev. I. W. TAYS of El Paso, Texas.

    SARAH, born June 15, 1814, in South Oxford; died August 9, 1836, in Norwich. Unmarried.

    MARY, born April 28, 1816, in South Oxford; died March 4, 1895, in Salida, Colo.; married June 16, 1832, Calvin WHEELOCK of New York city. Child: Anna J., married October 18, 1882, Eli W. TEN BROECK, and resides at Salida, Col. Children by second wife.

    SAMUEL M., born April 25, 1821, in South Oxford.

    JOHN W., born March 12, 1823, in South Oxford; died April 27, 1881, in Jackson, Mich.; married Mary Jane BRADFORD of Huntsville, Ala.

    MARIA A., born January 14, 1825, in South Oxford; married George STRATTON, and resides in South Oxford.

    REV. JAMES A., born March 26, 1827, in South Oxford; died December 17, 1897, in Cortland, N. Y., where he had been for ten years rector of Grace Episcopal church. Was also chaplain of 32d N. Y. S. V. regiment during Civil war. Married Sarah T. HALE of Hornellsville, N. Y.

    PEREZ PACKER, born August 5, 1832, in South Oxford; died June 2, 1854, in Jackson, Miss. Unmarried.

    JENNIE A., born December 13, 1834, in South Oxford; died November 26, 1896, in Tuscaloosa, Ala.; married Tipton BRADFORD.

    CHARLES L., born May 6, 1837, in Norwich; married Virginia WATKINS of Huntsville, Ala. Resides in Louisville, Ky.

    Dan Hyde Robinson, son of Samuel and Priscilla (Metcalf) Robinson, born October 11, 1798, in Lebanon, Conn., died May 24, 1871, in South Oxford; married Alvira LOOMIS of Oxford, who died March 21, 1864, in South Oxford. Children:

    MARYETTE, died April 6, 1865, in South Oxford; married January 8, 1845, George STRATTON of South Oxford.

    HARRIET, born December 4, 1825; died March 9, 1893. Married May 16, 1855, Erastus HILL, born January 2, 1826, in Smithville; died February 24, 1885, in South Oxford. Children: Chauncey, married Elizabeth SMITH; Nancy, married William MASON; Alvin, married Mary MURDOCK; Hattie L., died December 4, 1876, aged 15.

    LUKE M., born October 10, 1830; died February 9, 1895, in Neenah, Wis.; married September 30, 1858, Maria L. FISH of Oxford. Children: Any E., born July 30, 1864 in South Oxford; died October 2, 1900, in Neenah, Wis.; Dan A., born April 15, 1866. Residence Menasha, Wis.

    ALVIN P., died November 16, 1859, of yellow fever in Houston, Texas, aged 22, unmarried.

    FRANCES, born February 15, 1844; died March 4, 1896, in Homer, N. Y.; married September 16, 1868, John A. FLAGG. Children: Mary A., married Manley H. DANIELS of Homer; Nettie, married Fred NEWCOMB, of Homer.

    Samuel M. Robinson, son of Jabez and Ann (TEN BROECK) Robinson, born April 25, 1821, in South Oxford; died December 15, 1896, in South Oxford; married February 22, 1848, Sarah A. BROWN of New Berlin, who died December 7, 1904, in South Oxford. Mr. Robinson received his education in Oxford Academy, and after leaving that institution returned to the home farm where he spent his entire life. He engaged in agricultural pursuits and also conducted a saw and grist mill. He was an honest man of sterling integrity, highly respected by his townsmen, and had held many public offices of trust, among which were supervisor, Justice of the Peace, and highway commissioner. Children:

    EMOGENE, married Dr. Warren SCOTT of Cromwell, Ind.; died August 7, 1891, in South Oxford.

    MARGARET W., died December 25, 1862, aged 12.

    MARY J., married Albert TREMAINE, resides in Greene.

    SARAH L., twin to above, married Dr. DeWitt HITCHCOCK; died February 11, 1897, in Long Island City, N. Y.

    FRANCES A., married Edward ROBINSON of Greene; died September 13, 1880.

    ARCHER, adopted son, married Clara IVES of Afton. Resides on the old homestead.

1 -     Ancestors of Priscilla METCALF, who was the wife of Samuel Robinson of Oxford, N. Y. Michael Metcalf, born in Tatterford, County

    Michael Metcalf, born in Tatterford County of Norfolk, England, being persecuted by Bishop WREN, on account of his religion, emigrated with his wife and nine children, in April, 1637, and settled at Dedham, Mass., in July of that year.

    His eldest son, Michael Metcalf, 2d, married Mary FAIRBANKS of Dedham.

    Their second son, Jonathan Metcalf, married Hannah KENRIS of Dedham.

    Their third son, Ebenezer Metcalf, of Lebanon, Conn., married Hannah ABLE.

    Their second son, Benjamin Metcalf, married Sarah ABLE.

    Their fourth son, Dr. Andrew Metcalf, was born at Lebanon, December 5, 1736. He married Zerviah HYDE, September 20, 1758.

    Three of their children became residents of Oxford; namely: Priscilla, the wife of Samuel Robinson. Jabez H., born at Lebanon, August 26, 1761. Married Violata THOMAS and died at Oxford. Luke, born at Lebanon, May 4, 1764, married ---- FRINK and died November 26, 1856, in Oxford.


    Census 1834. --- We copy from a sheet, soiled by age, upon which was taken the "Census of the village of Oxford, on the first day of January, 1834," by Henry R. MYGATT, Esq., and Judge Samuel McKOON:

    Forty-four families on the East side of the river containing 469 inhabitants, 221 males, 248 females.

    Sixty-six families on the West side of the river containing 441 inhabitants, 234 males, 207 females.

    One hundred and ten families, 910 inhabitants, 455 males, 455 females.

    Twenty-eight more inhabitants on the East side than on the West side of the river.

    Statistics of the town of Oxford. --- Five ministers of the gospel: Rev. Leverett BUSH, Episcopalian; Rev. James ABELL, Presbyterian; Revs. Washington KINGSLEY and Elisha B. SPAARKS, Baptist; Rev. Henry HALSTEAD, Methodist.

    Att'ys at Law. --- Henry VANDERLYN, Henry MYGATT, James CLAPP, Samuel McKOON.

    M. G. McKOON, Principal of Oxford Academy, Elizabeth C. MERWIN, Preceptress.

    One oil mill, 1 woolen factory, 12 saw-mills, 3 grist-mills, 1 iron foundry, 3 tanneries.

He strove among God's suffering poor
One gleam of brotherhood to send.



    James Flanagan was born in the year 1816 in Armath, Ireland, and came to Oxford in 1848 with his young wife, Anne TROY, and infant daughter, Mary. He soon found employment in the blacksmith shop of Wilmot ROBERTS, where he remained several years, and then entered into business for himself, having a shop near his residence on Greene street. Mr. Flanagan was the first Irishman who came to Oxford to reside, and Father James HOURIGAN, of Binghamton, once said of him that he was the corner stone of Catholicism in Chenango county. Previous to the erection of St. Joseph's church services were held at his residence, where the first mass in town was celebrated. Mr. Flanagan was a friend in need to many of his countrymen on their arrival in town, who usually came in by canal and landed here perfect strangers. Often he took them, sometimes an entire family to his home where they remained until he found employment for them in the community. In 1871 Mr. Flanagan lost his eyesight, but his cheerful heart and disposition were unchanged, and uncomplaining he groped his way about the streets of the village having a pleasant greeting for all. Mr. Flanagan died June 11, 1891, and his faithful and loving wife followed him to the better land six months later, her death occurring January 2, 1892. Children:

    MARY, married Daniel DUGGAN, and resides in Newark, N. J.
    ELLEN, unmarried, resides in Cleveland, Ohio.
    CATHERINE, married Edward DOCKERY, and resides in Orange, N. J.
    THERESA, married John PORN, and is the only member of the family residing in Oxford.
    ANNA, married Patrick BYRNE of Norwich.
    MARGARET, married Thomas DUGAN, and resides in Orange, N. J.
    JOHN J., married Anna BYRNE, and resides in Norwich.


    Business Firms in 1835. --- Among those who were doing business in this town during the year 1835 we find the following list in the "Chenango Whig, and Miscellaneous Journal," published in this village by Denison Smith CLARK, dated March 6. It reads, "Synopsis of the Yearly advertisers to the Whig":

    Elisha BISHOP, Dry Goods, Groceries, &c. Fort Hill Buildings.
    Benjamin BUTLER, President of Agricultural Society. East side of the river.
    J. S. & F. R. CLARK, Variety Store. Fort Hill Buildings.
    CLARK and BALCOM, Dry Goods, Groceries, &c. Adjoining Clarke's Hotel.
    JOEL CHAPIN, Cabinet maker. East side of the river.
    Horace DRESSER, Law Office. 4 Fort Hill Buildings.
    James DURHAM, Coach Maker. On the West side of the River.
    A. A. FRANKLIN & Co., Chenango Foundry. East side of the River.
    Seth H. FISK, W. I. Goods Store. Checkered Building west side of the River.
    Dr. DeFOREST, Physician and Surgeon. Fort Hill Buildings.
    William GILE, Clothing Emporium. East side of the River.
    William MYGATT, Leather Store. East side of the River.
    NEWKIRK & MILLER, Dry Goods, Groceries, &c. Exchange Buildings.
    PERKINS & VanWAGENEN, Dry Goods, Groceries, Drugs, &c. East side of the River.
    ROUSE & PERKINS, Druggists, &c. Exchange Building.
    Charles PERKINS, Tailoring store. West side of the River.
    Gardner STRATTON, Hat Store. Fort Hill Buildings.
    J. Y. WASHBURN & Co., Chair manufacturers. East side of the River.
    Ira WILLCOX, Dry Goods, Groceries, &c. Fort Hill Buildings.

Everyone is the son of his own works.



    Cyrus M. Gray, born in McDonough, June 7, 1826, removed to Oxford, April, 1828. Married November 22, 1850, Derinda LINCOLN of Horseheads, N. Y., born February 6, 1829, and died April 7, 1896, in Oxford. Two children, Ella L., married Rev. Edwin J. BROWNSON August 7, 1879. Edward Cyrus, died October 20, 1896, married Maude POTTER of Cooperstown.

    Cyrus M. Gray attended school at Oxford Academy, and when 19 taught in what was known as the Stone schoolhouse, receiving $10 a month and boarding around --- two nights to a scholar. This was before the time of steel pens. Part of the work of the teacher was to make quill pens for seventy scholars. On September 20, 1846, he began clerking for Cyrus TUTTLE, remained with him for four years, when on April 1, 1850, with Derick RACE, he went into the grocery business in the Corner Store, at that time owned by Joshua ROOT. After six months he sold out to Mr. Race and bought the PACKER drug store. In 1851 he went into business at Cannonsville, N. Y., where he remained until 1855, and then returned to Oxford and bought what is known as the TOWER farm, and farmed it for four years. In 1860, with William B. RACE, he bought the Corner Store, now occupied by BALDWIN & MEAD, and opened a dry goods and grocery business. After one year John WHEELER bought out Mr. Race and for ten years the business was successfully carried on under the name of Gray & Wheeler. In 1871 they sold the goods and leased the store to TOWER & MORLEY, and for two years carried on business across the street, in the store now occupied by Rector YOUMANS as a meat market; when Mr. Wheeler removed to Chicago and failing health led Mr. Gray to purchase and build what has been since 1874 the homestead. After a rest he clerked two years for CLARKE Bros. and five years for SKINNER Bros. in the Corner Store. In 1877 Mr. Gray bought out Skinner Bros. And again took up business at the old stand, where he continued until 1891, and then retired to his homestead. Politically Gray is a staunch Republican, and voted for the first time for President in 1848 for VAN BUREN, and voted for the first Republican President when the party was started and at every presidential election until the last, when he was out of the State, making thirteen presidents. Religiously he is a Baptist, uniting with the church when fifteen years of age, and ever since has been identified with every department of the work. Mr. Gray is now residing with his daughter, Mrs. BROWNSON, in Centralia, Ill.


And the maize-field grew and ripened,
Till it stood in all the splendor
Of its garments green and yellow.



    Benjamin Butler, who owned the farm on State street known as the Corn Hill farm, now the property of George B. FLETCHER, was a son of Dr. Benjamin and Diadama (HYDE) Butler of Norwich, Conn., where he was born January 30, 1764. He married Hannah AVERY of Groton. They settled at New London, Conn., and afterwards removed to New York city, where he carried on the business of a broker for many years. In 1806 they came to Oxford.

    Mr. Butler was one of the founders of St. Paul's Episcopal church in this village, and occupied a house on the site of the present church edifice in 1807-8. Later he occupied a residence on Merchant street, and then for a year or so the old mansion, later known as the McKOON house. From here he removed to the farm above mentioned, and became extensively engaged in sheep raising, and buying and selling land. At his death, which occurred January 15, 1839, the hills surrounding the village were covered with sheep owned by him and a great many people were in his employ. Mr. Butler read medicine and practiced for a short time. He was called to see a man, but his treatment of the case was so unsuccessful that he patient nearly died, and Dr. Butler then and there gave up the profession. Hannah Avery Butler, his wife, died August 1, 1829, aged 58. Children:

    BENJAMIN, who died in infancy.

    JULIA H., born at New London, Conn., June 13, 1794; married James CLAPP; died November 17, 1832.

    MARY D., born at New London, Conn., January 8, 1797; died December 12, 1881, in Utica; married Nicholas DEVEREAUX of Utica. They had six children, the eldest daughter, Hannah, married Hon. Francis KERNAN of that city.

    ELIZABETH, third daughter, died in infancy.

    CORNELIA ANN, born at New York, March 1, 1806; married William C. PIERPONT of Pierpont Manor, N. Y. They had six children.

    ELIZABETH HANNAH, youngest daughter, born at New York, February 19, 1813. She was unmarried, and lived many years, until her death, March 18, 1883, upon the old farm with Mr. Warren EATON, as manager.

    Mr. Butler was a very dark skinned man, though of a fine commanding presence. He owned a colored boy as a part of his personal property, as in those days New York was a slave state. One day he sent the boy to a store for a corn basket he had bought, and told him to have it marked with his initials, "B. B." The basket was brought home unmarked, the boy had played on the way and forgotten that part of his errand, so he was sent back and cautioned not to return until it was duly marked with his master's initials. When in the course of an hour he returned there were several Bs conspicuously displayed on the basket. His master discovering the surplus initials exclaimed:

    "You black rascal, what did you have so many for?"

    The boy, with a broad grin, answered: "Massa, it means "Black Ben Butler's Black Boy's Bushel Basket!"


No legacy is so rich as honesty.



    Among the heroic men who came to this town at an early date, and who witnessed its development, enduring toil and hardships without murmur or complaint, and succeeding, were able to pass the sunset of life in peace and quiet, was James Walker. He was born May 30, 1788, and died January 17, 1864. He married April 3, 1806, Jane PADGETT, whose parents came from England. She was born July 8, 1790, and died April 16, 1872. Children:

    JANE, born June 28, 1807; died May 21, 1881.

    LOVISA, born August 6, 1809; died May 24, 1899; married (1) Porter BINGHAM; married (2) Nathan BAILEY, a veteran of the Mexican war.

    NICHOLAS, born July 11, 1811; died October 2, 1893; married May 5, 1836, Lydia MOWRY, of Oxford. Lived and died on the farm where he was born.

    JAMES, born June 5, 1814; died October 4, 1853; married Phoebe CARHART.

    WILLIAM, born December 27, 1816; died April 1, 1871; married Zeurah MOWRY.

    SARAH, born April 15, 1819; died April 13, 1885; married William BEARDSLEY.

    HANNAH, born December 29, 1821; living in Iowa; married Helam BARSTOW.

    WILLIS, born April 19, 1824; died June 4, 1892; married Mary Ann BOWERS.

    DANIEL, born April 12, 1827; died December 13, 1903; married (1) Frances Adelia MAIN; died February 19, 1864; married (2) Eliza PARKER.

    JULIA, born August 14, 1829; died March 30, 1887; married George LAMPHERE.

    WILLARD, born March 5, 1832; died June 26, 1893; married Hannah Mary MAIN, born August 24, 1834; died January 12, 1904


My voice is still for war.
Gods! Can a Roman senate long debate
Which of the two to choose, slavery or death?



    Major Dan Throop, a native of Connecticut, and for many years a resident of Hudson, N. Y., came to Oxford in 1800. He was for a time proprietor of the hotel, now known as the HOTCHKISS House, and for many years a merchant in this village. When in possession of his health and vigor he was a useful citizen and an active officer in his civil and military capacity. The disease which terminated his life was of several months standing, in which period he was a great sufferer. A soldier of the Revolution, he met sickness and death with characteristic firmness and resignation. He died at his residence on Fort Hill, May 19, 1824, and was buried in the old cemetery on State street. Mary, his widow, also a native of Connecticut, died at Nineveh, N. Y., October 13, 1843.

    Simon Gager Throop, born at Kinderhook, N. Y., January 4, 1790, came from Hudson with his father, Major Dan Throop, in 1800. He was for a time a student, afterwards a partner, of Henry VAN DER LYN, Esq., and was the first lawyer that practiced in Bainbridge. For several years he was a member in the family of Martin VAN BUREN, with whom he also studied law, and became quite a successful criminal lawyer.

    A member of "the Unadilla Hunt, or Oxford Chase," he became very popular with the masses. He married September 4, 1814, Asenath BURR, daughter of Theodore Burr, the famous bridge builder, who died in Scranton, Pa., October 18, 1877, aged 85. Mr. Throop had a residence on Fort Hill, near the site of the Memorial Library, with an office near by, which was the headquarters for the citizens on particular occasions to discuss politics and on Saturday evenings to amuse themselves with cards and dice. Chauncey MORGAN, Gen. Peter Sken SMITH, and many others took part in these convivial sessions.

    Mr. Throop's social qualities were of the most brilliant and genial order. Unrivalled in wit, humor and caricature, he was the life and soul of the social circle, and "kept the table in a roar," wherever his expressive countenance appeared. When the strife between Oxford and Norwich over the county seat was in progress he was sent to Albany as a lobby member in the interest of Oxford. When he returned the citizens gave him a reception, which was held in the afternoon and evening at the residence of Chauncey Morgan. A numerous company of ladies and gentlemen assembled, and among the good things prepared for the feast was a large turkey, and in some way it fell to Mr. Throop to do the carving. Taking off his coat and rolling up his sleeves he seized the carving knife and fork and went to work, at the same time keeping the company in good humor by his witty jokes. The carving finished he wiped his fingers with a napkin, put on his coat and striking a parlimentary attitude, said: "Gentlemen and ladies, I submit this subject to your immediate consideration," which was received with great laughter and applause.

    Mrs. Chauncey Morgan, assisted by her sister, Mrs. Samuel S. SHERWOOD and Miss Harriet BESSAC, of French descent, and Mrs. Throop, a lady of splendid appearance, richly dressed and wearing a profusion of jewelry, did the honors and lent their vivacity to the pleasures of the evening. At a late hour the reception came to a close.

    Under the first constitution of our State, in 1818, Mr. Throop was member of Assembly from Chenango county. His associates in that assembly were Tilly LINDE, then of Sherburne, and Perez RANDALL of Norwich, for many years a popular county clerk. From June, 1818, to April, 1822, Mr. Throop was district attorney of the county. The early records of St. Paul's church for more than ten years from 1816 are inscribed by him as secretary. In 1832 he left Oxford, and in 1871, at the age of 82, was appointed Associate Judge of Monroe county, Pennsylvania. He died in Stroudsburg, that State, February 17, 1877. Mrs. Throop died in Scranton, October 18, 1877, aged 85. Mary Gager, their only daughter, married Edward L. WOLF of Honesdale, Pa.

    Col. Benjamin Throop, with wife and daughter, came to Oxford from Kinderhook, N. Y., in 1818, at the urgent request of his son, Major Throop, to spend the remainder of his days among relatives. His health was poorly and mind impaired, and at the age of 80 years his death occurred at the home of his grandson on Fort Hill, May 16, 1822. In 1776, he led a hundred warriors of the Mohigan tribe to Canada, who chiefly fell in that unfortunate campaign victims to the enemy and smallpox. Subsequently he received a commission of captain in the line and was eventually promoted to the rank of lieutenant-colonel of the Fourth Connecticut regiment. He was ordered by Washington to protect New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and served under Sullivan and Putnam through the war until peace prevailed. He was present and fought in the battles of Long Island, White Plains, Saratoga and Monmouth, and also in many severe conflicts with the Indians. The name of Washington never failed to lighten a smile on his cheek and his eye for a moment would resume its original brightness. Col. Throop was buried with honors due to his rank and service, it being the first military funeral in the county. An appropriate sermon was preached by Rev. Leverett BUSH, D. D., rector of St. Paul's church. The body was escorted to the grave by Capt. WHEELER's company of artillery, Capt. SMITH's militia, soldiers of the Revolution, many in the uniform of officers, and a large concourse of citizens of Oxford and from every town in the county. The procession was headed by muffled drums with solemn music, and a horse with military saddle and bear skin holsters, and spurred boots fastened to the stirrups, led by a colored man. During the march to the old cemetery on State street minute guns were fired by the artillery. After the commitment service had been read the militia fired six volleys over the grave. Leaving the cemetery the dead march was changed to the familiar strains of Yankee Doodle, to which air the procession quickened its pace and made a much quicker trip back to the house on Fort Hill.

    Dr. Benjamin Throop, son of Major Dan Throop, was born November 9, 1811, in Oxford. Educated at the Academy he was a student with Horatio SEYMOUR, Ward HUNT, Charlemagne TOWER, Henry R. MYGATT, and many others who in later life became noted throughout the State and county. Dr. Throop went to Scranton in the early days of that city, and investing in coal lands he became wealthy and was prominently identified with the city's growth and interests. He became president of the Scranton City Bank, and also of the Scranton Illuminating, Heat and Power Company. His death occurred in that city June 26, 1897. He married in 1842 Miss A. F. McKINNEY of Schuylkill, Pa. Children:

    MARY ELIZA. Residence, Scranton.
    EUGENE ROMAYNE, died in 1852.
    BENJAMIN HENRY, died in 1851.
    WILLIAM BIGLER, died in 1852.
    GEORGE SCRANTON, died in 1894.


Greater than genius, greater than power, greater than riches,
is the ability to pour out one's life for the uplifting of others.



    Henry Mygatt, son of Noadiah and Clarissa (LYNDE) Mygatt of New Milford, Conn., came to Oxford in 1806, pursing for a few years the occupation of a saddler. Afterwards he engaged in mercantile business for several years in company a portion of the time with his brother William, and brother-in-law, Austin HYDE. He finally transferred the business to his son-in-law, John DONNELLY, who continued it till failing health compelled him to relinguish an active life. The firm occupied a building which stood on the corner south of Washington Park. It then adjoined the residence of Joseph E. PACKARD, and was used many years by Dr. William G. SANDS as an office. Mr. Mygatt was born November 7, 1783, in New Milford, Conn., and died May 5, 1835, in Oxford. He married (1) in 1809, Sarah S. WASHBURN of Oxford, who died September 26, 1818, in Meredith, N. Y. Married (2) Mrs. Susan HOSMER of Connecticut. Children by first wife:

    HENRY R., born April 10, 1810, in Oxford; died March 31, 1875, in Oxford.
    ORLANDO N., born August 24, 1812, in Oxford; died August 17, 1827, in Oxford.
    CLARISSA A., married (1) John DONNELLY, who died October 30, 1838; married (2) Frederick A. SANDS; died August 16, 1886, in Unadilla.
    SARAH E., married Dr. William G. SANDS.

    Mr. Mygatt had three children by his second wife, all of whom died in infancy.

    Henry R. Mygatt, son of Henry and Sarah (WASHBURN) Mygatt, prepared for college at Oxford Academy, then in charge of David L. PRENTICE, and graduated at Union College in 1830. Soon thereafter he commenced the study of law in the office of James CLAPP, and was admitted at Albany in 1833. His professional toils and successes covered a long term of practice in all the courts of this State, as well as in the Supreme Court of the United States. He was greatly beloved and respected for his excellence of character, was highly benevolent, his heart and hand were always open to whatever concerned the welfare of the community. Great as were his benefactions they were not bounded by the limits of his own town. He was not an aspirant for public office, and invariably declined all nominations therefor. He held successively the office of secretary, vice-president, and president of Oxford Academy for a number of years. During that time he strengthened it with his counsels, his labors, and with repeated and munificent gifts, placing during a portion of the time at its disposal free tuitions for worthy and needy scholars. To St. Paul's church he was also a bountiful benefactor, to which its records bear testimony. Mr. Mygatt received from Hobart College the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws, a designation well and worthily bestowed, and was one of the corporators named in the act of Congress which created the Centennial Board of Finance for the International celebration of the hundredth anniversary of American Independence. Mr. Mygatt married December 2, 1835, Esther Maria TRACY, daughter of Hon. John TRACY, who died June 25, 1895, in New York city. Children:

    John TRACY, born November 29, 1836; married August 28, 1861, Mary Stevens, daughter of Hon. Daniel D. DICKINSON, of Binghamton. After passing his Freshman year at Hamilton College, Mr. Mygatt, second term Sophomore, entered Union, from which he was graduated in the class of '58, being one of the Commencement speakers. While in Union he was a member of the Adelphi Literary Society, and held the office of President. He was admitted to the Bar in 1861, and located in Binghamton; but after a few years' practice finding this occupation too sedentary, abandoned it for the paper trade, and for many years was established in Duane street, New York city. He held at one time the office of President of the Binghamton Council of the Union League of America; was also District Deputy, founded several councils of the organization, and was secretary of a large and important meeting of the League held soon after the draft riots of 1863 in New York. Mr. Mygatt is a Son of the Revolution, a Free Mason, and also a member of the Psi Upilon fraternity. He is a graceful and earnest speaker and wields the pen of a ready writer.

    Child: D. S. Dickinson, born May 9, 1864, in Binghamton; died February 3, 1888, in New York city. Married Minnie H., daughter of Nicholas D. CLAPP of New York city. (Children: daughter, Tracy Dickinson; son, Henry R.).

    HENRY, died May 29, 1842, aged one year.

    WILLIAM R., born April 20, 1851, married September 6, 1876, Agnes P., daughter of Andrew J. HULL of Oxford. Now residing at Chicago.

    MAI, married September 27, 1881, James A. BROWN. Residence, Fergus Falls, Minn.


Along the cool sequester'd vale of life,
They kept the noiseless tenor of their way.
--- GRAY.



    William Whittenhall, formerly spelled WETTENHALL, an Englishman and a tailor by trade, came from Albany and built a frame house below the village in which he kept tavern for many years. The building is still standing and is the one next below the farm house of O. M. WESTOVER. Mr. Whittenhall moved in 1808 to Smithville and subsequently to McDonough, where he died April 2, 1848, aged 89. He had three sons, all born in Oxford:

    URI, born in 1805, conducted a bakery in Oxford in 1829. He removed to Greene previous to 1850 and purchased the Chenango House in that village, which he conducted for a long term of years, and became personally known to the traveling public from the days of the stage coach to those of the railway car. Mr. Whittenhall died December 29, 1887, in Greene. Harriet, his wife died March 8, 1879, aged 71. Children:

    SARAH JANE, married (1) James E. THURBER; married (2) John G. BROWN of Utica, where she now resides.

    HENRY F., married August 30, 1860, Arabella J. RACE of Greene.

    OTIS, married Eliza KATHAN, and had many descendants in Steuben county.

    ELIHU, born in 1808, was interested in the bakery with his brother Uri. He died at Sabetha, Kan., December 1, 1881. Married Eliza A. SHUMWAY, who died August 23, 1866, at Albany, Kan., aged 57. Their eldest son, Captain Daniel S. Whittenhall, died at the Soldiers' Home in Danville, Ill., November 27, 1904. He was born in Oxford, June 12, 1829, where his boyhood days were spent and his education obtained in the Academy. In early manhood he went West and at the breaking out of the war of the Rebellion, enlisted April 19, 1861, claiming the distinction of being the first volunteer to be sworn in to the service, a claim tha was well borne out by a documentary letter that appeared in the Topeka, Kansas, Mail, December 11, 1901. Captain Whittenhall served three months with the First Illinois Cavalry and was captured with Col. MILLIGAN's men at Lexington, Mo., in September, 1861. Later he was made Captain of Co. E, Second Kansas Cavalry, and served until January 1, 1863, when he was discharged for disability.

I can't but say it is an awkward sight
To see one's native land receding through
The growing waters.
--- BYRON.

Freshet of 1842.


    We copy a description of the freshet of February 5, 1842, contributed to the "Mirror," a paper read before the Ladies' Conversational Society at that time. The water gods are supposed to have played many mad pranks with buildings and vegetables, also floating off a slaughterhouse.

    Such a sight as greeted the vision on last Friday morning seldom meets the ken of inhabitants resident within our little vale. From hill to hill, with the exception of a few favored spots, occupied by some, who, more fortunate than their neighbors, had become somewhat elevated in the world, one vast sheet of water met the eye. Its surface covered with masses of floating ice and timber, with here and there a boat endeavoring to rescue from the embracing flood some portion of its spoils. Old Neptune had taken possession of the valley; the water gods were holding a jubilee and, 'mid their revelry, strange pranks they played us poor mortals. One of their mad freaks was to gift with power of locomotion fields of ice, miles of fences, scores of barns, bridges, and things inanimate, too numerous to mention, and these latter, apparently right well pleased, eagerly sought to exercise their newly acquired facilities, without regard to the care and attention which had been bestowed upon them by those to whom they had heretofore been faithful servants; indeed, several barns were guilty of a breach of trust and Swartouted2 with the people's deposits to parts unknown. One, also of which a better example might have been expected, it having been located within a stone's throw of a sanctuary, has committed a grievous act of trespass by occupying, without license, a portion of an adjoining meadow. These same mischievous personages have had the bare-facedness to enter in a sly way the cellars of some of our most notable house-wives, and, without regard to the loss and inconvenience occasioned thereby, have upset pork barrels and pickle tubs, made beef fresh, which once was salted, set ashes to leaching, before the old ladies had dreamed of making soap, used the latter article by the barrel, whenever they had occasion to wash their hands, prepared a cold bath for the old gentleman who was in the nightly habit of drawing the spiggot from the cider barrel, and, as for pumpkins and onions, boxes and casks, these fresh water imps turned their heads completely. They were all in motion, elbowing this one, nodding to that, cross over here, right and left there. It was a most hetrogeneous assemblage. Here might be seen a spruce squash offering his crook to a matronly pumpkin; there an onion endeavoring to draw tears from the already pink eyes of a potato; here a cabbage with head downcast and countenance suffased with tears; and still another with head erect viewing with dismay the riotous acts of his sauce-y brethren. Apples with blushing cheeks, beefs that looked as if the scene had caused a rush of blood to the head; despairing parsnips, as yellow as if in the last stage of the jaundice; aristocratic carrots, red with rage at being thus unceremoniously jostled by the crowd; turnips, which, if their countenances were any indication of their feelings, felt flat; in short, many a pale faced esculent was placed in a position not to be coveted, and which would have brought a blush to their cheeks, had they not had so many companions in their misery. It may well be said that such a row among the occupants of basement stores has not been kicked up this many a day. But cellars were not alone the scene of their labors; many a proud tree, that had reared his crest on high for ages, and spread his protecting branches far and wide was by their agency uprooted, prostrated and borne along by the resistless flood, which scarce time allowed for saying,

What oft is said,
To me it seems I have a swimming within my head.

    The shrine, on which many a fatling had poured out its life current, together with its blood-stained walls and floors, as trees came against it astride chargers of ice gave way with a crash, and far above the din of the elements, was heard a voice saying, "I can't stand the pressure of these times." "Make thy escape," said the barn to the horse, "for every joint in my frame speaks of approaching disconnection, and warns me that soon I, like my neighbor, must be added to the amount of floating capital." See that being yonder, with countenance most rueful, and altered mien, the whilom occupant of that vast domicile, located below the arches that span the noble river. Hear him exclaim, "Othello's occupation is gone, and now is the discontent of my winter made perfect." Alas! poor fellow, these intermeddlers had given his wheels an overdose of cold water; and for the time being he is deprived of the privilege of putting his hands into his neighbor's meal-bags. And hark! what sounds are those that salute the ear, borne by the winds across the troubled waters? Ah, 'tis an unavailing cry for help from a band of fugitives attempting to escape the water-spirits' cold embrace. Vain hope, useless endeavor; their agent, the flood surrounds and overwhelms them; they sink and sink to rise once more-a mass of wool and mutton.

2 - Swartout was one of the earliest New York defaulters and absconders.

No reckoning made, but sent to my account
With all my imperfections on my head.

Death of a Burglar.


    A series of daring burglaries were perpetrated in the Chenango valley in May, 1862. Hamilton, Earlville and Norwich were successfully visited within three nights by the bold intruders, who gathered in several watches and considerable cash. As the burglars followed the telegraph line down the valley, messages were sent ahead, warning the people of the probabilities of a visit from the unwelcome guests. Not much attention was paid to the warning by the several localities except Oxford, when on Tuesday night, June 3, watchmen were stationed on several streets. Shortly after 2 A. M., a mysterious individual made his appearance in front of the residence of J. B. GALPIN on Clinton street, and when accosted by Selah H. FISH as to his business and destination, said his name was JONES and represented himself as on the way to Chenango Forks to take charge of a canal boat. He was armed with a crutch and a cane, and affected the cripple. The watch, like a good Samaritan, kindly offered him accommodations for the night, which he seemed inclined to accept, but when near F. G. CLARKE's residence he bade farewell to crutch, cane, overcoat and attendant and started on a keen run towards Fort Hill, passing Jack COATS on the canal bridge. The latter being unable to stop the supposed burglar threw a club at him as he disappeared in the direction of the river.

    Early Monday morning, June 9, persons passing over the river bridge discovered the body of a man floating from above, which was secured and Coroner T. J. BAILEY of Norwich summoned. The facts in brief elicited by the examination before the jury were, that the body had been about one week in the water, and was that of a man apparently between 35 and 40 years of age, of strong muscular development. On his right shoulder blade was a bruise apparently recent, on his left leg above the knee was a slight wound, which might have been caused by a small bullet or blunt instrument, and through his pants was a hole corresponding thereto. On the fore leg below the knee was a bad bruise tied with a silk handkerchief. The property, other than clothing, found upon the body were two pocket knives, a pair of lady's rubber shoes, a railway guide, a map of New York, a six-shooter, loaded, a pair of hollow forceps, well adapted to turning keys in doors, two gold watches, one recognized by Mr. Samuel HAMMOND, as but a short time before taken from his room at the NOYES House, Norwich, money in current bills, $495, and coin in the amount of about $18. Among the coin was a piece much worn, recognized by Mr. Hammond as having been in his possession as a pocket piece for more than fifteen years. Paint was discovered on the soles of the rubbers similar in color to that which the stairway of the Noyes House had recently been painted. A promissory note, as follows, completed the list:

Factoryville, Feb. 1, 1862.

    $100. --- Due Dr. JOHNSON, or bearer, One Hundred Dollars, borrowed money.
       (Signed,)                          C. C. & W. BROOKS.

    The hands of the watches had been arrested at a little past two o'clock. The attending circumstances furnished strong evidence that this was the same person, or one of a party, who had committed the burglaries up the valley, and was afterwards seen at night in the streets of our village. Evidently he had crossed the bridge, jumped the fence and run up the east bank of the river into the cove. Without the intervention of judge or jury, or the law's delay, the quiet waters of the Chenango sealed his fate.

    A few days later, a lady accompanied by a gentleman, came to our village and made inquiry concerning the drowned man. She came from Factoryville and had been married about four months previously to Dr. Johnson. He had been absent three weeks from home and was last heard from at Syracuse. With much feeling she described the overcoat and other articles of the deceased with considerable accuracy. After remaining a short time she left town, apparently well persuaded that she had discovered the truth of her husband's death. The body was buried in the old cemetery on State street, and a stone with a plain inscription marked the grave.


And while a paltry stipend earning,
He sows the richest seeds of learning.
--- LLOYD.



    David Fiske was born in Temple, N. H., in 1797, came to this town and settled in East Oxford on a farm in 1820, where he did well his part in prostrating the forest and turning the wilderness into fruitful fields. He and his wife often went to Jericho, now Bainbridge, on horseback, following a path through the heavy timber marked by blazed trees. For a man of his time he was well educated and taught district school for ten winters, also devoted much time to teaching music. For several terms he held the office of Justice of Peace, and his decisions were impartial and wise. His death occurred November 26, 1880, in Oxford. His wife was Millie SHELDON, whom he married in Temple, N. H. Her death occurred March 13, 1884, at the age of 86 years. Children, all born in Oxford: Lucy, married Charles PEACOCK of Norwich; Mary, died in early childhood; Abigail, married George CARHART, of Oxford; Lydia, married Chauncey BARSTOW of Oxford; Horace, remained on the old homestead. Married (1) Martha PADGETT; married (2) Emma JONES; Emily, married Joseph ESTABROOK, now resides in Oxford, and only survivor of the family.


His daily prayer, far better understood in acts than
words, was simply doing good.



    Nathan Pendleton and Amelia BABCOCK, his wife, of Quaker stock, came to Norwich from Stonington, Conn., soon after 1800. They settled on the east side of the Chenango river, about three miles below the village, and his land lay on both sides of the stream. They brought with them seven children, three girls and four boys, leaving five in Connecticut.

    Isaac, one of the sons, was born January 16, 1781, in Westerly, R. I., and died November 3, 1843, in Oxford. He married, in 1808, Bridget STANTON of Stonington, Conn., whose death also occurred in Oxford. Mr. Pendleton purchased a farm at Lyon Brook, which is still known by his name, and moved April 7, 1820, upon it with his family. His wife and son Nathan, then but three weeks old, making the journey upon a bed placed in a wagon. Children:

    AMELIA, married Harry HULL of Oxford.
    LYDIA ANN, married Daniel H. RICHMOND; died in Norwich.
    ISAAC, died in infancy.
    MARY, died in infancy.
    RHODA, married (1) Ormund RICHMOND; married (2) Benjamin B. HEWITT.
    NATHAN, married Mrs. Elizabeth (PACKER) PELLETT.
    JANE, married Albert G. AYER; died August 6, 1894, in Preston, Conn.
    SARAH, married Charles R. BREED; died December 19, 1905, in Norwich.
    STANTON, married Amanda Malvina WHITE; died in 1905 at Norwich.
    HENRY, married Helen CARY; died in Nebraska City.

    Nathan Pendleton, son of Isaac and Bridget (STANTON) Pendleton, was born March 17,1820, in Norwich, N. Y., and came to Oxford with his parents when but three weeks old. He married May 22, 1845, Mrs. Elizabeth (PACKER) PELLETT of Norwich, born April 5, 1820; died March 18, 1890, in Oxford. Mr. Pendleton received his preliminary education in a district school, after which he took a course in Oxford Academy and DeRuyter Institute. Remaining on his father's farm until 1849, he purchased the property which he still occupies, active and energetic. Mr. Pendleton is a leading agriculturist of the county, and is a fair example of the kind of men who have contributed so largely to the growth and substantial prosperity of the town. Children:

    ELIZABETH PACKER, died June 9, 1887, in Norwich, N. Y., aged 41; married Captain Robert A. STANTON of Norwich, born April 29, 1838; died September 5, 1886, in Norwich. Captain Stanton was educated at the Norwich and Oxford academies, and in 1859 commenced the study of law in Oxford with Horace PACKER, and subsequently pursued it under Dwight H. CLARKE. He was among the early enlisted soldiers of the Civil war, having joined SICKLES's brigade in June, 1861. Through promotion, he became quartermaster-sergeant of the 74th N. Y. V., second lieutenant and captain. He served his country faithfully for three years. On his return to Norwich he resumed his legal studies, and was admitted in November, 1865. In 1868 he was elected district attorney and served three years. Children: Edith, Margaret, married H. William CLARKE of Oxford, Nathan P. and Charles R.

    JAMES NATHAN, died April 24, 1872, having but just reached the threshold of young manhood.


But I have that within, which passeth show;
These but the trappings and the suits of woe.



    Rev. Horatio T. McGeorge, died January 13, 1852, aged 97. He was born in London, England, and in early life had the advantage of a liberal education. His attainments as a linguist were extensive and thorough, and he spoke with ease and fluency eight different languages. At the age of 25, having married the daughter of an eminent Scotch divine, his mind was directed to the Christian ministry, and he was pastor of several dissenting congregations in Scotland. At this period of his life he also studied medicine, and in connection with his clerical duties was to a considerable extent engaged in its practice. About 1802, he emigrated to this country and settled at Hadley, Mass., where he resumed the work of the ministry, and was for several years pastor of the Congregational church in that place. Then he removed to South Oxford in 1820, where the remaining part of his long life was spent. During a portion of this time he preached in the Congregational church at Coventryville but was dismissed March, 16, 1827.

    During his residence in Oxford, Mr. McGeorge was very eccentric, and always wrote his name as Rev'd Horatio T. McGeorge, V. D. M. It was said he had been banished from England. He owned a Cremona violin, which he handled skillfully, playing nothing without his notes, and his execution was equal to any master of that instrument. He often drove to town, usually in an old gig, connected by his own ingenuity with a horse and two wheels about thirty feet from his seat, with ropes and straps so adjusted that he could free the animal from the vehicle and retain his seat. He had a small log cabin near his house that he used for his study. Sensible of how much men are affected by external appearances and to strike the passing traveler and the casual visitor with awe, he fixed to the outside of the building a large-sized coffin, standing upright, the head of which, when the lid was down, admitted the light through his only window. The more fully to accomplish his object, he had the roof and sides decorated with signs of his own make; a few of the inscriptions were: "Hermitage, "It preaches," "The house of death," and "Beware, thou sinner." Within was an open grave, which as each morn returned he threw out a small quantity of earth. Skeletons and articles of like species composed the ornamental part of his furniture. To sundry old men, women, and children this paraphernalia of death was exceedingly terrifying. But transitory is our happiness here below and the unfortunate tenant of the "Hermitage" had practical demonstration of it, for, notwithstanding the sanctity of the place, on one dark Saturday night the coffin and signs were transferred to the side of a slaughterhouse in the village, at the singular appearance of which hundreds of citizens were greatly shocked through the Sabbath that succeed the transfer. The occasion was one of great grief to the old doctor, but it ended this vagary. He was buried in the grave that he himself had dug, and a stone wall in the shape of a coffin was built around it, which remains to this day.

    He was the father of twelve children, among whom were:

    ELIZABETH, born in 1779; died September 13, 1857, at Greene, N. Y.; married Reuben CHASE.

    HORATIO T., JR., born in 1784; died January 13, 1854, at Athens, Pa.

    DAVEY D., born December 12, 1801, at Middletown, Conn.; died October 19, 1889, in Oxford, where he had resided since 1820. Married (1) December 19, 1826, Priscilla ROBINSON of Pittsfield, N.Y., born February 29, 1807; died July 2, 1835, in Oxford. Married (2) January 5, 1836, Hannah C. BOLLES, born January 21, 1814, at Southbridge, Conn.; died December 3, 1891, at Schenevus, N. Y. Children by first wife: Elizabeth A., married Solomon BUNDY, Jr.; Catherine A., died June 2, 1906, at Hornell, N. Y.; married James CURTIS of Addison, N. Y. Children by second wife: Sarah D., died March 8, 1874, in Oxford; married Rodney L. SMITH of Wolcottville, Conn.; Evalina, married September 4, 1878, William COOK of Oxford; now a resident of Afton, N. Y.

He tried the luxury of doing good.



    Dr. Austin Rouse, born June 15, 1796, in Norwich, N. Y., was the eldest son of Judge Casper Rouse, who came from the New England states and settled on the site of Mt. Hope cemetery in that village. Dr. Rouse studied medicine with Dr. Henry MITCHELL of Norwich and completed his studies with Dr. Perez PACKER at Oxford in 1821, with whom he practiced for some time, remaining here till his death, which occurred August 27 1866. In the social and domestic relations of life he was ever characterized by great purity of character, integrity of purpose, and an abiding kindness of heart, as uniform as it was admirable. He was, perhaps, connected with more hearthstones and homes than any other person in the community in the dear and tender relations of a beloved and faithful physician. Dr. Rouse married May 12, 1825, Jane E., daughter of Erastus and Abigail (STEPHENS) PERKINS, born May 2, 1806; died September 28, 1875, in Scranton, Pa., at the home of her daughter, Mrs. A. B. BENNETT. Mrs. Rouse, while descending a staircase, fell and was discovered by her daughter apparently in a faint. A physician was summoned, but the patient was beyond human help and expired in fifteen minutes after she was taken up. It was thought she tripped and fell headlong down the steps, striking upon her head and dislocating the vertebrae of the neck. Children:

    MARY J., married Henry C. ROOME.
    LOUISE, married (1) James O. CLARKE; married (2) --- STEVENS.
    MARGARET R., married Adolphus B. BENNETT; died July 29, 1891, in Jersey City, N. J., aged 47

Ay, call it holy ground,
The soil where first they trod,
They have left unstain'd what there they found, ---
Freedom to worship God.



    Ephraim Fitch, one of the early settlers of the town, was born in Norwich, Conn., March 29, 1736. His father came over in the Mayflower from England and first settled in Massachusetts. Ephraim married Lydia ROOT, April 28, 1757, and raised a family of four children, one girl and three boys. He was the first elected supervisor of the town; was well educated, having passed through college. The first visit that he made to Oxford was on horseback, accompanied by Daniel TREMAIN, through the woods, guided only by marked trees and Indian paths. The two travelers bought land and afterwards settled upon it; the former near Fitch hill, north of the village, which subsequently was named after him, and the latter on the east side of the river, near Brisbin. They improved large farms, raised families, and lived to be very old men. Mr. Fitch died in Cattaraugus county, where he moved in 1814. He was said to have been 96 years of age at the time of his death. His sons, John and Jonatham, held town offices with Anson CARY, Uri TRACY, and others.

    John Fitch was a captain in the Revolutionary war, served through most of the northern campaigns, and fought in every battle of consequence. A genuine spirit of '76, he was attached by General WASHINGTON to that brave body of men which, from the extreme danger of their service, was called the "Forlorn Hope." He was twice married and raised a family of fourteen children, eight sons and six daughters, all living to a ripe old age but one, a girl, who died at the age of 24. Captain Fitch died suddenly in this village July 8, 1824, aged 66.

    Daniel Perry Fitch, the seventh son of Captain John Fitch, was born on Fitch hill April 23, 1804, and passed the first twenty years of his life in this town and Norwich. At the age of 12 he entered the office of the Oxford Gazette, published by Chauncey MORGAN, where he learned the "art of preservative of all arts." Previous to this time he became a member of the family of Cyrus A. BACON, probably working for his board, as he took care of the cow, set the table and helped wash dishes. James CLAPP kept his horse in the barn where Mr. Bacon kept his cow, and one day while preparing for a drive dropped a five dollar gold piece, which he was unable to find. A few mornings afterwards Perry saw something shining in the dirt, picked it up and put it in his mouth until he had finished milking, when he showed it to Mr. Bacon, who told him to let Mr. Clapp see it. Mr. Clapp asked where it was found, and said it was his pocket piece then placed it in his pocket and continued eating breakfast. Perry went into the kitchen feeling very poor, but soon Mr. Clapp asked him to go to the store of Ira WILLCOX, where he purchased a fine piece of broadcloth, and then took him to William GUYLER's tailor shop and told him to make the boy a good coat, as he had found and returned his gold piece. In a short time Perry had a coat worth more than the amount of money he had found. When Morgan sold out young Fitch entered the office of Thurlow WEED, who published the Chenango Agriculturist in Norwich about the year 1818. Perry remained with Mr. Weed until he sold, and then left the printing business on account of poor health. He had relatives in South Oxford, where he remained five years, then left for the western part of the State, and died a few years ago at Cuba, N.Y.


Who does the best his circumstances allows, Does well, acts
nobly; angels could do no more.
--- YOUNG.



    Hezekiah Morse, born July 3, 1767, at Sherburne, Mass.; died suddenly July 18, 1827; married (1) Elizabeth PERRY; married (2) Sally STOW, who died September 22, 1870, aged 93.

    Mr. Morse moved to Eaton, Madison county, in 1804. In 1809 he was elected supervisor of that town, which office he held for several successive years. At an early age he became a communicant of the Episcopal church, and as there was no congregation of that persuasion in the vicinity of Eaton he came to this village in 1819 to reside that he might worship in that faith. Mr. Morse purchased of Daniel DENISON Valley View farm, now owned and occupied by his grandsons, A. and E. P. Morse.

    His son, Hezekiah B., was born February 15, 1811, in Eaton, and coming to Oxford with his parents resided on the farm till his death, which occurred June 16, 1879. He was a practical farmer and made a success in life. The farm originally comprised 160 acres, but at present comprises ninety, one-third of which is fertile river bottoms, through which the Chenango pursues its winding way, and the rest gradually rolling west to higher elevations. Mr. Morse married May 4, 1845, Clarissa SYMONDS, born June 29, 1824, in Oxford; died July 4, 1877. Children:

    MELVIN, died March 21, 1864, aged 18.

    ALPHA, married Mariba DURFEE. He and his brother Edward have pursued dairying in a practical manner for years, and engaged in raising thoroughbred short-horn cattle purely for dairy qualities. Mr. Morse had an exhibit of cattle at the World's Fair in Chicago, where he was employed several months. Children: John R, born January 18, 1868; died September 10, 1870; A. Raymond, married Bertha WILLCOX, and has two children living, having lost twin sons; now practicing at Eaton, Madison county.

    CLARA, died December 27, 1872, aged 22; unmarried.

    TWIN SONS, died in infancy.



The greatest happiness comes from the greatest activity.
--- BOVEE.



    Jeremiah York was born September 25, 1794, at North Stonington, Conn. In 1815 he married Catherine PENDLETON at Norwich, N. Y., where they resided three years and then came to Oxford. Mrs. York was a native of Connecticut, where she was born July 22, 1789. She died January 14, 1826, in Oxford, leaving three children, Hiram, Henry D., and Catherine, who married S. P. STILLMAN. The two last are still living in 1906, aged 82 and 79 respectively. Mr. York lived the remainder of his life in Oxford, passing away April 24, 1873. He married for his second wife Mrs. Aruba SHELDON, born February 4, 1804; died April 21, 1886. One child blessed this union, Electa A., who married Henry L. YORK of Norwich, and died November 2, 1853, aged 25.

    During the many years of his life in Oxford, Mr. York was an active and prominent member of the community, being identified especially with its educational interests. He was a trustee of Oxford Academy until the frailties of old age obliged him to resign. His children, four in number, and three of Mrs. York's (nee SHELDON) were educated at the Academy, in which he was so much interested, and they repaid his kindness by attaining good scholarship.

    Mr. York erected in 1835 the first brick dwelling-house in Oxford, now the residence of Walker PORTER, south of the W. R. C. Home. He was a thorough-going farmer, using every method then known to make his farm productive, and at one time took first premium awarded by Town Agricultural Society for the best wrought and cropped farm in Oxford. He was for many years a deacon in the Baptist church, and also an honored member of the Masonic order.

    Abigail SHELDON, daughter of Mrs. York by a former marriage, was born in 1825 in White Store, N. Y., and died January 12, 1891, at Highmount, N. Y. She married Charles FISH, born in 1824 near Albany, and who came with his father's family to Oxford in 1840 and lived on the Loren WILLCOX farm, then owned by a Mr. THOMPSON, a relative. Soon after the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Fish they went to Elmira to reside, where their two daughters were born: GEORGIANNA, married (1) John HOFFMAN, a native of Germany, who died in 1883; married (2) Henry BELLAMY of Pleasanton, Ill. MEDORA, married October 16, 1866, James T. HILL of Oxford, now residing at Highmount, N. Y.

Neither above nor below his business.



    William Mygatt, born October 25, 1785, in New Milford, Conn.; died February 5, 1868, in Oxford; married January 29, 1817, in New Milford, Caroline, daughter of Cyrus NORTHRUP, born July 27, 1797, in New Milford; died May 15, 1866, in Oxford.

    Mr. Mygatt was one of the prominent business men of Oxford, whose career was especially successful. During the summer of 1818 he brought his wife of but a few months to this village and engaged in the mercantile business. For a few years he was associated with his brother, Henry Mygatt, and brother-in-law, Austin HYDE, after which he devoted his whole attention to the tanning business. He purchased of Major Dan THROOP the place now owned by Mrs. George B. COE, then a farm, and his tannery stood at the foot of the hill, but no vestige of it now remains. Mr. Mygatt's business operations were of greater magnitude and extent than usually pertain to one man in a country town. By his industry, his diligent attention to business, and a wise forecast, he was eminently prosperous and successful. His habits of life were rigidly temperate, frugal, and regular, and to these doubtless he was much indebted for that uniform health which he enjoyed even to old age. Early trained in the principles of Christianity, he always exhibited a high appreciation of the institutions of religion, giving to them his personal encouragement and pecuniary support. Thus he lived to a good old age, honored and respected; then he passed away and entered into rest. Children:

    ELIZABETH, born November 7, 1817; married Henry L. MILLER; died February 5, 1890.

    FREDERICK N., born August 19, 1819; died March 27, 1823.

    SARAH A., born October 16, 1821; died March 1, 1893; married April 20, 1847, Dr. Alfred B. COE, died August 13, 1854, aged 36. Children: George B., born January 6, 1849; died April 8, 1901; married Florine BREWSTER of Schoharie; (child, Ralph B.). William M., born November 8, 1851; died September 19, 1893, in West Winfield, N. Y.; married Lucia WINSOR of Guilford; (children, James W., and Alfred W.). Carrie E., born May 16, 1853; died unmarried August 12, 1896, in Owego, N. Y.

    EMILY N., born August 26, 1823; died unmarried May 15, 1856.

    SUSAN M., born October 29, 1825; died February 21, 1826.

    CAROLINE L., born January 31, 1827; died January 23, 1895, in Minneapolis; married September 28, 1850, Rufus J. BALDWIN, born January 22, 1825, in Guilford; died in Minneapolis, Minn. Children: Emily, born August 29, 1853; died April 17, 1858. Lizzie, born July 9, 1859; died April 10, 1869. Frederick R., born November 6, 1860.

    JANE A., born February 1, 1829; died November 24, 1894; married June 14, 1866, Dr. George DOUGLAS.

    JULIA M., born May 8, 1832; died April 23, 1863, in Minneapolis, Minn.; married September --, 1857, Charles E. VANDERBURGH, born December 30, 1830, in Skaneateles, N. Y.; (children, William H., born July 15, 1856; Julia, born ---, 1861; died ---, 1871).

The choir,
With all the choicest music of the kingdom,
Together sung Te Deum.



    John C. Bowers, born April 14, 1811, in Stonington, Conn.; died April 1, 1898, in Oxford; married (1) Achsa MAIN, daughter of Randall Main of Oxford, who died within a year and a half after their marriage; married (2) January 31, 1842, Emeline PECK, born July 17, 1817; died November 4, 1902, in Sidney.

    Mr. Bowers came to Oxford in 1817 and in later years became colonel of a militia regiment, when such organizations were popular, and a very dashing officer he made. He was a conductor of singing schools for many years in Oxford and adjoining towns, teaching "sacred music" to many old-time singers, who eventually became members of village choirs. In the early days of St. Paul's church he was a choir leader, which position he faithfully and satisfactorily filled a number of years. When the present church was erected he furnished the stone to build it, and laid many rods of sidewalk in the village. Mr. Bowers conducted a bakery for a time on Washington street, opposite the Chenango House, which has since been burned. He successfully canvassed a portion of the State for the New York State Gazateer, and in Illinois for a United States map. Later he built the octagon house on Mechanic street. Children by second wife:

    D. MARION, married October 16, 1873, Frances WELLER of Sidney, where he now resides. RODOLPHUS T., died January 2, 1853, in infancy.

He lives long that lives well.



    Samuel A. Gifford, who was familiarly known as General Gifford, was the only son of Abner and Lucy (LORD) Gifford, who came in 1800, soon after their marriage, and settled in the town of Oxford on what is known as Prospect View farm, which overlooks nine towns. Here their six daughters and one son were born. General Gifford was the youngest of the family, except one sister who died at the age of fourteen years. He always resided in the town and the greater portion of his life was spent on the farm that his father settled. At an early age he became connected with the State militia and in the course of time was promoted from a private to captain, then to colonel and brigadier general. He received his commissions from the Governor of the State and held the office until the militia was disbanded. Having a talent for vocal music, he for many years taught singing schools and was leader or chorister in some church nearly all his life, till failing health compelled him to give up active work. General Gifford was born in 1817 and died September 29, 1894. He married in 1848 Emma HODGE of Oxford, born in 1824; died November --, 1906. Children: MARY A., married Alexander LATHAN; residence Denver, Col. RAY, married Ida CARHART; died in 1893 in Oxford. WARD B., married Jennie L. TURNER; residence Oxford. HIAL H., married Ella B. BROOKSBANK, and resides on the old homestead.

If you have resources for Chenango County or would like to volunteer to help with look-ups, please e-mail me at Tim Stowell
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