Biography of the Pollard Family of New Woodstock
The Pollard Family of New Woodstock
From New Woodstock and Vicinity, Past and Present, 1901

Daniel H. Weiskotten

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Note:  Calvin Pollard (1797 to 1850) was a builder-architect of houses, churches, and stores.  He designed beautiful buildings in the New York City area, but also as far south as Petersburg, VA.  His best known work, the Borrough, or City Hall, in Brooklyn, completed in 1848, is shown here.  Pollard also drafted plans for Washington Irving (1835,) designed a house for William Wickham Mills (1838,) designed the Court House in Petersburg, VA (1838) and designed the Brandreth Pill Factory in Ossining, NY (1836) among many houses, stores, factories, and other structures.  He is known to have entered into several major design competitions in the early 1830s, including that for the Washington Monument.  Many of his papers are in the New York Public Library.

I have not found that Calvin Pollard built or designed any structures in the New Woodstock area, but other members of his family were involved in building, woodworking and the arts, so their work must be in homes in the area.

New Woodstock and Vicinity, Past and Present, 1901, Anzolette D. Ellsworth and Mary E. Richmond, printed by J.A. Loyster, Cazenovia, NY

Pages 82 to 84


        Thomas Pollard came in 1692 from Coventry, England to Billerica, twenty miles northwest of Boston, Mass.  The same year he married his cousin, Mary Farmer.  They had five daughters and ten sons.  The fourth son, John, was the grandfather of Jonathan Pollard, born 1759, who came to Cazenovia from New Braintree, Mass., in 1803, accompanied by his wife, Kezia [Hayward,] and eight children.  Four more children were born in New York state.  Mr. Pollard first lived near what is now called Delphi Station, on the farm afterward called the Lacy place, then the John Post and Gilbert Ackley place, and is now the home of Gardner Freeborn.  His last home was southeast of New Woodstock on the road to Sheds Corners.  The place is now owned by John Manchester.  Intermediate owners have been Ardath Blair, Richard Acker and George Daniel.  The apple trees on the hill side were bought with the proceeds of Mrs. Pollard's loom.
        Like his ancestors, Mr. Pollard was a cooper by trade.  He died in 1821.  After his death his wife lived with her daughter, Sally, then with her son, Otis, until 1832, after that time until her death in 2843, with her <:83> daughter, Isabella.  Mr. and Mrs. Pollard are buried in the New Woodstock cemetery.
        Mr. Pollard was a Revolutionary soldier.  He was wounded at the battle of Guilford Court House, and left unconscious on the field.  When consciousness returned, discovering that the flies had laid their eggs in his wound, he vigorously removed their larvae with his jack~knife.  Thomas Pollard, the first American ancestor, served in the Indian wars in 1706. Other ancestors were in the French and Indian war; eight descendants were in the Revolutionary war, and the first man to fall at Bunker Hill was a member of the Pollard family.
        The eight daughters of Jonathan Pollard were Achsah, who married Sylvenus Merrick, and spent a part of her life in Syracuse.  Her husband was prominent in the famous Jerry Rescue case in 1851.  Their descendants are the Merricks of Syracuse, well known contractors and builders of brick residences.  One of their daughters married Ansel Kinne, principal of various schools in Syracuse from 1855 to 1863 and from 1866 to 1890.
        Zilpha Pollard married Dyer Lamb, [see sketch {on pages 84- 85}].  Sally Dean Pollard was eight years old when her parents came to New Woodstock from Massachusetts.  When twenty-two she married William Smith, a farmer and distiller at New Woodstock.  He served a short time in the war of 1812.  Three of their children died in infancy.  The other three were Jane, Harriet, who died ill 1880, and Electa.  Mrs. Smith, or "Aunt Sally," as she was familiarly called, depended on her own exertions for the support of herself and children.  She possessed remarkable executive ability, originality, and quickness in repartee.  With unwearied perseverance she toiled and gave each of her daughters a good education.  Electa married Rev. Charles Blakeslee, and is still living.  The eldest daughter, Jane, married John Underwood, and lived in New Woodstock and Cazenovia until 1874, then moved to Syracuse where she died during the present year, 1901, at the age of 83.  She possessed a remarkable memory, and much of the data of the present history is due to her aid in supplying important items.  Well versed in chemistry and other branches, she was a successful teacher in the old red school house in 1837.
        Persis Pollard first married Charles Farnham of New York City, and second, Judah Simonds, of East Wilson.  She was the last of her generation, dying in 1890, in her ninety-second year.  Polly Pollard was born in l80l, died in 1826.
        Isabella Pollard spent her girlhood in the family of Luke May, and married Fletcher Billings, a carriage maker, residing in Rippleton.  She died in 1886.  Her youngest son, George Billings, and family, still reside in the old house.  In a sketch written by Mrs. Billings' daughter, the late Mrs. Susan Ackerman, she alludes to her mother's loving care of her own four children, of three motherless children, of four nieces, and several <:84> other children, all taken into her home, cared for and sent to school.
        Melina, the seventh daughter, married Oliver Bird, of Port Gibson, and died in 1854.  Urvilla Pollard was born in New Woodstock in 1810.  She married in 1828 D. J Gregory of New York City; In 1847, Horace Williams of Cazenovia.  She died in 1858; Her two daughters, Ellen and Anna, spent several years with their aunt, Mrs. Billings.
        The four sons of Jonathan and Kezia Pollard were Franklin, who died in infancy, Otis, Calvin, and John.  Otis and Calvin became architects and builders in New York City.  The former was stricken with  partial paralysis in 1856, and lived with his sister, Mrs. Billings, from that time until his death in 1870, at the age of seventy-seven.
        When the Baptist church in New Woodstock was built in 1815, Calvin Pollard, then eighteen, made a drawing of it, putting in every rafter and other details.  He died in 1850 when only fifty-three, yet he had realized the dream of his youth and had become a skillful architect.  He designed and built the City Hall, in Brooklyn, the Custom House on Wall Street, N.Y., the Astor House, Broadway, and the Tombs [note = this was actually John Haviland].  One of his children was Miss Josephine Pollard, the late gifted hymn writer and poet in New York City.
        John Pollard, unlike his brothers who were men of large physique, was a man of slender figure.  In early life he was a wood carver in Albany.  When more than eighty years of age, he came to New Woodstock to visit the scenes of his childhood.  While here he gave lessons in drawing with all ability and originality that only his pupils can appreciate.
        The ancient military spirit animated the later generations of the Pollard family.  At the beginning of the civil war, there were eight in whose veins flowed the blood of Jonathan Pollard, that responded to the nation's call for help, and served in the rank and file of the army.