Biographies in Oswego County, N.Y.  



Source: From Dwight Bruce's Onondaga Centennial, contributed by Dianne Thomas, who believes it was written about 1895, but says the date isn't quite legible.

     Dewitt C. Peck was born in Oswego County in 1813, where he lived until he was seventeen years old.  He then moved to the town of Pompey with his parents, Dennis and Mary (Halliday) Peck, who were natives of Connecticut and Massachusetts.  From Pompey they moved in 1832 to Mr. Peck's present place in Dewitt.  The father was justice of the peace for many years and at one time coroner of Oswego County.  He died in 1852 at the age of 72, and the mother in 1867 at the age of 81.  Dewitt C. is one of a family of six children, he and two sisters survive. 

     In 1840 he married Salome Kinne by whom he had five children:
Herbert D. of Iowa; Albert D. of Montana; Clinton D. of Iowa; Willard H.and Marie E. 

    Willard H. who resides in the old homestead with his parents, was born in 1854 and educated at Syracuse High School.  He is the present commissioner of Highways, serving his second term; president of the Onondaga County Farmer's club, and one of the directors of the Onondaga County Milk Association.  He also has lumbering interests in Iowa (conducted under the firm name of W.H. Peck & Co) where he resided from 1880 to 1891. In 1882 he married S.Nettie Kinne, daughter of Elbridge Kinne, by whom he has had two children, L. Theodore and Raymonnd Dewitt.

Source: "History of Oswego County, N. Y., 1789 – 1877, published by Everett & Ferriss, 1878.  Many thanks to Dianne Thomas who transcribed this biography. 


The origin of the “De Welles” family of Lincolnshire, barons by summons to parliament, was in the Vaux, or de Vallibus family of France, one of the most illustrious families known to history.  The derivation is traced back over a thousand years to the year 794, from which period they held the highest rank personally, and by royal intermarriages.  It was founded in England, at the Conquest, by Harold de Vaux, and his three sons,  Barons Hubert, Ranulph, and Robert, who were all surnamed de Vallibus.  The descent is through the younger son Robert, whose grandson  William had four sons, one of whom was William de Welles, of Lincolnshire, 1194, who became the founder of that long line of noblemen of Lincolnshire whose history is given in full by Dugdale, in his standard work on the baronage of England.

As early as 1638, three brothers, George, Richard and William, emigrated, and were among the first settlers of Lynn, Massachusetts.  From this family the subject of this sketch traces his descent, through ex-Governor Thomas Welles, of Connecticut.

John C. Wells was born in the town of Trenton, Oneida county, New York, January 9, 1821, and was the son of Elisha G. Wells, a native of Connecticut, who settled in Oneida county when John C., eldest son, was only ten years of age.  There were six children in the family, whom the father, being a teacher himself, gave as great opportunity for an education as his limited means would permit.

One son, Lucius, graduated at Union college and Cambridge law school; Franklin graduated at the Albany Normal school; John C. in his earlier life was a teacher, farming during the summer and teaching winters.  He remained at Trenton until twenty-four years of age, and removed to Granby township, Oswego County, and settled on lot 65, buying one hundred and twenty-five acres, clearing and making tillable a large part of it.
He married Miss Lucretia Augusta Meigs, daughter of Edward Meigs, of Delaware county, New York, and a descendant of Vincent Meigs, who came from Devonshire, England, 1638, and settled at Guilford, Connecticut.

Of this marriage were born two children, viz., Laura Crocker Wells and Edmund Meigs Wells.  The daughter now resides at home.  The son graduated at a Philadelphia dental college in the class of 1872.

John C. Wells has been identified with the Episcopal society, and contributed to support religious interests around him, and encouraged all enterprises looking to the education of the rising generation.

His wife united with the church when only sixteen years old, and has remained a member of the Episcopal church until the present time, engaging actively in Sunday-school work.

In politics, he was first a Whig, and upon the formation of the Republican party joined its ranks, remaining firm in its principles, receiving various local offices from the suffrages of his townsmen, and was supervisor and assessor of his town, and loan commissioner for the county.

He is now in his fifty-sixth year, and still engaged in the active duties of life as a farmer.

Source: "History of Oswego County, N. Y., 1789 – 1877, published by Everett & Ferriss, 1878.  Many thanks to Dianne Thomas who transcribed this biography. 


Was born in Greene county, New York, July 23, 1817.  He was the son of Peter Bogardus, whose great-grandfather came from Holland.

He came to Lysander, Onondaga county, with his father, at the age of fourteen years, and in the year 1831, and followed the occupation of farmer; and about the year 1850 removed with his father to the town of Granby, Oswego County, and settled on one hundred acres of land, where his widow now resides, he having died September 24, 1873. 

At the age of forty-four he was married to Miss Harriet Morris, daughter of Reuben and Harriet Morris, who emigrated from Sussex county, England, and settled first in Lysander, Onondaga county, and afterwards in Granby, Oswego County.   Of this marriage were born two children, ___ Helen and Alice Bogardus.  Helen died in infancy; Alice lived to the age of twelve years, and died January 31, 1877, leaving the mother and widow alone and bereft of her whole family.

Isaac Bogardus was a moderate man and temperate in his habits; a model of integrity and uprightness of character; respected by all who knew him; and at his death left a devoted wife to mourn his loss and care for the results of their industry and toil. He had accumulated a fine property during his life, surrounded with all that makes life pleasant; and although for the few years before his death his health was giving way as the result of extra exertion and activity to make his surroundings comfortable for his last years, he was still active and persevering.  Mrs. Bogadus carries on the farm; her sisters – Amy and Eliza – reside with her; her brothers – Charles, Reuben, and William – are residents of the same town, living near her.

Oswego Palladium, April 5, 1888
Contributed by Kathi from Syracuse

Helped Bury The Dead.

A Man Who Remembers When The British Captured Oswego.

Mr. Alanson Himes, a Resident of Oswego County for Seventy-Four Years, Celebrates His 90th Birthday - He Planted the Big Elms That Skirt the Park.

 Mr. Alanson Himes, one of the pioneer settlers of Oswego County, and one of the oldest citizens of Oswego, celebrated his ninetieth birthday yesterday at his home, No. 12 Ellen street, surrounded by his wife, children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and numerous relatives and friends. For seventy-four years he has been a resident of this county and during that time has never been further north than Sandy Creek nor further south than Albany.

 He is a remarkably well preserved man and has the appearance of being much younger than he really is.  He enjoys remarkable good health and on Tuesday accompanied his son, Mr. James M. Himes down town. For a number of years, however, his sight has not been good, and he has had to forgo the pleasures of reading. He is also slightly deaf, but otherwise is strong and vigorous, mentally as well as physically.

 A Palladium reporter who called upon him yesterday had a very interesting conversation with him.  He is one of the very few persons living who saw the many changes through which this city has passed; he remembers it as a hamlet when there were no wharves on our river front, and he has seen it spread itself out and gradually develop into its present importance. Mr. Himes was born in the town of Exeter, Washington county, Rhode Island, April 4, 1798.

 For years later, with his parents, he moved into the town of Norway, Herkimer county, this state, where they lived until March 1814, when the family removed to Oswego county and settled in the town of Scriba. about
four miles from the city. At that time the country was little more than a wilderness. The roads were few and bad and Mr. Himes remembers when he helped lay out and build the road leading from this city into the town of Scriba, known as the Hall Road. 

 At the time of the capture of this city by the British on May 6th, 1814, Mr. Himes was a lad of 16 years, engaged on his father s farm.  He remembers  the battle well, and although not allowed to take any part in it, he agreed to stay home and sow spring wheat while his two brother's-in-law went down to the city to help
defend the fort.  The battle began on the morning of May 5th, and all day at intervals, young Himes at home on his father s farm, could hear the boom of the cannon.

 As the afternoon advanced he began to get impatient and a welcome shower of rain which came up was a sufficient excuse for him to stop work, jump the back of a horse and gallop to the city. Before he reached the scene, however, the firing had ceased, but he saw the British fleet at anchor in Baldwin s Bay, and there Mr. Himes saw for the first time a full rigged war vessel. In the fort the  boys  were all cheerful, and he laughed pleasantly as he called to mind the boasts of a  little fellow  who told how they had  peppered  the Britishers.
 Next day the fort was captured about noon, and the English remained until about midnight but they left, taking with them a vessel owned by Alvin Bronson. The other one which comprised the Oswego fleet,  was owned by Theopolis S. Morgan and was scuttled to save her from the hands of the enemy.  The next day, Sunday, the dead were buried. There were thirteen, and the bodies were put into rough wooden boxes and 
placed side by side in a trench. Mr. Himes was among those who assisted at the burial. At that time there were but two log houses on the East Side of the river, while on the West Side Mr. Himes thinks there were about one hundred.

 He remembers distinctly the old light house that stood on the Fort bank, and one of the first jobs he obtained after leaving his farm was the digging of a well for the light-keeper, after which he helped build docks and was
employed on one of the first wharves built on the river front by Alvin Bronson near the foot of Cayuga Street. he remembers the launch of the first vessel ever built at this port by Alvin Bronson, and tells how he walked
four miles to be present at the launching.  Early in life he began taking contracts and he was prominently  connected with many enterprises. He was connected with the building of the first wooden bridge to span Oswego river, and also had a contract on the Varick canal and at one time had charge of the pumping on the old Marine railway. 

Mr. Himes says he has probably opened up more streets for the city than any man living.  He received  many contracts from the village officers by whom he was held in high esteem.  He, it was, who planted the elm and maple trees around the West Park in the spring  of 1833, on a contract from the village.
 The oak trees that now ornament the park were left standing when the land was cleared off. The row of soft maples on the Cayuga street side were planted at the request of Mr. Alvin Bronson, it having been the  intention to plant Elm all around the park. About this time Mr.  Himes went to live on the Murray farm, but continued his contracting business and made money.  He at one time owned all that tract of land known as
the Tallman and  Babcock tract lying in the vicinity of Ellen street.

 Forty years ago he built the house in which he has lived constantly for forty years. Mr. Himes has been twice married. First in 1822 and again in 1831. his second wife is still living and will in May celebrate her 84th
birthday. In his very long and busy life Mr. Himes says he never had but one fit of sickness, and that was an attack of bilious fever. He attributes his good health and long life to regular and temperate habits. All day yesterday Mr. Himes and his estimable wife received their old friends and talked together of the days that have gone. Mr. Himes has six children, twenty-three grandchildren and twenty-five great-grandchildren. 

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