Biographical Sketches, Town of Richland, Oswego Co., N.Y.  
Town of Richland, N.Y.

Information was obtained from the History of Oswego County, N. Y., 1789 – 1877, published by
Everett & Ferriss, 1878.  Many thanks and appreciation to Julie Robst for contributing these biographical sketches.  Julie has contributed a number of photographs, newspaper articles and histories for both, Richland and Mexico. 

    Charles H. Cross, son of Moulton Cross, was born in Hamilton, Madison county, 
January 1, 1807. He was the eldest in a family of fourteen children who came with his father in 1814 to Pulaski. His father located upon a tract of land embracing three hundred acres, four miles from the village of Pulaski. He was a miller, and also assisted in erecting
numerous saw-mills in this vicinity. The subject of this sketch received the advantages of a common school education, and in the year 1827 entered into the business of surveying lands, and in 1850 was appointed agent of the “Pierpont Estate,” representing about one hundred thousand acres of lands in the counties of Jefferson, Lewis, and Oswego, with the office at Pulaski.
    October 11. 1842, he united in marriage with Melissa Lane, daughter of Gilbert Lane, born November 18, 1817. Their family has consisted of five children, four of whom are living, viz., Albert H., Gilbert L., Sylvia L., wife of John Shea, and Martha L., all residents of Pulaski.
    In all matters pertaining to the public welfare, Mr. Cross has ever manifested a lively interest. He assisted in the organization, location, and construction of the Rome, Watertown and Ogdensburgh railroad, and also of the Syracuse Northern, and was a director in each. During the twenty-seven years of his administration as land agent he has
settled thousands of families, and contributed largely to the general prosperity and development of the various towns. Though his duties have been arduous, and he has now reached the scriptural age of threescore and ten, he is possessed of much of the vigor and
ambition of youth. He is a churchman and a communicant of the Episcopal church at Pulaski. Politically, he is a Democrat.


     Robert L. Ingersoll is a native of New Berlin, Chenango county, where he was born June 5, 1819. He came into the town of Albion with his father, Ebenezer Ingersoll, in 1830. Like many of the prominent and successful business men of today, Mr. Ingersoll received the rudiments of his education at the district school, and although the educational advantages of those early days were meagre, still he succeeded well in his studies and subsequently entered the Mexico academy, where he pursued his studies with diligence and attention, and succeeded in acquiring an education that well fitted him for his subsequent business career. At the close of his school days he purchased “his time” of his father, - seven months for the sum of fifty dollars, - and commenced business for himself.
    He formed a co-partnership with Elijah Shumway in the manufacture of carriages at
Sandy Creek, and subsequently purchased his partner’s interest, and continued the
business about five years, and then removed to the village of Pulaski and established a
carriage manufactory. He conducted this business until 1872, when he disposed of it to
Ingersoll & Suydam.
     In 1854 he established the Pulaski bank and assumed its presidency, in which
capacity he officiated until 1862, when the institution was discontinued. He then organized the R. L. Ingersoll & Co.’s bank, and has since been actively engaged in the banking business.
     In 1842 he united in marriage with Caroline E. Clark, a native of Jefferson county.
Their family consists of six children, viz., Leroy, George D., Anna A., Frank D., Fred B.,
Maud.  George D. resides in this town;  Anna A., wife of Frank Dimock, resides in
Quincy, Illinois;  Frank D. in Michigan;  Fred B. in St. Catharines, Canada;  Maud is
     Mr. Ingersoll is a positive character. While he is kind and considerate to those with whom he has business relations, still, when once determined upon a course, he never casts a backward glance, but pursues it to a successful termination. Though differing with
many in various matters, they give him credit for honesty of purpose. The element of
invincible determination is prominent in the character of Mr. Ingersoll. Though he has no
petty controversies, still in his long business career he has become involved in heavy
litigations, but never had a judgment entered against him. His line of conduct has been, -
 “Beware of entrance to a quarrel; but, being in, bear’t that th’ opposed may beware of thee.”
     His friends find in him a warm associate, and those with whom he may chance to
be opposed a “foeman worthy of their steel.” Politically he is a Democrat, and a vigorous
and uncompromising exponent of the principles of that party. Mr. Ingersoll is essentially a
self-made man, and has through his own individual efforts become one of the substantial
men of the county. 


     was born June 10, 1807, in Litchfield, Herkimer county, New York. His father,
John Doane, was a soldier in the Revolutionary War;  enlisted immediately after the battle
of Bunker Hill, and served during the war. He was a prisoner eighteen months in a
prison-ship in New York harbor. The parents moved from Connecticut about 1798, and
eventually settled in Litchfield, Herkimer county, New York.
     Their children were six sons and two daughters, four of whom are surviving, viz.: 
Mrs. Olivia Mason, residing in Pulaski;  Isaac in Port Ontario;  Harvey, in Michigan, and
the subject of our sketch.
     Captain Doane was married October 24, 1830, to Audria Vorce. Seven children
were born to them, only two of whom are living: a son, Helon F., and daughter Martha
A., wife of L. D. Potter, son of John E. Potter.  A son, Henry G. Doane, was a member of the Thirty-fifth Regiment New York Volunteers, and died at Elmira, New York. His wife died June, 1853, and he married to Julia Vorce January 22, 1854, cousin of his first wife, and daughter of Colonel William Vorce.
     The early years of Captain Doane’s life were spent as a farmer, about twelve years
as a carpenter and joiner, the latter years as a merchant in Pulaski, and later still operating
in timber lands. He has been called to fill various offices of public trust: president of the
village, collector, jailer, and under-sheriff, and inspector of customs in New York City,
may be mentioned among them.
     A life-long Democrat, Captain Doane voted for General Jackson and for the
Democratic candidate at every presidential election since. He built the house he occupies
in 1865, and at the enjoyment of a competency, the result of years of hard labor, and the
friendship and esteem of the entire community.


     Oswego County is noted for the proficiency and high standard of its medical men,
and none occupy a more deserved popular position in the profession than Dr. James N.
Betts, of Pulaski. A residence of nearly a quarter of a century there, during which time he
has been in the active practice of his profession, has fully demonstrated his general worth,
and assigned him a conspicuous place on the pages of history.
     James N., son of Silas and Janette (Wheeler) Betts, was born in the town of
Oxford, Chenango county, New York, April 2, 1822. He was the second of a family of
four children, and remained a member of it until he completed his fourteenth year, when
he left the parental roof, and went out in “the wide, wide world” to do for himself, and
since that time has relied entirely upon his own resources. He received an academic
education, and before graduating had chosen his profession, - namely, that of a doctor. In
order to meet the necessary expenses for the prosecution of his medical studies he was
compelled to teach school for several years. He then entered the Worcester medical
college, at Worcester, Massachusetts, and from there went to the Syracuse medical
college, from which he latter graduated with honors. After graduating he was engaged in
the manufacture of medicine, and at the same time published the Syracuse Medical
     In December, 1843, Dr. Betts was married to Miss Sarah M., daughter of Jesse
Burrows, Esq., of Coventry, Chenango county, New York. In 1855 he disposed of his
property and business in Syracuse and removed to Pulaski, where he established himself
in the practice of his profession, and has since devoted his entire attention to it. He has
been eminently successful. He holds diplomas from the Medical University of
Philadelphia, from the Syracuse medical college, and from the Eclectic medical college of
Cincinnati, Ohio. In 1875 he was strongly urged to accept the enviable position of the
chair of surgery in the American medical college of St. Louis, Missouri, but his extensive
practice, home standing, and business interests debarred him from accepting the honor,
much to the disappointment of the faculty.
     The doctor has taken a deep interest in the educational affairs of Pulaski. He has
been a member of the board of education since 1855, with the exception of one year, in
which he was supervisor. In politics he is a Democrat of the good old Jeffersonian school.
He is an earnest and consistent member of the political party whose principles he has
     The doctor has three boys: the elder, Albert F., is a well known merchant, at
Pulaski;  the second son, James H., is traveling;  whilst the younger, George W., has
adopted the profession of his worthy father, and is now completing his medical education
at the University of Michigan, at Ann Arbor, connected with which is one of the best
medical colleges in the country.
     Dr. Betts is a gentleman well and favorably known, and one who is very highly
respected and esteemed. He possesses the necessary qualifications of the physician other
than knowledge, - geniality of disposition, and firmness blended with kindness and
compassion. In his domestic relations he is kind and affectionate, a good husband, father,
and friend, and in every sense a worthy citizen.


     The subject of this sketch traces his lineage back to the reign of Queen Elizabeth,
when John King, father of the original settler in this country, of the same family, was
secretary to that distinguished sovereign. A son, names Edward, was a classmate of John
Milton, and was a successful competitor with the illustrious poet for a class prize. He was
subsequently drowned in the Irish sea, and commemorated by Milton in the poem of
“Lycidas.” John King, the ancestor of the family in this country, settled in Northampton,
Massachusetts, in 1654. He was from Northamptonshire, England.
     Don A. King, son of Henry King and Betsey Allen, was born in Ellisburg,
Jefferson county, March 27, 1820. His mother was a daughter of Joseph Allen, Esq., the
first settler on “Pierrepont Manor”. His father, Henry King, emigrated from Southampton,
Massachusetts, in the year 1806. The subject of this sketch early manifested a desire for a
thorough education, and after pursuing a preparatory course of instruction entered Union
college, and graduated with honor in 1844, in the class with Prof. Joy, of Columbia
college, Governor Alex. H. Rice, William H. H. Moore, James C. Duane, U. S. A., also
Generals Frederick and Howard Townsend, of Albany.
     His affable manner and studious habits rendered him esteemed among his associated, and he was elected a member of the “Phi Beta Kappa” society.
     At the close of his collegiate course he chose the profession of the law, and
commenced his studies with a Mr. Blake, at Cold Spring, opposite West Point, and
completed them with Hon. A. Z. McCarty, in 1847, and on the 22d day of September in
that year was admitted to the bar in the city of Poughkeepsie. In 1848 he united in
marriage with Mary Baker, daughter of Thomas C. Baker, of Pulaski. Their family
consists of four children, viz., Ella M., wife of the Rev. J. H. Wright, of Davenport,
Delaware county, New York;  Katherine D.;  Charles B.;  and Sarah Frances.  Charles B.
is a graduate of Union college, and is practicing law with his father in Pulaski.
     In 1848 he formed a co-partnership in the practice of law with Mr. McCarty,
which existed until 1855. In 1855 he was appointed a director of the Pulaski bank, and
officiated in that capacity until its dissolution. Upon the organization of R. L. Ingersoll &
Co.’s bank he became a partner, and was attorney for the bank until 1876.
     While he has been actively engaged in the arduous duties of his profession, he has
bestowed much time and attention upon educational matters, and was one of the
incorporators of the Pulaski Academy, and has done much towards contributing to its
present prosperity.
     Mr. King has never sought for political distinction, and although a life-long Democrat, one of the leading members of his party in the county, and a vigorous exponent of its principles, he has labored rather for that distinction at the bar which comes from years of earnest application, and justly merits the reputation of ranking among the best lawyers in this portion of the State. His affable and courteous manner, sound learning, good judgment, and candor have won for him in a remarkable degree the esteem and confidence of his fellow-citizens.


     Among the prominent pioneers of Redfield township were Eli and Charlotte (West) Strong, parents of the subject of this sketch, who came from Connecticut about the
year 1790. After remaining nearly a quarter of a century in Redfield they removed to the
town of Orwell, and it was here that William was born, on the 12th of February, 1814.
There were five children in the family, of which he was the fourth. He resided with his
father until he was twenty-one years old, when he purchased his father’s farm, upon
which he remained for thirty years.
     In 1844 he married Miss Chloe West, from Lee, Oneida county, New York,
daughter of Ira and Lucy West, by whom he had one child, Sarah, the wife of Orla Allen,
Esq., of Pulaski.
     His father was postmaster of Orwell for twenty-four years, and was a prominent
man in his township generally. In 1867 father and son removed to Pulaski, where his
father died at the good old age of eighty-six years. He was an influential member of the
Methodist Episcopal church at Orwell, which he assisted to erect. William Strong
received a good common-school education; and has since devoted his time to farming and
the dairy business, and has been quite successful in both branches. Politically, he is a
Democrat, and has held various township offices, among others that of a supervisor.
Socially, he is a quiet, unassuming man, respected by the people of the community in
which he resides. In character he is honest and upright, faithful in the discharge of every
duty, and happy in his domestic relations. In fine, he is a good neighbor, a firm friend,
and a worthy citizen.

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