I have made only minor changes to the text that were obvious printers errors (correction of the name of Mr. Brevoort, Lemuel White, Thomas Dinsmore, and Mr. Fitch). Following the appearance of the original columns, Farnham himself made a short list of corrections, in the Cazenovia Republican of May 28, 1874. For these I have added notation within the text.
I know the full identity of many persons listed here, as well as the location of stores and houses herein described, and if you would like further information, please feel free to contact me.
We offer to our readers,
on the first page of this issue, No.1 of a series of reminiscences of old-time
Cazenovia sent to the editor by Thomas Farnham of Buffalo. Mr. Farnham
is a son of Col. Farnham, one of Cazenovia's honored citizens in the "years
agone." These reminiscences are charming for their simplicity and
To the Editor of the Cazenovia Republican:
Dear Sir - I received, through the kindness of some one, a short time since, your paper containing the notice of the death of Gen. J. D. Ledyard, whom I knew, when a boy, fifty years ago, and whose acquaintance I had the pleasure of continuing and appreciating, in my occasional visits to my native village, since that time. This notice has brought forcibly to my mind the noble race of men and women who were then the active persons in the business and society of the village and vicinity. It has occurred to me that it would gratify myself and those of that class of your citizens who still survive (and possibly their descendants) to give a short account of my recollections and impressions of those who were then in active positions in society.
I will mention here, that I left Cazenovia fifty years ago this Winter, when fourteen years of age, with the consent of my parents to learn a trade in Cortlandville, Cortland County, where I remained until I was twenty years of age. Then I went to Dunkirk, Chautauqua County, as a clerk in the store of my brother, LeRoy Farnham, and continued there for four years, and then came to Buffalo to reside in the Spring of 1833 - forty-one years this month - where I have lived since that time. We then had a population of about 8,000; we now have about 150,000.
I remember Mr. Ledyard as a young man of prepossessing manners, open and frank in his intercourse with others, and I always regarded him as one of the best citizens of the place. He was interested in everything calculated to advance the interests of society, and contributed liberally to that end.
I call to mind the large and manly, form of Col. Lincklaen, while living. I recollect the time of his death, and the unusual ceremony at his funeral, which was deeply impressed on my mind. His beautiful residence, situated at the foot of the lake, always attracted the attention of travelers and others. The long rows of popular trees, extending on each side of the road in front of his place, gave additional attraction to it. I remember once, on going up into the pulpit of the Presbyterian Church, of reading inscribed in a large bold handwriting in the Bible that it was a gift to the church by Mr. Lincklaen. He was a regular attendant at church and a liberal supporter of the same, as well as other good objects in the community.
Perry G. Childs, a lawyer, was well and favorably known in that part of the country. His residence near the lake, and grounds extending to the lake, so beautifully situated, always seemed to me a home of refinement, pleasure and comfort. His daughters were cultivated, accomplished ladies.
Major Forman lived on the opposite corner, as you approach the lake, in the house recently owned and occupied by Jacob Ten Eyck, Esq. Maj. Forman's store was located on the southeast corner of the square. He was a good specimen of an old-school gentleman. He afterward removed to Syracuse, where he died a few years since.
General Hurd's Store was situated on the northwest corner of the square, near where Dr. Foord's residence used to be. The General was a man of considerable influence, and was fond of display on general training days. I should judge he was a high liver, but certainly he was a splendid-looking officer on such occasions. He moved to Albany and engaged in the lottery business. In the Fall of 1829 my father and myself, when on our way to Connecticut, where my father was going to make his first visit since he left home, called on Gen. Hurd, and he induced my father to purchase a ticket in a drawing that was to take place the next day in New York City. We called at the office in New York and found it had drawn a small prize, sufficient to pay our expenses the remainder of our journey.
Lemuel White kept the hotel on the south side of the square. He was a very agreeable man, and kept a very good house. He removed west, I think, to Milwaukee. His daughter, Lucy, was a widow, left with a family of children in Illinois, the last time I heard of her.
Mr. Hitchcock kept the hotel on the north side of the square, and was regarded a first-rate landlord, as well as a good substantial citizen in every respect. His son, Simon C. Hitchcock, became a State Senator, and more recently U.S. Collector of Revenue at Binghamton.
Ezekiel Carpenter, former Sheriff, had a store on the corner of the square and Sullivan Street. Gen. Hough of Syracuse married his oldest daughter, who was a noble woman, as a life devoted to acts of doing good, testified.
On the corner of Sullivan street and the street where the Baptist Church was, stood the old brown school house, where, among many others that taught school, was Moses Severance, who resided about two miles south of the village. He was a thorough teacher and highly respected by the school and the inhabitants of the place. One of his sons, Luther Severance, published a paper in the State of Maine, and was elected to Congress. After his term expired, he was appointed a U.S. Commissioner to the Sandwich Islands. While there, he was invited to a reception at the king's house, and was introduced to Mr. Castle, a missionary from this country. Mr. Castle remarked to him that he once attended a school taught by Moses Severance in Cazenovia. They soon, found they had been boys and playmates together, but had lost sight of each other, and after a separation of about thirty years, met - one as a missionary, and the other as representative of the United States in the islands. Mr. C. was the son of Deacon Castle, who moved from Cazenovia before I left home.
Mrs. Grace Wilson, a widow - whose husband, Doctor Wilson, took medicine, by mistake, that occasioned his death - was a woman of education and culture. She established a school for young ladies, nearly opposite the school house on Sullivan street, and most of the young ladies of that day and place, especially, were educated by her. She had an assistant Miss Abigail Staples, who was a pleasant, agreeable lady, and who married one of Mr. Severance 5 sons, who was the publisher of school books and a compiler.
Old Mr. Murdock kept a grocery, near John Williams' store, but lived on Sullivan street.
Mr. Boardman's tailor shop was on Albany street near Mr. Ten Eyck's store.
Major Sizer lived for a short time on Sullivan street. He now has a son residing in Buffalo - Thomas I. Sizer, Esq., a lawyer. They were people of unusually refined taste, especially in dress. The old gentleman died in Buffalo about two years since.
Mr. Brevoort, a hatter, lived neighbor to them.
Mr. Kingsbury and wife were cordial, kind-hearted people. It was my good fortune to be a pupil in the school kept by their daughters, Harriet and Electra Kingsbury, and I have ever since looked upon those days as the most pleasant of my youth. They had a juvenile missionary society formed in the school, to which we contributed, I think, a penny a week for the benefit of the missionaries at the Island of Ceylon; which mission I think was established about that time. I had the pleasure, a few years since, of entertaining at my house in Buffalo a meeting of the American board of Missions, the Rev. Mr. Saunders and wife, who had been missionaries in Ceylon for several years. They returned to this country for the part of leaving their five children, the youngest a boy of five years, to be educated. They left them among their friends, and returned to their field of labor on the island. I was sorry to hear of the death of the mother a short time after her return. I think the impression received in that little juvenile society, and the interest there implanted, has never ceased. The sacrifices which missionaries are called to make can not be appreciated by those of us who remain at home and enjoy all the comforts that this land affords, of education and society. But this is rather a departure from the object of my communication. You have still with you Miss Harriet Kingsbury, that was, in the person of Mrs. Benjamin T. Clarke, who is now, and always has been, a blessing to her friends and the community.
Mr. and Mrs. Dearborn all will remember as very peculiar people. They had one son, Alexander, a promising young man.
Widow Bryant lived on and owned the old Van Horn place. Mr. Charles H.S. Williams married her daughter Susan. He was a lawyer, and formerly lived in Buffalo. He was a prominent man in his profession. He subsequently removed to California and died there.
The Presbyterian Church was located on the green, a little north of the village. It was a very cold, windy place in the Winter, and I had reason to know, for it fell to my lot to drive the horses and sleigh to take our people to church. It was not the practice then to have fire in the church, except in the little foot stoves which the ladies used to take with them, but they introduced an improvement by putting two stoves under the gallery near the door, with pipes running to a large sheet iron drum in the center of the Church, elevated considerably above the heads of the congregation, and a pipe leading from the drum to the outside of the church. It did not add very much to the good appearance of the church, but it was much more comfortable. Dr. Brown was the pastor then. The Rev. Mr. Leonard, Mrs. John Williams' father, was the first pastor. I knew subsequently Dr. White, Dr. Barrows, Rev. Mr. Gillett and Dr. Boardman - all men of ability, constituting a ministry which that church has enjoyed, with others that have occupied the relation of pastor, superior to almost any church that I have known. There was then a sounding board over that high pulpit. It seemed to be the fashion then to get the minister as far from the people as possible. There was on the east and north sides of the church sheds for sheltering teams during religious service.
The Baptist Church was built about this time, and Elder Leonard was the pastor. Capt. Farnam, who lived over the hill as you passed the foot of the lake, I remember was a regular attendant upon that church. He now has a daughter living in Buffalo, Mrs. E.I. Newman, and they are very respectable, good people. There were many other worthy families that attended this church.
Mr. Tillotson, whose farm and, house were in full view across the lake, was an enterprising farmer and a reliable man.
Mr. Tuttle kept the tavern
on the hill near the toll-gate, across the Lake. This furnished a
good home, for the time, for the many emigrants that were then moving west.
A circumstance of a serious character occurred on the turnpike a short distance from Mr. Tuttle's. A family moving west, in one of these wagons covered with cloth, met with a sad loss by the father falling from the wagon and the wheel of the wagon passing over his body, killing him instantly. This occurred on Sunday, and I remember Deacon Munson's remarking on the subject in the conference meeting that evening, which meetings were then held in Mrs. Wilson's school rooms. These covered wagons used to pass every day, almost, with emigrants. They had them marked, "Going to New Connecticut," or "Going to the Holland Purchase." I suppose this was done to satisfy the curiosity of people, without being obliged to inform inquirers on the subject
The Messrs. Beckwith, residing beyond the toll gate, were men of more than ordinary ability, and esteemed very highly by all the community.
The Methodist seminary was also established about this time in the old building that was formerly occupied and built for a court house, and was sold to the Methodists after the county seat was removed to Morrisville. The fact that Morrisville was near the center of the county was the reason for the removal. A few miles of travel in those days was considered of much more importance than at the present day. It may have been an advantage on the whole to the place, as you have had a flourishing school established there that might not have been if the court house property had not offered a desirable building and grounds for such an institution; and then, it has made the place the headquarters of that valuable and worthy denomination of Christians in that part of the country.
Mr. Jacob Ten Eyck was then largely engaged in the mercantile business, and was one of the most enterprising, reliable men in the village. He was also subsequently President of Madison County Bank. He and his good wife were always very cordial and kind in their intercourse with others, as I was a recipient of their hospitality in after years, and they were, very fortunate in leaving a son and daughter who were very much like themselves in many respects.
Mr. Walter Smith, James Van Buren and Walter Chester served out their clerkship with Mr. Ten Eyck, and established business in Fredonia and Dunkirk, Chautauqua County. LeRoy Farnham finished his clerkship at Joseph and Wm. Burrs' and joined Walter Smith in business in Fredonia.
Mr. Charles Tibbals, subsequently a clerk at Mr. Burr's settled at Erie, Pa. All of them were esteemed as very active capable young men, possessing more business tact and talent than usually falls to the lot of young men. Messrs. Van Buren and Chester and Mr. Tibbals married the three eldest daughters of Dr. Lyman, and they have been highly appreciated in the societies where they have resided.
Mr. John Williams will be remembered as a thorough-going business man. His integrity as a merchant and manufacturer was beyond reproach in any respect. His store was located on the corner of Albany and Mill streets, where Mr. Farnham's house used to stand before it was moved up where it now stands, near the seminary. I think you had no more enterprising men in Cazenovia than Mr. Williams was. When in Buffalo once, I asked him where he was stopping. He said at the Lovejoy House. I told him there were better hotels than that in the city. "Well," he said, " that will do for me. They are more reasonable in their charges than the others." Mr. Williams never wanted to make a show. All his habits were simple, and his wants were easily supplied. His frequent sets of generosity attested his kindness of heart. Some of his family are still living, for whom I entertain a great respect. Mr. Williams was a member of the Legislature of this State at the same time Ex-President Fillmore was. Mr. Williams frequently spoke of him, saying he thought, when he was in the Legislature, he would make his mark some day. Mr. Fillmore was then a young man, and used to inquire about Mr. Williams of me frequently. I called, with Mr. Williams, on Mr. Fillmore once when he was in Buffalo, and they enjoyed renewing their acquaintance very much. The people of Buffalo have just been called to pay the last sad office of committing to the grave the remains of her honored and respected citizen, Millard Fillmore.
Messrs. Joseph and William Burr were very careful business men; more retiring in their habits than most merchants are. They were successful, reliable men in all particulars, and were good, faithful citizens. They resided on Mill street, near the old pond at that time, and their store was on the northwest corner of the square.
Mr. Jesse Kilborn, druggist, was retiring in his manner and apparently distant and cold in his intercourse with others, but he really had a warm heart and was strictly upright and devoted to his business. The loss of his youngest daughter was a severe affliction to the family, and they had the sincere sympathy of the community, as she was an intelligent, interesting young lady. She was carried to grave by her young gentlemen friends, and her young lady friends dressed in white on the occasion of her funeral. The eldest daughter married the Rev. Mr. Porter, a prominent clergyman of the Methodist Church.
Col. Samuel Thomas, saddler, was one of the most sociable and agreeable persons in the place. He always had a fund of good feeling, and was, withal, an intelligent, worthy good man and citizen. His son Samuel Thomas, Jr., and myself were great friends when boys. He was a good specimen of a boy to make men out of. One of his daughters, sister of Samuel, Jr., married Abram Jackson. Both of them were schoolmates and friends of mine.
Mr. Eliakim Roberts, merchant and farmer, was a peculiar man, caring little for society, and devoted to making money. He was quite enterprising and carried on quite a large business in different departments of industry. I noticed his eldest son, Eliakim Roberts, died in Ohio a short time since. Sidney Roberts, I believe, continued to reside in Cazenovia until his death. One of the daughters married Mr. Russell Allen.
Mr. Charles Stebbins, lawyer, was at that time one of the firm of Childs and Stebbins, and possessed those qualifications which brought him notice. He was a quiet but efficient man in whatever he undertook, and his talent soon placed him in the Senate of the State, where such men were needed, when it constituted the Court of Errors. Afterward, he was one of the most effective Bank Commissioners in the State. His whole public career was an honor to himself and his family. When I was in Cazenovia the last time but one, he took me to the railroad in his buggy, and he remarked, as we were going down the plank road, that it was singular the people of Cazenovia should have transported all their merchandise to and from the canal so long over those high hills when a road could have been constructed so easily, following the creek. I suppose you think now it is strange how you have lived so long without a railroad.
Noble S. Johnson built and lived I think, in the house owned and occupied by Mr. Stebbins, on Lincklaen street. He was a merchant, but sold out in Cazenovia and removed to Cincinnati.
David B. Johnson, lawyer, was a good citizen and neighbor. He lived near the Seminary and his office stood where the Methodist Church now stands. That was a vacant lot from, Seminary to Albany street, and was used by the boys as a play ground, especially in the season of playing ball.
Harry Johnson lived with his aged and venerable father and mother about where Benjamin T. Clarke House now stands.
Dr. Nolton lived in the old Starr house opposite the Seminary. The Doctor was one of those industrious, persevering men, up early and late, whom you seldom see, and was regarded a good physician. He had a large practice. He afterward removed to Batavia and from there to Rochester. His son is now Cashier of one of our Buffalo banks, and he is a very worthy young man.
Dr. Fay was for a time resident of the place, and owned the saw mill over the creek on Mill street. The Doctor was a ready, jovial man. One of his men wanted an order on some store to buy a hat. So he took a shingle and wrote on it with his pencil as follows:
Deacon Selah Munson, clothier,
farmer, etc., deserves from me particular notice. He was always my
friend until death, was devoted to the interests of the Presbyterian Church
and in many ways contributed to the prosperity of the society and business
of the village. His great desire seemed to be to do good. His
kind and generous feeling toward the young people was reciprocated by them.
His only son, Horace Munson was a very worthy, promising young man.
He married Miss Electra Kingsbury, one of the most interesting young women
of that day. He died a few years after their marriage, leaving her
with several children.
Mr. Matthew Chandler, was a very kind old gentleman, remarkably gentle in his manner and intercourse with others. He was engaged in the manufacture of woolen cloths in company with his son, Orrin Chandler, who continued the business for several years. They were men of great value to the community and most excellent citizens in every respect.
Mr. Ezra Brown and his brother, wagon makers, were men of substantial character and had the respect of the whole community. The eldest son of Ezra, Franklin Brown, lived several years in Buffalo, and died here, leaving a widow and children with sufficient means for support.
Uriah Aldrich, blacksmith, was a amicable character, large in form and jovial in disposition. He possessed many good qualities, and others not so desirable.
Vibber Crocker, carpenter, built and owned the house occupied and owned late years by John Williams.
Mr. Berthrong, mason, was a man of peculiar temperament; a little nervous, but a good, reliable man in everything he undertook.
Old Mr. Cleveland lived on the lake shore a mile north of the village. His sons, Salter and Giles Cleveland, became residents of the village on arriving at manhood.
Eleazer Sweetland was a merchant. He led the singing in the Presbyterian Church at one time, and used a peculiar tuning instrument to set the tunes, such as I never saw before or since. Mr. Berthrong was clerk for him for some time. He was also interested in sustaining the singing in the church. Mr. Woodruff, who was also a merchant, married his eldest daughter and I think they moved to Oswego.
Rufus and Russell Allen, tanners, were enterprising men and good citizens, by which they secured the confidence and approbation of the community. Mr. Rufus Allen's eldest son, George W., I think went to Milwaukee to reside. He was an intelligent, accomplished young man. He once had a public argument with Gerrit Smith, I think in the Presbyterian Church, on some features of the slavery question, and did himself great credit on that occasion, as I was informed.
John Hearsey established his distillery about this time, on a small scale. He used to pass my father's almost every day with his bay mare and wagon, loaded with grain, going to the mill. Mr. Burton connected himself in business with Mr. Hearsey soon after.
Ebenezer Knowlton was a very good old gentleman. He and his son were chair makers and also had an oil mill. They were quite a help to the manufacturing interests of the place, and had, as they deserved, the good opinion of all the classes of the people.
Jere Allis, hatter by trade, was a kind man, attentive to his business, and a reliable man in every respect. I knew Mr. Allis when he followed that business exclusively, and also subsiquently, when he was engaged with the Messrs Allen in the tanning and leather trade with Mr. [Jeremiah] Broughton, in other extensive trades. I am pleased to know he now resides in Milwaulkee, enjoying a good old age of eighty-eight years, with a competency to support him in his declining years. I remember Mrs. Allis as a very lady-like woman in her person and manners, beloved by all her neighbors and friends. I was indebted to here for her kind attentions when a young man on my visits at home. Their son, Edward P., is largely engaged in business in Milwaulkee, Wis.
Elisha Allis, blacksmith, was man of sterling integrity and some genius. He used to manufacture the wire reeds for weaving, and I think invented some important improvements.
Elder Elisha Nickerson, hatter, was entitled to the name of an honest, enterprising citizen. He purchased of Mr. Elisha Farnham about twenty-five acres of land lying between Lincklaen and Sullivan streets, north of the seminary, and laid out streets, put the land into lots and sold them. Where I have assisted in cultivating the fields many times, is now a pleasant portion of your village. Mr. Nickerson paid one hundred dollars per acre for the land, and I have no doubt he made a good speculation to the operation, as he was entitled to do.
Elisha Farnham came to Cazenovia in 1797, and established the tannery business, which he followed, with farming, for several years. At the time the war of 1812 was declared, he was a Colonel commanding a regiment. His regiment was ordered to Sackett's Harbor, and remained there several month, but the place not being attacked by the British, as was expected, the regiment returned home. He was an elector, I think, when President Monroe was chosen, and held the office of Justice of the Peace for twenty-eight years - first appointed by the Governor, and afterwards elected by the people. He lived in Cazenovia about fifty-three years, and died in the eightieth year of his age. He, with my good mother, and elder brother, Elisha were buried in your cemetery. LeRoy Farnham, his second son, became a resident of Buffalo, and was high sheriff of the county for one term. He died here in 1866. Mr. Farnham's third son, Orlando, now resides in Kansas, and his fifth son, Lathrop, resides in Illinois, where he settled about thirty-five years ago. Mr. Elisha Farnham's eldest daughter, Emily Allen, now lives in Buffalo with her son, Charles T. Allen. His second daughter, Maria Ann Farnham, married Charles Severance of Cazenovia. He was engaged in the book trade and compiled and published a large work on Catholicism, when twenty-two yeas of age. He died in Cazenovia in about a year after his marriage, leaving a son, whom I adopted and educated. He graduated at Union College in 1859. In the late war he was an officer in the 100th New York Regiment. He died of typhoid fever at Yorktown, Va., in May, 1862. His remains were brought back to Buffalo and buried in our cemetery with military honors. The village now covers at least one-third of the land bought by Mr. Farnham when he first came to Cazenovia.
Mr. Benjamin T. Clarke was then a young man, and considered by all to possess those traits of character which would, and did, make him a valuable, reliable citizen. You still have him and his good wife with you, to be a blessing to their friends and the community, as they always have been. I well remember seeing him at the general training on the green, and of his very nearly meeting with a serious accident. Just as he was going to prime the cannon, from some cause, the powder in the horn, which Mr. Clarke held, was ignited, and by the explosion he was sent whirling some distance from the gun. I presume he has not forgotten the circumstances.
Deacon Zadock Sweetland owned the paper mill, north of the village. He was the associate of Deacon Munson in church
affairs. He was an active business man, and a constant attendant at religious services with his family, which contributed very much to the success of the church and society.
Judge Ebenezer Backus was my Sabbath School teacher, and I always remember him with great respect and affection. The school was then held in the old building on the green, fronting on Sullivan street. This building, I think, was used as a place of worship before the church was built.
Orrin E. Baker, I believe published the first paper in Cazenovia, "The Pilot." He was a very pleasant, agreeable man in most respects, and Mrs. Baker was regarded a superior woman. Mr. Baker had a large shaggy dog, a noble animal, but he kept up a terrible barking and howling all night usually, which was a great terror to me, and to make it more so (I must have been quite young then), my nurse used to intensify it by repeating these meaningless lines:
Mr. Fay was a neighbor of
Mr. Bates, and was the father of Col. John Fay, who was a resident of Buffalo
when the gold fever broke out in California. He was one of the party
that left here to go to California across the plains, and was taken sick
near Fort Laramie and died of cholera. The regiment and his friends
here erected a handsome marble to his memory in our beautiful Forest Lawn
Cemetery. He was a natural military man, an efficient soldier, and
endeared himself to the regiment of which he was commanding officer.
Mr. Fay's brother, on the Peterboro Turnpike, was a good farmer and appeared
to have everything to make life desirable about him. I believe his eldest
son, Charles has continued to reside in Cazenovia.
Mr. Fay's neighbor, Mr. Bryant, was quite an old gentleman, retiring in his habits, but a very good man.
Mr. Weed lived a little further east; was a farmer and such a man as would be considered valuable in any community.
Mr. Fitch lived near the bridge at the east end of the village; he was a man of easy habits. I recollect when his wife died my father sent me with the horses and sleigh to take the family to the grave. After the burial he thanked his neighbors for their kindness during the sickness of his wife, and for assisting to bury his dead out of his sight, showing that he was not entirely lost to all the better feelings of our nature.
Old Mr. Welch had a son, Rufus, who was quite regular at church and always sat in the gallery. He had a peculiar hitch with his whole body and stuttered badly when talking. Those who recollect him will not be surprised that a boy would retain a lively memory of his peculiarities.
Old Mr. Mathews, bell ringer, and sexton of the Presbyterian Church, was a very kind and good old man. The practice then was, when a death occurred in the place, to toll the bell for some time, and then strike the bell as many times as the person was years old.
Mr. Othniel Clark had the charge of the paper mill, and was the father of an interesting family.
Henry Johnson was employed for several years in the paper mill and was a worthy young man.
Mrs. Prentiss was a widow. Her husband went with the regiment of Col. Farnham to Sackett's Harbor in the time of the war of 1812 and was taken sick and died there, leaving her with a large family of young children.
Mr. Moschel, a tailor, was an industrious good man, and I remember Mrs. Moschel was beloved by all who knew her.
Mr. Timothy Foster resided near the brewery that was burned when in operation under the care of Thomas Dinsmore, an Englishman. Mr. Foster was the father of the Hon. Henry A. Foster, formerly United States Senator from this State, and afterward a judge of the Supreme Court of this State.
Messrs. Hale & Rice, young men, established a printing press and paper, I think, in Cazenovia, and they remained there for a time. They were regarded quite an addition to the circle of young people. Mr. Rice moved to Cleveland, Ohio; I do not know any further about Mr. Hale.
Mr. Fairchild, a staunch, reliable man, subsequently published a paper for many years, and was influential in the community.
Moses Barrett, living south of the village, was a substantial, reliable man in every particular, and was a constant attendant upon church.
Mr. Darius Barrett was a remarkable kind christian man. His oldest son became a man of considerable influence in the western part of the State where he resided.
Mr. Billings lived in the same neighborhood, and was an industrious, thrifty man, and raised a worthy, good family. Mr. Walter R. Farnham married his daughter Lucy, and they now live in the vicinity of Buffalo. Others are residing in New York City.
Old Mr. Stiles was one of those large, fleshy men, good natured and kind to every one, and a very worthy citizen. His daughter Mary Stiles, late Mrs. Jewell, lived and died with you. She was, always engaged in doing good and one of the most worthy persons of the place.
Allen Kingsbury, living east of the village, near Capt. Jackson's, I remember as a very decided religious man, and I think a leading opponent to slavery in that part of the county.
Orlando Blanchard, a bachelor, was a genius in his way. He was a well known mathematician, and a very humble man in feeling and appearance.
There were three families of Loomises, living about a mile south of the village; all of whom were men of most exemplary lives and influence in the community. The son of one of the Mr. Loomises was a missionary to China for some years, but I think he is now engaged as a missionary in California among the Chinese. His wife was the daughter of Judge Luce, formerly Buffalo, whom I knew very well many years ago.
Mr. Ingersoll and Mr. Chapman were old and reliable men and good citizens.
Mr. Davenport kept the school in the schoolhouse in the eastern part of the village. He was thought rather severe. His habit was to use the rule freely and it was not confined to the hand. The consequence was his ruler used to disappear occasionally, so he would put the ruler up his coat sleeve and take it home with him nights; but he was a thorough teacher, and probably the boys required rigid discipline, and he took that way to enforce his demands on them, rather than a more mild, persuasive mode.
Old Mr. Stone lived in the neighborhood of the Loomises, and was a quiet old gentleman. Mr. Jeremiah Broughton and Otis Murdock became connected with the family by marriage, I believe.
Elisha Starr, I think, built and operated the old woolen factory for some time. He moved to Onondaga Hollow after disposing of his factory, I believe to the Chandlers.
Mr. Bordwell was located on the turnpike about one mile east of the village, where he had a good farm and a good orchard, as I had occasion to know, for at certain seasons of the year it was my business to drive my father's cows to pasture on a farm he owned east of the village, every day passing this orchard.
Jonathan Rowland owned the old red mill, but sold and removed to Manlius.
Mr. Damon resided south of the village, on the place, I think, where the Rev. Mr. Leonard, first pastor of the Presbyterian Church, resided at one time.
The Cazenovia Band was quite an institution at that time. Some of their instruments were peculiar, such as you do not see in use in these days, but they took quite an important part in the ceremonies on training days and other occasions.
Captain Ebenezer Johnson, I think, built the large building on the south aide of the public square, near where Major Forman's store was, and it was known as the Johnson House, kept as a hotel. The family moved from Cazenovia to Fredonia, Chautauqua County, about 1816, and lived there several years; afterwards, they removed to Buffalo. The oldest son, Elisha, settled in Rochester, and was the first Mayor of that city. Doctor Ebenezer Johnson, the second son, settled in Buffalo, and was the first Mayor of Buffalo. They were efficient business men and highly respected by all who knew them. About twenty-five years ago they removed to east Tennessee and purchased a tract of land, in one body, of about thirty-five thousand acres. They lived and died there. I visited the place and their graves in 1870, the spot is on the banks of the Tellico River. The visit was a sad one to me, as I had known them so well when they were in the active business of life in this part of the country. Mortimer Johnson, the son of Elisha, still resides, with some of the grandchildren, in east Tennessee. He is a judge of the county and an influential man in that section. Mrs. Chauncey Grant of Ithaca is a daughter of Elisha Johnson, and a worthy, estimable woman. Rev. John C. Lord's wife is a daughter of Dr. Ebenezer Johnson, and has always resided in Buffalo; she is known for her liberality and Christian activity. Samuel Johnson, third son of Ebenezer, resided in Buffalo several years, and removed to Fredonia and built the largest hotel there, called the Johnson House. He left surviving him two daughters, worthy women, who reside in Buffalo.
Mr. Eri Allen lived in Cazenovia a few years, and built mills at Merrick's Settlement, as it was then called, a few miles south of the village. The family removed to Fredonia, Chautauqua County, about the year 1818. His oldest son, Orlando, came to Buffalo as a young man, and has been an active, business man for many years. He has been elected Mayor of the city for two terms; was a member of the Legislature and Chairman of the Canal Committee. Mr. Allen's third daughter, Jane A., is now my wife. She was born in Cazenovia and we chanced to meet about twenty-two years after, and we have lived together in Buffalo since. Our parents used to say, they were visiting together and one time, and they were obliged to go home earlier than usual to take care of their small children. It appears, it was myself and wife who required their attention.
One peculiarity will be apparent to all who recollect the men whom I have mentioned in these sketches - they were large, tall men. You will seldom find in any community such a large race of men. I have never seen this feature so prominent elsewhere as it was in Cazenovia at that period.
I remember well when they were preparing the cemetery where you now bury your dead. They were formerly buried back of the church when it was located on the green, but it was so wet there they abandoned it and selected the valley over the hill. It they had taken the hill instead it would have been a better location, being gravely sod consequently better adapted to that purpose. But this mistake has since been rectified by including it with the old grounds.
I have not written much about the women of those days. This is not because they were not eminently worthy, but it would extend this communication to a greater length than I intended. It is sufficient to say that they were worthy of the positions they occupied, and they contributed largely to the social and religious elevation of the community.
I have not mentioned many of the worthy descendants and residents of the place, for the reason that this account was intended to refer to those who were the active business men, etc., before I left home.
I do not forget the following persons, who would be an honor to any place and who were the worthy successors of those who had preceded them:
Dr. Foord, Messrs. Litchfield, Simon C. Hitchcock, Henry Ten Eyck, the Jacksons, Williams, Ledyard & Stebbins, Coman & Loomis, John Hobbie, Canfield & Jenkins, Sidney Roberts, Milo Hill, Pulford & Sweetlands, Sidney T. Fairchild, Ledyard Lincklaen, Oliver Jewell, Sylvanus Henry, and many others whom I do not now call to mind.
I think I have mentioned most of the families who resided in the village in 1823, but I have undoubtedly missed some. If so, it was not intentional.
If this record shall afford any gratification to the present residents of the place or to others, I shall be amply paid for writing it.
It affords me great satisfaction to think, when I have visited my native village, that I was not forgotten by those whom I most highly respected and looked up to when a boy, as worthy of my veneration, but who have now mostly passed away; and if I have the privilege of again visiting the place, they will be missed by me, as they have been by all their friends.
I think the home, the church, the Sabbath school and the day school are points around which our thoughts and affections revolve in after life, and undoubtedly have a controlling influence over all our future lives. It is very probable this is realized more by those who are removed from the scenes of their youth than by those who continue among them.