Retyped from Beers "History of Greene County" by
The name of Maben has been familiar to the residents of Lexington from
the earliest days. The Mabens are directly descended from the hardy and
thrifty Scotch-Irish, and the Scotch clan Gregories on the maternal side. To
those acquainted with the characteristics of this branch of the staid going
Scotch race, they will trace the same in those of the Maben--honest to a
farthing; honorably frugal; decisive; energetic; keen in humor and wit; and
God-fearing men and women.
It is conjectured, and upon good grounds, that John Maben, the first of this
name, came of a well-to-do, if not of a wealthy family. Born in 1753, he came
to America, sight-seeing, about 1768-70, "with twenty-four linen shirts,
a plenty of other linens, clothes, and money, to live the gentleman for three
years, and to return home," so runs tradition. Young as he then
was, the inborn love of freedom, his antagonism for English rule, the solemn
and grand intensity of action on the part of the sturdy and earnest
Connecticut yeomen, as they formed their plans of resistance of the British
yoke, attracted and gained his support. Of strong and robust frame, he at once
threw himself into the patriotic movement, and was no slow participant in the
skirmishes of that colony. These incidents shaped his course and destiny.
Instead of returning to the north of Ireland, he married, in Connecticut, a
Miss Sally Pearce, a descendant of the early Puritan stock. With the
cessation of direct hostilities in Connecticut, he (probably, through friends
of the earliest Jewett settlers, or Day) found his way to what is now Lexington
Flats, as early as 1777, as, at this date, his signature appears upon leases
given by Robert Livingston for these lands. Here he lived, and died in 1813;
and here he reared his family. It has been said that two mothers with their
children can never live in peace in the same house. This was, by him,
proven false doctrine, for in his small cabin there lived three mothers with
an aggregate of 15 children, in all three families. The stern discipline of these
connected kept peace. John Maben's children were: Robert, Hugh, Hannah,
John, Benjamin, William, Sally and Luther.
Hugh Maben married Elizabeth Gregory. The church records of Norwalk, 1652 and
later, show these Gregories to have been eminent freemen, and that John
Gregory was a founder of that town. To Hugh and Betsey Maben but one child was
born, William, January 12th 1822. Hugh died April 27th 1856; his wife
preceded him, June 26th 1846.
William Maben married, as his first wife, Louisa Coon, daughter of Benjamin
Coon, of Susquehanna county, Pennsylvania. She died November 29th 1851,
leaving one child, born May 26th 1831. He married, May 2nd 1853 in
Prattsville, for his second and present wife, Miss Catharine Wyckoff, a lady
of education, who brought to his home those qualities requisite for a kind
mother, and thoughtful help-meet, by which a man meets success. Her
parents were John W. and Mary (Scudder) Wyckoff, the father a native of
New Jersey and son of Cornelius Wyckoff, who was a bugler in the New Jersey
Light Horse, and undoubtedly related to the Queens county, Long Island,
Wyckoffs, near Newtown. The Scudders were natives of Long Island; John W. was
also a Revolutionary war hero. His family by two wives consisted of six sons
and eight daughters.
To Mr. and Mrs. Maben have been born: George S., Charles W., Benjamin S.,
Adelaide, Elizabeth I., and Mary; all deceased except Charles W., and Benjamin
S. This excellent couple have given their children a sound, practical
education. George and Charles graduated from the State Normal School at
Albany; and Benjamin and Mary from a class. The eldest, by indefatigable
labors had fitted himself as an attorney, when he was suddenly struck down by
the unforseen messenger. His death was deeply deplored by his many friends.
Benjamin is attending the theological institute at Sanfordville, Dutchess
county, and Charles remains at home. He is well known as a young man of
literary talent, and graduated from his class with honors. He married, 1883,
Miss Minnie Karau. Mary wedded John Moseman, of Windham.
Mr. Maben is a modest, unassuming man, possessing, however, many of the Scotch
characteristics. Mrs. Maben has ever been a fitting help-meet, a careful,
industrious housewife, and a kind and thoughtful mother. Both have that love
of home and family so worthy in all.