Farmer Settlement, in 3 Parts
Town of Herkimer
Herkimer County, NY
Contributed by BetteJo Caldwell
Alexis L. Johnson, a venerable resident of East Schuyler, Town of Herkimer, contributed historical
articles to the newspaper "Ilion Citizen," many of them written when he was in his late 80s and early 90s. His keen remembrances from childhood and young adulthood, and intimate first-hand acquaintance with
people mentioned or their close family, provide anecdotal information about early 19th century residents not found in conventional history books. Local residents
mentioned in his articles have turned out to be ancestors of many of our regular site visitors. Readers of other of Mr. Johnson's articles posted on this site are well aware of his
occasional idiosyncratic sentence structure, punctuation and spelling. Thank you again to
BetteJo Caldwell for this latest generous donation from her clippings collection.
Alexis L. Johnson of East Schuyler contributes to the Ilion Citizen,
Friday, November 1,1901
This Settlement is in the Town of Herkimer and here Mr. Johnson's father lived and the boyhood days of
the writer were spent at the settlement. The Writer by association and research is intimately
acquainted with the early settlers and these contributions to local history promise to be of
particular interest to very many of our readers.
Some history and mention of families who were among the first settlers of the "Farmer Settlement" and
the vicinity. This history will not be confined to school district, but will begin the farm at present
owned and occupied by David Witherstine. The first known owner of this farm was - Folts, a brother of
Conrad, Melchert and Peter Folts. Mr. Folts was killed by a falling tree, while clearing off the farm.
His brother Conrad, and half brother Frederick Stevens succeeded in ownership of the farm, during
their ownership, the house was occupied by different tenants, and the farm was worked by the owners.
Among the tenants known to have lived there were Cephas Bailey in 1826 and Alanson Woodworth in 1828.
In 1826 Conrad Folts sold his interest in the farm to Frederick Stevens. A few acres of the lower part
of the farm were sold to Cephas Johnson, on which he built a house and sawmill, taking the water from
the West Canada Creek, which bounded the farm on the south-east side. This house and mill were later
owned, together with about twenty acres that he bought on the adjoining part of the farm, by Duane S.
Johnson and by him sold to George Stearns who now lives there. The sawmill, like many other sawmills,
has gone to decay. About 1810 Cephas Johnson bought the balance of the farm. He sold a few acres to
Henry Ellison and Emily Walrath. Mr. Johnson built a new house, also a new barn after the old one had
been burned. He died there in 1871, and his widow in 1875. The next farm, going north, was owned, and
perhaps cleared off by - Bell, father of Fritz Bell, and Mrs. Lawrence Frank. Little is known of the
Bell family by the writer. Later the farm was owned by the widow and children of Lawrence Frank, they
selling it to Richard Perry, and he to Simeon Osborn. Osborn sold the place to his son-in-law,
Franklin Hawkins. Hawkins built a new house, and made other improvements, but finally, in a fit of
despondency, committed suicide. The farm was then sold to Michael Callahan, whose survivors now occupy
Alanson Woodworth at one time owned a few acres of the farm on which he built a small house. After
living there a few years he sold back the lot and moved away. No house is there now. In early times
the highway, after passing the Callahan place, continued directly on through the field near where
stands the house now owned by - Dineen, and thence turning to the right, passed across the hollow and
the present highway between the school house and the Myers place, through the field and entering the
highway leading from the school housed northerly across and down the hill to the creek road. After
some years this road across the fields was discontinued and a shorter route was taken turning to the
right at Callahan's place, crossing the hollow lower down and entering the other road nearer the
Farrington place. On this old road Lawrence Frank lived and died there suddenly. This farm was at one
time owned by Simeon Osborn and occupied by his son Francis. On the new crossroads Dyer Graves, who
had formerly kept a tavern in Fairfield on the road from Eatonville to Middleville, bought a small
farm and built a house in which he lived several years. He sold the place to Alvin Pierce, of whose
forefathers some account will be given. Francis Pierce, the ancestor of this family, was born in
England in 1704. He and his brothers, Calvin and Luther immigrated to the New England Colonies. His
son, Sergeant Francis, was born in 1734 and was a school teacher; was with Gen. Wolfe at the taking of
Quebec, and a soldier of the revolution. His first wife was Mary Smith. I have no dates of marriage or
death. His second wife was Phoebe Kingsley, the widow of Nathan Ainsworth, Sr. She was the mother of
nine children by Ainsworth and five after she married Pierce. She was born in Suffolk, Conn., lived
many years with her son, Nathan Ainsworth, and was buried in the old cemetery at Countryman's. Her son
Alvin was born in Suffolk, Conn., August 16, 1782. He was a captain in the militia, and was a cloth
dresser by trade, learning his trade of Mr. Burt, whose daughter, Thankful Langdon, he married in
Wibraham, Mass., in 1813. Their son Alvin was born there in 1815, and they moved soon after and settled
in the "Old City," near Newport in this county, where he worked at his trade. He introduced the first
spinning jenny into this state. In 1823 he moved to the Farmer Settlement, working at both farming and
cloth-dressing. Later he bought the Graves place. His sons Torrey Langdon and Francis Kingsley, were
born there in 1829 and 1832. After a few years he sold his place to Simeon Osborn and went to the "Old
City," working at his trade, but his health failing, he went to his brother's in western New York,
dying there. His wife died at Herkimer in 1849. Their eldest son, Alvin J., died at Herkimer in 1868.
He and his four sons and four sons-in-law served in the union army in the civil war. William Burt,
their second son, was an expert stone cutter. Later he conducted hotels at different places in India
county, dying in 1896, leaving one son and two daughters. Walter Burt, third son, is living with his
daughter at Lynchburg, Va. was a tobacconist, having two factories in Oneida county, New York. He is
now an ordained minister of the M.E. church. He has two sons and three daughters. Their daughter, Mary
K., never married. Most of her life was spent in Herkimer. She died in 1892. Their fourth son, Torrey
Langdon, was a cigar maker. He died at Graefenburg in 1863, without children. Francis Kingsley, fifth
son, came to Osborn Hill when young and spent eleven years with the family of Rev. Simeon Osborn,
working one of Mr. Osborn's farms three years. In 1854 he married Martha Minott, daughter of Thomas
Minott. When Francis was a boy John C. Underwood of Herkimer got a place for him in the printing
office of E. M. Griffing at Little Falls to learn the printing trade, but he not liking it soon
retrned to Osborn Hill. After marrying, he became a member of the Northern New York M.E. conference and
received an appointment to preach in 1873. After preaching for the time limit in several places in
Herkimer county, he took a supernumerary relation in 1898, and returned to Minott to superintend his
farm, though preaching occasionally, officiating at weddings and funerals. He has two sons, Frank
Minott and Edwin Burt. The Pierce family were members of the M. E. church.
Since writing the above, the names of Francis Pierce's children by his first wife have been given me.
Luther was born 1765 and died in Vermont in 1828. He owned property in Canada that was confiscated in
1812. Francis died without issue. Murill married Mr. Rising. Elizabeth married Joseph Pease and lived
later in Ohio. Calvin, the youngest son, born 1775, lived in Erie county, N.Y., married Esther
Conners, died in 1853. These children were born in Suffolk, Conn.
THE FARRINGTON FAMILY
Amos Farrington, Sr., was a merchant in New Hampshire, but he left there in 1802 and bought land in
this county that is now owned and occupied by Jerome Osborn and the Dempster family. He surveyed the
farm he bought. There was no road at that time along the "Farrington Hill." He began the clearing of
his land by cutting down 70 acres of heavy timber on the level land extending southerly from where the
buildings now stand. This timber he set on fire and some frightened people thought the world was on
fire and his house was saved with difficulty. This level portion of the farm was always called "the
plain." The portion of the farm that was below the steep hill at the end of the plain was nearly
surrounded by a bend of the West Canada creek. This is owned by the Dempster family, who are
descendants of the Farringtons by marriage. Amos Farrington, Sr. was an industrious man who, Judge
Abijah Osborn said, "Was the best type of a perfect gentleman he ever saw." While carrying on the farm
he had a tannery with which, according to the customs of those days, a shoemaker's shop was connected.
He also had a ashery and brick kiln on the farm. His first wife was Miss Upham, to whom five sons and
five daughters were born.
John, the eldest son, married Sophronia Johnson in 1812. They began housekeeping in a log house in the
"Bush" now Minott, near the present cheese factory belonging to W.V. Minott. Later he built a good
frame house near by. At one time he owned several hundred acres of land, some of which he rented and
on the balance had a dairy and a large flock of merino sheep. After selling some of his land, leaving
the balance to his sons, he moved to Middleville and bought the cotton factory there. He died at that
place. His wife survived several years, living with her daughter Frances, Mrs. Josiah Bailey. Their
house was always open to the itinerant M. E. preachers who often enjoyed the hospitality of himself
and wife. Two sons survive, Horace G. of Pulaski, and Varnum of Middleville and one daughter Lamed, Mrs.
Lewis Mead of Herkimer.
Amos jr., born in 1795, married Aurelia Minott in 1818. He learned the shoemaker's trade in his
father's shop, but carried on dairying many years in the "Bush" and bought cheese for Harry Burrill.
After the death of his wife he sold his farm and lived with his daughter. Mrs. Geo. Buell, at Sandy
Creek, Jefferson county. Of his seven daughters only one survives, Martha, the widow of Joel Sheaf.
Henry married Betsy Johnson and lived on the Farrington homestead several years, but later moved to
his own farm. After some years he moved to Frankfort village, leaving the farm to his two sons. His
wife died in 1865. He married again but died in 1867. Of his three daughters and two sons, only the
sons, Ira and Jerome survive. Harvey the fourth son was well known in Herkimer county as authority on
dairying, and was often consulted by dairymen. He built the second cheese factory in this county, and
the first one in Canada. He was a great promoter of dairying, and the valuable and successful results
of his work are shown in the great amount and good quality of the cheese now made in Canada. His first
wife was Sophronia Ainsworth. After her death he married Ann Favill of Brocket's Bridge, and a third
wife in Canada. In early life he taught district schools and inherited from his father the gentle and
manly qualities that made friends of those he met. He died in Canada in 1878.
His son Sidney, like his father was an expert in cheese making and in managing cheese factories. John
his second son was killed in the civil war. William the youngest son of Amos, Sr., followed peddling
fine dry goods for several years in central New York, but finally left the country under a cloud, and
nothing has been known of him since. Hannah, the eldest daughter married the Rev. Simeon Osborn whose
family will be mentioned later. Sally, married Abel Simpson of Trenton. The writer knows little of the
family; probably some are living near Trenton. Sophronia, the third daughter acquired a liberal
education, and went to Liberia as a teacher and missionary in 1834. She was accompanied by Rev. Rufus
Spaulding, and Rev. Samuel Wright and their wives. Wright and his wife soon fell victims to the
climate. Spaulding's health failing, he and his wife returned in May. Miss Farrington stayed till
April 1835, being nearly a victim to the climate that killed so many of the missionaries and
emigrants. In middle life she married Mr. Cone of Utica, dying there. She was sometimes called
Sophronia Africa. Polly went with her father to Michigan. She married Mr. Adams and died there.
Pamelia married Mr. Delong of Utica and probably died there. Little is known of the families of these
last two daughters. After the death of the wife of Amos Farrington, Sr., he married again, but owing
to some differences, they separated, he moving to Michigan taking his daughter Polly with him. He died
there, also his daughter after marrying and rearing a family. Of the second wife little is known. The
Farrington homestead was occupied by Henry for a few years, and is now owned by Jerome Osborn, of whom
mention will be made in the account of the family of Simeon Osborn. The Farringtons were Methodists.
The writer expects to continue the history of the "Farmer Settlement," as material is collected, and
there may be some additions in notes and explanations at the close. In the meantime, if any of the
readers find some errors, or something to add, I hope they will furnish it either to the Citizen or to
me. Contributors will noticed at the close of these sketches.
Alexis L. Johnson of East Schuyler contributes to the Ilion Ctizen,
Friday, November 15,1901
THE OSBORN FAMILY
Simeon Osborn was born in Southbury, Conn., January 25/6, 1792. When he was twelve years old his
father's family came to Middleville, buying a farm on the upland west of there. At the age of 20 he
was licensed to preach by the M.E. church, and married Hannah Farrington, the eldest daughter of Amos
Farrington, sr. She was born in New Hampshire, May 20, 1791, and was married January 14, 1812. He held
meetings in his father's house. His father was opposed to the Methodists, and at one time got another
preacher to preach at one of his appointments. This preacher took a glass of rum before he began and
drank with Simeon's father. Simeon and his wife began house keeping in Shortlots, Schuyler, on a farm
they hired of Mr. Ladd. Later he owned a farm west of Middleville, on the uplands. This he sold to
Harvey Farrington. In 1829 he bought the farm that his father-in-law had cleared off, owned at that
time by Henry Farrington and now owned by Jerome Osborn. Simeon Osborn at one time was a large holder
of land, having eight farms, and gave each of his children a farm. He was ordained an elder, often
preached and sometimes conducted quarterly meetings in the absence of the presiding elder. He was well
read in the Bible and theology, and at the same time was a successful farmer. He died June 26, 1863,
and his wife died September 10, 1867. Five daughters were born to them and four sons. The elder
daughter, Sarah, married Elder Benjamin Phillips. Loisa's first husband was Peter Bradt of Deerfield;
her second husband was Rev. Frank Hawkins. Almira married Rev. Stephen Turtelot. Hester A. was the
first wife of Rev. Frank Hawkins. Mary was the wife of James M. Caldwell, dying within a year. Simeon
jr. had two wives, first Miss Mary Rice of Fairfield, and second, Charlotte Getman of Newport. He was
a cheese buyer. He built the brick house now owned by Frank G. Hildreth. He had two children born in
Iowa and died there. Usel married Maryette Dempster of Lassellsville, owned the farm now owned by
Howard Hildreth and he now lives in Minnesota, has two daughters and one son. Francis married Cynthia
Minott, daughter of Thomas Minott, in 1850. He died in 1860, leaving one son, Minott, of Schuyler, and
one daughter, Lilia, wife of Jerry Huyck. Francis when he died owned the farm now owned by Mr. Dineen.
Jerome married Juliette Richards of Newport, and owns part of the Farrington homestead that his father
had owned. He has always lived there, and has a large collection of relics and antiques. His only son
Olin is single and lives with him. The Osborn family were members of the M.E. church.
THE TURTELOT FAMILY
The Tourtelott family were of French Huguenot descent and were among the refugees who fled to America
to escape the persecution after the revocation of the edict of Nantes. They were among the most
influential and prominent of the refugees, and were descendants of the House of Burgundy. They
purchased a large tract of land at Oxford, Mass., to which they brought colonists at their own
expense. Many of their descendants have attained distinction in professional life. Among the most
conspicuous of the refugees, was Count Gabriel Bernon. Born in 1644, he landed in Boston in 1688 and
engaged in mercantile pursuits with Peter Faneuil of Faneuil Hall fame. Gabriel Toutelott, a son of a
count and head of the family in this country, was a native of Bordeau, France, and came here with Count
Bernon, whose daughter he married. Two sons and one daughter were born to them. He and his eldest son
were afterwards lost at sea. The daughter married ____ Harding of Newport R.I. The remaining son, Abram,
settled in Glocester,, Prov. Co., R.I. He had three wives and twelve children, among them a son named
Abram, who settled at Thompson, Conn. Among his fifteen children was Isaac, the father of ten
children, and one of them named Isaac, came to Herkimer county in 1809, when about 26 years old, and
was the founder of the family in Herkimer county. He shortened the name to Turtelot. Shortly after his
arrival he married Catharine Grimes, who died in September 1840 aged 56. Isaac Turtelot died Jan. 18,
1853. Eight children were born to them, six sons and two daughters. Augustus C., M.D., was born 1810,
received the appointment of assistant surgeon in the United States army and died in Florida during the
Seminole war and was buried in the Cong. cemetery at Washington, D.C., leaving no issue. Rev. Stephan
M.D., was born Oct. 29, 1812, at Herkimer, graduated from Union College in 1843, receiving the degree
of A.B., and from Geneva Medical college, receiving the degree of M.D. in 1844. He was superintendent
of schools of Herkimer county and originated teachers institutes, was a member of the New York state
assembly from second district, Herkimer county in 1866. Also was pastor of several M.E. churches, and
after farming a few years died at Onondaga Valley, N.Y., Sept. 8, 1877. He married Almira Osborn of
Herkimer, July 4, 1856, who died May 23, 1871. Seven sons were born to them, Germain, Martyr Stephen,
Vance, Severance, Phil Earnest, Stephen J. and Montane. Martyr Stephen and Severance died young. Annie
Turtelot was a teacher, never married, died in 1853, aged 38. Theresa Ann married Chas. Willard and
died April 1889, aged 70 leaving four sons and one daughter. Isaac Turtelot married Mary Ann
Easterbrooks, moved to Minnesota, followed farming, died 1890 without issue. Almeron married Amira
Hotalling, moved to Indiana, was in the marble business, died without issue in 1880, aged 57 years.
Alexander married Eliza Bly, taught school in early life, moved to Nebraska about 1866, dying there in
1899, being 75 years old, leaving one son Herbert, and one daughter Augusta, Mrs. Williams, all
Nebraska. William W., of Rome, N.Y., the youngest son of Isaac and Catharine Tutelot, married Mary Ann
Willard and died Sept 1893, 68 years old, leaving a widow and two daughters, Miss M. Dell Turtelot and
Mrs. Emma Morris, both of Syracuse. The descendants of Gabriel Turtelot and his wife, Marie Bernon, are
widely scattered throughout the United States. Some recent emigrants of that name have landed in
Canada, but are not known as members of the original family. Isaac Turtelot, the father of the family
in Herkimer, came here on horse back. The Grimes family came some years before he did. They came with
an ox team, through the woods in some places and had to cut down trees to get through. It was not
unusual for people to move with teams in those days. As this is intended as a record of early times I
have rarely mentioned members of families who are now living and in business.
WILDER STEARNS' FAMILY
One of the early settlers of this place was Wilder Stearns. He was born in Walpole, New Hampshire,
June 6, 1796, and as stated in his diary, he left home in 1821, when he was twenty-five years old, and
made the journey to Herkimer, of 150 miles, mostly on foot. Part of the way he rode on the stage. Some
extracts from his diary will be made. He started Sept. 10, 1821, "arriving at Herkimer on the 14th and
saw the muster," meaning the general training. While there he saw a "cattle show and fair and a Dutch
funeral." From there he "went to Boonville and Watertown stopping at several places." Returning to
Herkimer he bought 100 acres of land, which with additions of more than 100 acres, is yet owned by his
sons George W., and Orson G., and occupied by a tenant as a dairy farm. He returned to Walpole, Oct.
20. On his way "a man with a horse and shay carried him fifty miles for one dollar." Feb. 27, 1822, he
started again for Herkimer "with an ox team." arriving there March 11. Nineteen miles was the most
traveled in one day. He married Hannah Wires Feb. 5, 1823, and brought her to the log house he had
built on his farm. Eight children were born to them, Mary A., Sarah E, Curtis, Fanny A., George W.,
Orson G., Ephraim M. and Hiram M., of these George, Orson and Hram M. survive. Mr. Stearns was a handy
man, making various tools for his farm work, also for his neighbors. He tells of "helping them pull
flax, shearing sheep and fixing shoes." To make his house warm he "moulded up the cracks with clay,"
built an "out door" oven with stone and clay that was used many years in which the family baking was
done. He made the wood work, and blacksmith the iron work for the old style plow. He died in 1870.
Isaac Stearns, the ancestor, came from England in 1630. In his diary Mr. Stearns mentions his
neighbors, Isaac Turtelot, John Farmer, also Simon, Luther, James and Daniel farmer. He also mentions
Col. John Green, Lauren Ford, an eminent lawyer and "Esq Ford" Simeon of the village of Herkimer.
Alexis L. Johnson of East Schuyler contributes to the Ilion Ctizen,
Friday, December 13, 1901
I advise my readers who take any interest in these sketches of history and families to preserve them
until they are closed, as undoubtedly some errors that may be found will be corrected, some additions
or explanations made, or some incidents related that may add to their value. My friends who have
kindly furnished me with much material will be credited also. An extract from the address of Professor
Stephens before the Oneida County Historical Society will be quoted: "The unhappy historian finds that
he is largely dependent on volunteer information gleaned by those who make collections and who are
volunteer students of the past. Many do not see the value of their studies. They do not know that by
these dovetailing of bits of history, that accurate history is made. It is impossible for any
historian to exaggerate the debt he owes to volunteer information. Historians are largely dependent on
corespondents who are willing to answer letters." The above extract will truly tell of the
difficulties that a person who attempts to write the early history of some locality will meet. For
many facts of dates and incidents, he must depend on records and traditions that are not easily
HENRY ELLISON FAMILY
The family of Henry Ellison will next engage our attention. Mr. Ellison was one of the pioneers in the
"Framer Settlement." He was born at Northbridge, Worcester County, Mass., in 1777; his wife, Lucy
Knight, was born at Topsfield, Mass., in 1776. They moved to the Farmers Settlement prior to 1805, but
the late is not known. Henry Ellison owned a farm at the foot of Farrington-Osborn Hill; on which his
life was spent. For many years he owned a farm on Hassenclever Hill, in the town of Schuyler, which
was rented as a dairy farm. It contained 400 acres. It is now owned by his grandson, H.D. Ellison of
Utica. On the homestead, he built a large and commodious house to succeed the log house, the house was
painted red and, for those times, was superior to most of his neighbor's dwellings. In addition to his
farming, he built and equipped a tannery. Not being a tanner himself he employed a master workman to
manage the work. Peter Countryman who had learned the trade there succeeded to the business after the
death of Mr. Ellison, whose daughter he married. Mr. Countryman built a large and modern house near by
and the old red house was torn down some years after. Mr. Countryman enlarged the business and made a
specialty of buying and tanning deacon(?) skins. He carried on the tannery for some years, but the shop was
discontinued many years ago. Mr. Ellison built a sawmill on a small stream that ran through his farm,
that was quite useful to him and his neighbors. But the sawmill, like the tannery, has gone the way of
all mills and tanneries forgotten. In 1834 Henry Ellison was chosen presidential elector from this
district, and voted for Martin Van Buren. Benton's History says of M. Ellison; "This was most grateful
office, the remembrance of which he long cherished." The writer when a young man, remembers a
conversation he had with Mr. Ellison in regard to wages of workmen, as some were complaining of the
prices paid them. He quoted Luke III. 14th, "Be content with your wages." Strikes were not known in
his time, but if men of the present time were contented with their wages, strikes would be few. He
died in 1848 and his wife died in 1855. His mother, who had lived with him some years, died in 1845,
aged over 93 years. They were buried in the cemetery near their home. In this cemetery repose the
remains of the early settlers, but it has now fallen in disuse. The daughters of Hannah Ellison now
own the homestead.
Three sons and four daughters were born to Henry Ellison and wife. Eben, born 1802 at Hancock, N.H.,
died here in 1840, unmarried; Jacob, born 1807 after his parents moved here, died at Middleville in
1877; George, born 1816, died 1878 at his son's house at Battle Creek, Mich., and was buried at
Middleville where his brothers and sisters were buried. Jacob married Delia Richardson of Schuyler
where he had taught the district school and she was probably one of his pupils. She died in 1865.
During several years he owned and managed a dairy farm and at the same time was engaged in buying and
selling cheese. He spent a portion of one summer in England looking after the interests of dairymen.
In his youth he was an athlete and there were few who could excel him in the wrestling matches that
were common then. He had two sons and three daughters, Henry Duane and Jacob jr.; the daughters were
DeEtte D., Mary E., and Harriet Elizabeth. Only DeEtte D.. and Henry D. survive. They reside in Utica.
George married Jane E. Hildreth, daughter of Thaddeus Hildreth. She was born in 1823 and died in 1899.
They had two sons, Henry, now living at Battle Creek, Mich., and George P., who died in 1888. Their
three daughters, Gertrude, Ella and Jennie M., now live at Utica. Their mother and brother, George P.
are buried at Middleville.
The daughters of Henry Ellison were, Olive, born 1805, married Silas Willard. She died in 1831. Her
husband survived her and married again. He died in Schuyler. Hannah, born 1809, married Peter
Countryman. She died in 1856. Eliza was born in 1811. She was the second wife of Peter Countryman and
died in 1883. Julia, born 1814, married Jason Ayers of Norway. She died in 1886. Countryman and Ayers
are dead. Olive had one son, Hannah had several children, Eliza and Julia had none. The daughters of
Hannah now own the Ellison Homestead.
THE FAMILY OF REV. JOHN STEBBINS
The Rev. John Stebbins was born in Massachusetts in 1779. His wife was Achsah Fairbanks. Both came
with their parents to New York, and were married in 1803, in Jefferson county, N.Y., living there till
their house was burned in 1812, when they sold out and moved to the "Farmer Settlement" and bought 50
acres of land next north of and adjoining the farm of Henry Ellison. In 1822 they rented the farm and
moved to Winfield and ran carding machine and fulling mill two years, then returning to their farm. The
cemetery is not used now. As a preacher he was noted for his zeal and earnestness. His stalwart form,
his powerful voice, accompanied with appropriate and impressive gestures, seldom failed to affect his
hearers. At a quarterly meeting of the M.E. church at Eatonville, he was standing in the old-fashioned
pulpit perched high against the wall and leaning over it, some of his young hearers feared the pulpit
would break down and he fall headlong to the floor. But the pulpit withstood his vigorous attack and
the sermon was finished with safety. He was always plainly out well dressed, wearing, like most of the
M. E. preachers of those days, a single breasted coat with standing collar. He died February 10, 1827,
and a marble slab marks his grave in the cemetery near Countryman's with the following inscription:
Rev. John Stebbins,
A Respectable preacher in the
Methodist Episcopal Church,
Who departed this life in the full assure
ance of a better.
Died February 10,1827,
Aged 48 years.
"Consumption earth and worms,
Shall but refine this flesh,
Till my triumphant spirit
Comes to put it on afresh."
His widow married the Rev. Eleazor Whipple, a member of the Black River M. E. conference, who died in
Rome, Oneida county, in 1856, aged 71. After the death of Elder Stebbins, his widow bought the
adjoining farm of Joseph Kelly. Two sons were the fruits of the marriage, Lorenzo D., born in 1817,
and John W., in 1819. Both sons had a liberal education. Lorenzo was a member of the M. E. church and
while pastor of a church in Rome, N.Y., was chosen principal of an academy at Charlotte, Schoharie
county, serving there several years, until chosen principal of Fairfield Academy. After leaving
Fairfield, he was pastor of a church in Albany and other places till superannuated owing to a throat
difficulty, which later caused his death at the age of 52. He was a graduate of Middlebury College,
Connecticut. He married Maria Cole of Fairfield, who died in 1898, leaving no children.
John W., graduated from Union College in 1846, and was chosen principal of Madison Academy, serving
there three years. He enter the practice of law at Rochester in 1851, has been judge of probate court
and postmaster of Rochester, holding each office four years. He held official positions in the Sunday
schools of the city many years. Was a member of the legislature one term and presidential elector in
1864, voting to elect Lincoln for his second term. In 1849 he married Louisa J., daughter of Hon.
Durfee Oshand. A daughter and son were born to them; the daughter dying when 11 years old. The son
survives. Mrs. Stebbins, his wife died in 1898. Judge Stebbins writes in his 82d year that he is
"strong, healthy, hearty, working hard in my profession, though diverging a little, having just
completed a small half century history of the female branch of Odd Fellowship. I feel like a youth of
50," and after mentioning several old families, he wonders how many of them or their descendants
remain, or "whether on a visit which I hope once more to make, I should find a face that I could
recognize." We think he could hardly find one; he would find very few of the descendants of the names
and families he mentions. He would find the West Canada Creek in which he "was wont to bathe and fish"
but with diminished volume and fewer fish. The hills are there over which "I have wandered," but it
is doubtful of his being able to find and "drink again from the sulphur spring by the roadside leading
up the hill from the old tavern."