Many counties of NY state had county histories published between the years of 1860 and 1900. Within many of these works are biographies of pioneers and well-known residents and family sketches. Listed below are "sketches" of families for the township of Columbia that were found within the references provided.

Kathy Huxtable
Town of Columbia Editor
December 2000


1) "1879 History of Herkimer County", published by F.W.Beers and Co., 1870.

2) "History of Herkimer County New York", edited by George A. Hardin, assisted by Frank H. Willard, D. Mason & Co., Publishers, 1893, Syracuse, NY, Family Sketches section.

[Note - not all sketches found in this book are included here at this time.]


MORGAN, S.S. was born in the town of Litchfield, Herkimer county, N. Y., December 12th, 1827. He moved with his parents into Winfield when two years of age. When four years of age he had his right hand crushed in an accident. He received his education at district school and the select school in West Winfield. His mother died when he was eight years of age, and the lad then commenced life for himself. He attended school winters, doing "chores" nights and mornings for his board. He began teaching district school at the "old hemlock school-house," North Winfield, when fourteen years of age. After about a year's teaching he peddled oysters and drove stage three years. He began reading law when twelve years of age, borrowing books of Hamilton BURDICK, then an attorney of West Winfield, now of Syracuse. When peddling, driving stage and teaching school he always had law books to read "odd spells." He commenced practicing law in justices' court at fifteen years of age, and practiced in the county court at eighteen (Judge Ezra GRAVES, county judge). He was admitted to practice law in all the courts of this State at twenty-one years of age, and in the United States courts at twenty-eight.

Mr. MORGAN married Miss Julia A. FAIRCHILD, of West Winfield. He has five children--Mina M. PALMER, wife of Rev. A.P. PALMER, of Woonsocket, R. I.; George A. MORGAN, practicing law with his father ( the law firm being MORGAN, RAFTER & MORGAN, including J.B. RAFTER, Esq., of Mohawk); Charles E. MORGAN, a farmer and manager of his father's landed property; Frederick J. MORGAN, also practicing law with his father, and Lina E. MORGAN, now fourteen years of age. He has an extensive practice, both civil and criminal. He has never been sick a day until January 3d, 1879, when he was taken sick and confined to his house for a month. He is a radical temperance man; during the year 1878 he spoke one hundred and seventeen times upon the subject of temperance. He also lectures upon other subjects, including "The Criminal Law and Criminal Trials in the State of New York," "Parents and Children," and "The People and the Courts."

Mr. MORGAN has been postmaster of West Winfield eight years, supervisor of the town seven years, and district attorney of Herkimer county three years. [Ref.#1, pg 285]

BURGESS, Isaac T., was born in 1827, at Richfield, Otsego county, N. Y. He was twice married; first to Amelia M. KNIGHT, of Winfield, in 1852, and to Marion D. McKOWAN, of Exeter, N.Y., in 1862. He removed from Richfield to Winfield in 1849. He is a tiller of the soil. He represented his town on the board of supervisors in 1874. [Ref.#1, pg 285]

COOK, O.P. was born at Exeter, Otsego county, N. Y. He was married to Helen A. ELDRED, of West Winfield, in 1861. He resides at West Winfield. He is a farmer, a capitalist, a speculator, etc. [Ref.#1, pg 285]

WHEELOCK, Clayton T., was born in 1836 in Litchfield, N. Y. In 1856 he was married to Sarah L. KERSHAW, of the same town. He removed to North Winfield in 1876. He is the proprietor of the North Winfield Cheese Factory. [Ref.#1, pg 285]

MOORS, Dr. A.A., was born in Otsego county, August 6th, 1862*. He commenced the study of medicine with Dr. ROSE, but soon went to Pittsfield, Mass., where he spent two terms at school. He graduated at Memphis, Tenn., in the spring of 1854, and soon afterwards settled at Salisbury Center, where he practiced some three years. He was at Medina two years and removed to Cedarville in 1860. He remained there eight years, then came to West Winfield, which has since been his residence. He was married December 2nd, 1854, to Mary J. COOK, and they have two children now living. His great grandfather was a colonel in the Revolutionary army, and his grandfather Joseph MOORS acted as his servant. After the war Joseph settled in Oneida county. His son, Isaac, father of the doctor, was born in Winfield, in October, 1804. *[Editor's note: this date which was provided seems inaccurate based upon dates that follow in the article. No attempt has been made to determine the correct date of birth.] [Ref.#1, pg 285]

ROSE, Dr. James Morgan, was born in Columbia, N. Y., May 17th, 1815. He graduated at Fairfield medical college in 1837, and came to West Winfield the same year. He has ever since been a practitioner here. He was married in 1839 to Betsey Ann PALMER, of West Winfield. Dr. R. was postmaster during the administration of President Harrison, and again during that of General Taylor. He has been during forty years a member of the Herkimer County Medical Society, and has served several times as its president. He is also a member of the New York State Medical Society, and the American Medical Association. The fact of his maintaining his connection with these societies is evidence that he continues to feel an interest in all that pertains to his professsion. [Ref.#1, ppg 285-286]

ADAMS, J. W., a jeweler, stationer, etc., was born at Burlington Flats in 1834. His mother died when he was two years of age, and he was reared at West Winfield by his uncle, G. BUTTON. He engaged in business in 1859, and he has the first piece of money which he received in his business. He was married in 1862 to Miss PETCLOUGH. They have one child, a daughter. [Ref.#1, pg 286]

BARDIN, William was born in Plainfield, Otsego county, N. Y., in 1848. He was married to Fanny BRIGHAM in 1869. She was born in Oneida county in 1846. They have three children. The father of Mr. BARDIN was born in Plainfield, in 1817. He married Almira MORGAN, a native of Winfield. [Ref.#1, pg 286]

BLISS, Alvin was born in Cortland county, February 24, 1828, and came to Winfield at eight years of age, where he has since lived; excepting two years spent in Australia. He came to his present farm in 1862. He is a son of Charles BLISS, who married Martha, daughter of Captain LAWTON. Alvin BLISS married Sarah A., daughter of Edward and Pamelia (CURTIS) WILCOX, January 9, 1862. They have one son, Henry E., born November 12, 1862, who married September 6, 1883, Josephine, daughter of Welcome and Deborah (PECK) MANCHESTER, who was born May 3, 1863. [Ref.#2, pg 153]

BROWN, Hiram C. was born in Winfield, N. Y., in 1805, and has always lived in the town. His father, Eleazer, who was born in Connecticut came to Winfield about 1800. He had six sons and seven daughters. Hiram was the second child and oldest son. His wife was Susan GORTON. [Ref.#1, pg 286]

BROWN, H. C., son of Hiram was born in 1828, and was married to Alice A. STEWART in 1856. They have three children, of whom one son, Charles, is now a law student. Mr. BROWN is proprietor of West Winfield Mill. [Ref.#1, pg 286]

BROWN, Philip H., Winfield, is president of the Board of Education of the West Winfield school and academy, also trustee of the Congregational Church, and president of the West Winfield Cemetery Association. He was supervisor for the years 1884, 1885, and 1886. He was born in this town January 15, 1848, married Nettie L. GREEN, and they have three children: Daisy P., Goldie M. and Harry P. They lost one son, Fred J., who died April 17, 1879. Philip H. is a son of James BROWN, who was born in this town a son of Philip BROWN, who was a native of Rhode Island and settled here at an early day. Mrs. Nettie L. BROWN was a daughter of James F. GREEN, a native here, and a son of William, who came to this town soon after his marriage and settled. His original homestead is owned by his grandchildren: William J. GREEN and Mrs. Nettie L. BROWN. [Ref.#2, pg 153]

BRACE, Frank L. was born in 1852, in Winfield, N. Y. He was married in 1876 to Martha J. McDONALD, of Vernon, N. Y. He is a brother of H. L. Brace, of Pleasant Hill stock farm, and a descendant of the Brace family who were among the earliest settlers in the town. [Ref.#1, pg 286]

CARLEY, Edward C. was born in Cortland, N. Y., in 1846. His grandfather, Alanson Carley, is now living in Cortland, which, in 1840, he represented in the Assembly. E. C. Carley, the father of Edward C., was born in 1820, and married Sarah R. COMSTOCK in 1842. They have five children living. Edward C. was married to Alice A. MONTGOMERY in 1872. He enlisted in Company K, 157th N.Y. volunteers, January 25th, 1864, and served in the ranks through a campaign in Florida under Lieutenant-Colonel J. C. CARMICHAEL. He was also a clerk at department headquarters; was mustered out April 13th, 1866. [Ref.#1, pg 286]

CARRIER, Donald R. was born in Stephenborough, Rensselaer county, N. Y., in 1795. At the age of five he came with his father to Plainfield, Otsego county, N. Y., where he first attended a district school taught by Joseph HAWKINS. He became a member of the family of Martin LUCE at the age of twelve, and commenced work in his store at Litchfield. He was afterwards one of the firm of CARRIER & CARVER at this place. In 1823 he opened a store in West Winfield, on the corner where "Music Hall" now stands. He has been president of the bank at West Winfield since its first existence. [Ref.#1, pg 286]

CRANDALL, Otis N. was born at Independence, Allegany county, N. Y., in 1825. He was married in 1856 to Flora F., second daughter of Samuel McKEE, of Winfield, N. Y. He came to East Winfield, where he now resides, in 1836. [Ref.#1, pg 286]

CRIM, Bernard, a descendant of the Crims of Andrustown, was born in Warren in 1823. His father was Jacob CRIM. Bernard married Ruth TOWNSEND, who was born in Litchfield in December, 1823. She descended from one of the pioneers of that town. They have one son, who is a teacher. [Ref.#1, pg 286]

DAY, Mrs. E. M., second daughter of Joel WADSWORTH, was born in Winfield, N. Y., in 1836. She was married to Alvin G. DAY in 1873. He was born in West Winfield in 1818. They had one daughter, Minnie E. DAY. Mr. DAY died in 1877. Mrs. D. is a descendant of one of the pioneers of Litchfield. [Ref.#1, pg 286]

ELDRED, Myron, whose parents came to Winfield from Connecticut in 1808, was born in 1813. He has lived in West Winfield during the last fifteen years. He was married to Miss R. A. Huntley in 1840. [Ref.#1, pg 286]

FOLTS, J. C., general merchant, was born in the town of Frankfort, N. Y., in 1823. In 1846 he removed to German Flats, and during a year was a peddler of Yankee notions. He then was, during a year and a half, a farmer in Lewis county; but he returned to the old homestead and remained till 1859, when he went to Cedarville and engaged in mercantile business, which he followed nine years; and in 1870 removed to Bridgewater, Oneida county, N. Y. In 1875 he commenced business in West Winfield where he has since been located. In 1846 he was married to Esther R. WHITNEY. [Ref.#1, pg 286]

HAGGERTY, James was born in Ballston, Saratoga county, N. Y., in 1760. He married Lois FINCH in the early part of the Revolutionary war, and soon after its close settled in Columbia. William HAGGERTY was the second son of Joseph. He was a soldier in the war of 1812. His wife Was Elizabeth PETRIE. They were the parents of A. B. HAGGERTRY, the present proprietor of the West Winfield Hotel. A. B. HAGGERTY was married to Sarah A. HARRIS in 1855. [Ref.#1, pg 286]

HAZELHURST, Peter was born in England, in 1817, and came with his parents to America in 1826. In 1858 he became a resident of West Winfield, where he has since resided. He was married to Mary M. ALEXANDER in 1843. He has been deputy postmaster and postmaster during the last seventeen years, and during twenty-four years a justice of the peace; was justice of sessions in 1871 and 1872. [Ref.#1, pg 286]

HOLMES, O. Brainerd, Winfield, was born on the farm where he now lives April 26, 1847. He is a son of Orange HOLMES, born on the same farm of which this is a part, December 25, 1803, and died December 13, 1864. He married Henrietta BRAINERD, January 15, 1829, who died March 28, 1891. Orange was a son of Elijah HOLMES, who settled on this farm at an early date. The house is one of the oldest in Winfield. O.B. HOLMES married Mary J. HADLEY, September 21, 1869, and have two children, Mabel M. and Harold B. Mrs. Mary J. HOLMES was a daughter of Harry and Mary HADLEY, residents and natives of Litchfield. Orange HOLMES had six children: Pamela A., Leonidas B., Sarah A., Caroline E., Ellen C., and O. Brainerd. Deacon Elijah HOLMES, of Scotch descent, came from Connecticut and settled in Winfield about 1794. He was the first shoemaker in town, and tanned his own leather, grinding the bark by horsepower, and the ruins of his tannery are still to be seen near North Winfield. [ref.#2, pg 247]

JONES, H.E. was born in Wales in 1848 and came to West Winfield in 1876. He is a butcher. His father, Ellis JONES, was born in Wales in 1823. He was a cattle broker and miller. His wife was Catharine ROWLAND. She died in Wales in 1840. [Ref.#1, pg 286]

LEACH, Jacob was born in 1807 at Litchfield, N. Y. He was married in 1837 to Hester A. GOODIER, of the same town. They have four sons and three daughters; all living. Mr. LEACH is a substantial farmer, who has accumulated a competence. He has been a deacon in the Congregational church during forty years, and has been one of its most liberal supporters. [Ref.#1, pg 286]

McKEE, Hon. M. E. was born at East Winfield in 1840. He received his preliminary education at West Winfield Academy, and graduated at Hamilton College in 1862. He practiced civil engineering and surveying for a time. Between 1863 and 1869 he was professor of higher mathematics and languages in Cooperstown Seminary and Female Collegiate Institute, teacher in West Winfield Academy and principal of North Redington Academy. In 1869 he entered the West Winfield Bank as teller, and was made, in succession, assistant cashier, director and vice-president . He represented Herkimer county in the Legislature during the terms of 1876 and 1877. [Ref.#1, pg 286]

MERRILL, William R., editor of the Winfield Standard, is a native of Carbondale, Pa. He was born March 14, 1835. October 28, 1868, he was married to Mrs. Amelia S. BAILEY, of Watson, Lewis county, N. Y. He removed from Springfield, Ill., to Carthage, N. Y., and after a short residence there came to West Winfield in March, 1875. During the Rebellion he served in the 91st N. Y. infantry three years and eight months. [Ref.#1, pg 286]

McFARLAND, E. P. was born in Plainfield, Otsego county, in 1844. He removed to West Winfield in 1865 and entered the store of H.W. JOSLIN as a clerk; he continued in that capacity eight years. He then, during three years, was one of the firm of Bradley & McFarland. Since the termination of this partnership, he has carried on the business of a general merchant alone. His wife was Mary E.STOUT, to whom he was married in 1872. [Ref.#1, pg 286]

MORGAN, T. W. was born in this town. He married Abigal WOOD in 1841. They had a son and a daughter, but the daughter died in 1863. The son, Kendrick, is a law student in Little Falls. The old homestead was in the possession of Mr. MORGAN till 1878. He is now a retired farmer. [Ref.#1, pg 286]

NICHOLS, Horatio was born in Norway, N. Y., in 1834. He was married to Julia E. RICE in 1855, and went to Cedarville, where he worked at his trade (harness making). He enlisted as a private in Company E, 152nd N. Y. infantry, and was commissioned a second lieutenant by Horatio SEYMOUR August 10th, 1863. He was wounded in his leg at the battle of Martin's Ford. He received a commission as first lieutenant, but he was not mustered, on account of his wound. His first wife died in 1871 and he was again married in, 1873, to Libbie McFARLAND. [Ref.#1, pg 286]

RANDALL, Lucy P. was born in Paris, Oneida county, in 1801. She was married to F. A. GREEN in 1840. He was born in Winfield in 1804. He was a carpenter. About 1868 he purchased the tannery at Cedarville. They had five children, of whom a son and two daughters are living. [Ref.#1, pg 286]

ROBINSON, Luther J. was born in Richfield, N. Y., in 1821. His wife, who was Camilla COLE, was born in the same town in 1821. They were married in 1867. John ROBINSON, the father of Luther J., was born in Otsego county in 1807. His wife was Rebecca SMITH. They had three children. [Ref.#1, pg 286]

SMITH, S. F. was born at Plainfield, N. Y., in 1839, and removed with his father to West Winfield in 1868. His wife was Louisa WICKS, to whom he was married in 1871. They have one daughter. His father, Henry SMITH, was born in Otsego county in 1807. [Ref.#1, pg 287]

SPENCER, Dr. H. J. was born at East Winfield in 1847, and removed to West Winfield in 1872. They have on child living. His father, Nathan, was born in 1809, and commenced practice of medicine at East Winfield in 1834. He died in 1874. Dr. H.J. graduated at the Homoepathic Medical College of New York in 1870. [Ref.#1, pg 287]

WADSWORTH, George H. was born at Stockbridge, N.Y., in 1833. His wife was Henrietta GRANT. They had one son, Joel, and one adopted daughter, Mary E. GOODIER. The father of Mrs. WADSWORTH was born in 1813. He married Miss Artemesia PHINNEY. They had six children. [Ref.#1, pg 287]

WADSWORTH, Joel was born at New Hartford, Oneida county, in 1800. He was married to Sarah GOODWIN in 1829. He has one son and three daughters living. Mrs. W. died in 1868. He was married to Mrs. Roxana DUNHAM in 1871. Mrs. WADSWORTH has a son, Rev. M. E. WADSWORTH, who is pastor of the Presbyerian Church at Johnstown, Fulton county. [Ref.#1, pg 287]

WADSWORTH, Timothy, father of Joel, emigrated from Hartford, Connecticut, and settled in New Hartford in 1791. He was married to Lydia TYLER in 1794. They had twelve children. [Ref.#1, pg 287]

WALKER, W. C. was born in the town of Winfield. He is of the Walker family of which Joseph and Timothy, who are mentioned in the pioneer history of this town, were members. [Ref.#1, pg 287]

WARNER, J.W. was born in Winfield in 1813. He married Dolly MORGAN in 1838. She died in 1872, and he was again married, to Mrs. BRAINARD in 1873. His father, J. WARNER, a native of Connecticut. His mother's maiden name was Elizabeth WILCOX. They settled in the eastern part of Winfield in the year 1800. Of nine children, J. W. WARNER is the only survivor. He was a justice of the peace from 1854 to 1869. [Ref.#1, pg 287]

WHEELER, Charles J. is the son of Rufus WHEELER, and the grandson of James J. WHEELER. The latter was born in Fairfield, Conn., in 1767. He was married to Dorcas BURGESS of the same town in 1796. Their children were Rufus, Jerrauld, Harvey and Henrietta. He removed to Richfield, N. Y., in 1809. Rufus WHEELER settled at West Winfield in 1823. Here Charles J. was born in 1835. He was married to Carrie M. PENNY in 1857. They have three children. Mr W. succeeded his father (after his death in 1877) in the tannery which the latter erected about the time when he settled at West Winfield. [Ref.#1, pg 287]

WILCOX, H. W. was born in Connecticut in 1785. He came to Winfield, N. Y., in 1806 and died in 1868. His son, E. W. WILCOX, was born in 1824, and was married to Lydia M. STRAIT in 1850. She died in 1857, leaving two sons. He was married to Tharissa M. STRAIT in 1858. They have one daughter. H. H. WILCOX, of the firm of E. W. WILCOX & SONS, druggists and grocers, was born in Winfield in 1852, and Frank C. WILCOX, of the same firm, in 1855. [Ref.#1, pg 287]

WOOD, Alonzo was born in 1813, on the farm where he now lives, which was settled by his father, David WOOD, in 1792. By reference to the history of the early settlement of the town, it will be seen that Mr. W. was among the first pioneers who penetrated the wilderness and located here. [Ref.#1, pg 287]

Other well known and respected residents of this town are: Mrs. Mary E. HARDIN, H. H. MORGAN, F. H. ROBERTS, John B. CROOK, E. A. CHISHOLM, D. L. COOK, W. J. GREEN, Orrin LUCE, M. T. MORGAN, V. W. PALMER, A. M. RICE, C. D. TERPENING, and Alonzo P. MILLER. [Ref.#1, pg 287] **********

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Created 12/4/00
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