Champion, Jefferson, NY

Brown, Twining, & Hubbard Biographies, Part II

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The subject of this sketch was born in Bridgewater, Madison county, N. Y., Dec. 13, 1802. He was eldest son of a family of four children of James and Anna Brown. His father was a native of Warren, Worcester county, Mass., and his ancestors were emigrants from Ireland, and settled in the New England States at an early day. His mother was a native of Bennington, Vt., and of French and English descent, her maiden name being Waldo.

His mother came to Madison county when only 18 years of age and in the year 1790, and was, therefore, one of the pioneers of that county, being born in 1772. In the year of 1803 he removed to champion, Jefferson county, engaged in farming, opened a public-house, built a grist-mill, carried on the pottery business, and manufactured brick. His name is among the earliest settlers of the town. He died at the advanced age of 85 years, and his wife and mother of the subject of this memoir died about two years after, and in the year of 1859.

Elam worked with his father on the farm, and in connection with his other business, until he was 40 years of age, receiving only a limited opportunity for an education from books, but became well schooled in business pursuits. In the year 1843 he married Miss Mary O. Waldo, daughter of Jonathan and Mary Waldo, of Rutland. Of this marriage were born two sons, viz., John W. and Charles E. Brown. Both of these children are living. The eldest married Miss Margaret Ormiston, of Wilna; have one son, viz., Forest Brown. Charles E. married Miss Cornelia Rose, of Rutland, and lives in the city of Watertown. An engraving of his residence, under the portraits of his father and mother, will be found on another page of this work.

Mr. Brown has been a Republican since the formation of the party; was originally a Whig; has enjoyed the respect of his townsmen, and accepted their suffrages in electing him to some of the most important office of his town. Was justice of the peace for 8 years, postmaster, South Champion, 12 years, assessor one term. He was connected with the 14th Cavalry Regiment, N. Y. S. Militia, when only 18 years of age, and as regularly promoted until he ranked as colonel. He has been engaged in agricultural pursuits and stock-dealing during his whole life. He and his wife were of the Universalist belief. His first wife died Jan. 25, 1859. For his second wife, he married Miss Agnes E. Pense, of Rome, Oneida county. But she was spared to enjoy his society a few years, and died May 18, 1868.

Mr. Brown is a plain, unassuming man, and has unaided and alone, carved out for himself sufficient competence to place him beyond the apprehensions of want in his declining years. He is now in his 76th year, and looks down to the end of life’s journey as only a little way.

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A,W.. Twining, son of William and Ovarida Twining, was born on the Farm where he now resides, in the town of Champion, Jefferson County, New York, September 3, 1822. He father settled on the old homestead in 1818, coming in from Massachusetts. A. W. enjoyed such educational advantages as the district schools offered, with the addition of a short time at Lowville. His youth was spent on his father’s farm, and on reaching his majority he worked the farm in partnership with his father or a few years. He then purchased a farm of seventy-five acres, and has made several changes since. In 1858 he purchased the homestead of his father upon which he has since resided, an illustration of which can be seen on another page of this work. In politics he had always been a Republican. He is a good practical farmer and a respectable citizen.

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Noadiah Hubbard, the pioneer settler of Jefferson County, New York, was born in Middletown, Connecticut, October 11, 1765. He was the son of Noadiah Hubbard and Phebe Fairchild, his wife; of English ancestry; descended from George Hubbard, born 1616, who emigrated to this country, and in 1640 married Elizabeth, daughter of Richard Watts, of Hartford, Connecticut. In early colonial times the family settled in Middletown, and there are descendants stillon the old homestead, and the ancestral mansion of brick is still standing and occupied by them, and as the present occupant says, is good for a thousand years if kept covered. The predilections of Noadiah Hubbard were for the sea, but after making several voyages to the West Indies he gave it up, in compliance with the wishes of his mother, who had lost her first husband and eldest son when away on a voyage, and therefore could not endure the thought of another so near to her being exposed to the same perils. He spent several winters very happily in Guilford. He then learned the trade of cloth-dressing, and also attended an evening-school. His opportunities for acquiring an education were limited, as were those of most young men of this period.

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In May 1791, he left the paternal roof to seek his fortune in the west. Previous to this he had been solicited by General Wadsworth to accompany his nephews to the Genesee country and aid them in forming a settlement there on the large tract of land he had purchased. He was also urged to join a party, of whom General Parsons of Revolutionary memory, was one, informing the first white settlement in Ohio, at what is now called Marietta. Both these propositions he declined on account of the reported unhealthiness of those localities.

In New York State, he first located at Whitestown, and there burned the first brick-kiln, and made at the same time the first lime ever burned or used there. At this time there was but one framed house in what is not the city of Utica, owned and occupied by John Post. In the autumn of this year he bought fifty acres of land on the south end of Mr. Leavenworth’s farm, supposed to be the same on which the York mills now stand. The next and the following winter he worked at his trade in Little Falls, returning to his farm in summer. But having never been accustomed to chopping and clearing land he found the labor too severe and consequently sold his improvements to Benjamin Johnson. This he always spoke of as his first speculation. After exploring the country in various directions he finally located in the town of Steuben, and not far from the place selected by the Baron Steuben for his residence. They were neighbors for a short time the Baron survived, and he was once called upon when the Baron was seized by apoplexy, which so soon proved fatal. (1794.)

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Noadiah Hubbard paid a visit to his native place in the winter, and on January 30, 1794, he married his early love, Eunice Ward, a beautiful maiden, and transported her to his forest home. But previous to this in 1793, he was offered a contract for the construction of canal locks at Little Falls, which he accepted; went to Middletown, Connecticut, hired the requisite number of men, procured oxen for the work, and whatever else was necessary, returned to Little Falls, and his company were the first to break ground on this first canal in the State of New York, if not the first in the United States. The canal was cut in one summer. The company by whom these locks were undertaken is known in the history of the State as the "Great Inland Lock Navigation Company." The object was to open water communications between the Hudson River and the great lakes by means of the Mohawk River, Wood Creek, Oneida Lake, Oswego River, Etc., and these locks at Little Falls were necessary around the rapids at that place; long since superseded by the "Grand Erie Canal." (He received one dollar a day for his services, and thirteen dollars a month for each man, having to board them out of it. He paid to each man nine dollars per month.)

Mr. Hubbard spent several summers on his farm in Steuben, but in the autumn of 1797, Lemuel Storrs, a large landed proprietor, came there, and induced him to accompany him to what is now called the Town of Champion, on a tour of exploration to the them unbroken wilderness. I refer you to "Hough’s History of Jefferson County" for his own account of that expedition , page 121.

Subsequently to this first visit as an inducement to come to Champion and lead in the settlement of this new country, Mr. Storrs offered him two thousand acres of land on any part of the township wher4 he chose to locate, for the sum of twelve shillings an acre; and the agency of all his lands. The common market price was three dollars, and for that was sold to the settlers. He accepted the offer; paid five hundred dollars down, and selected his two thousand acres in the centre of the township. Reserving enough for himself, he sold the remainder to various individuals. He made improvements and cleared many acres, but, before he moved his family, news came that Mr. Storrs had failed, and this failure lead to a compromise by which he relinquished all the contracts for the land he had sold and what remained unsold, receiving a deed for one hundred acres only for the five hundred dollars paid. The township was a valuable one, and they realized a fortune from it. I say they, for Gen. Henry Champion, the brother-in-law of Mr. Storrs, had stepped in to his relief, and become a partner in this land speculation.

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Mr. Hubbard continued to act as an agent of various other land-holders through a considerable part of his active business life; and being an early settler in the county, he was associated in every project for its improvement until incapacitated by age. An officer in the War of 1812; appointed judge in 1813; many times acting as supervisor; at first having to go to Hutchinson county, and subsequently to Rome, previous to the present division of the counties; was deeply interested in the formation and sustentation of the Agricultural Society, the second one in this State. (See "Hough’s History", page 101)

He erected the first church edifice is the county of Jefferson, and at his own expense, expecting to be reimbursed by the sale of pews; but he never received the first cost of the same. He also erected several school-houses, and built the plank-road from Great Bend to Copenhagen, eleven miles when eight-four years old, showing his indomitable energy and perseverance. His private business was extensive and various as well as his public. He was one of a mercantile firm almost from the first settlement of the town, though he never gave to that his attention further than to go to the city occasionally and purchase goods. (Jefferson County History, by L. H. Everts, 1878)

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Transcribed by Holice B.Young

Html by Debbie

December 26, 1999

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