The History of Otsego, NY
By Holice and Debbie
COLONEL DAVID GARDNER
Among the native early pioneers of this town and county not a man, so far as we know, has lived so long on the place where he was born as he subject of this sketch. He is of English origin by both parents. His father, Samuel Gardner, was a native of Pownell, Bennington co., Vt., and was born July 6, 1775. His mother, Miss Deidamia Joslin, a native of Thompson, Ct., was born April 5, 1775. Samuel Gardner was married to Miss Deidamia Joslin, Jan. 3, 1799, and immediately emigrated to Otsego County and settled in Burlington on the farm now owned by their son David. They continued to reside on the same farm till their death. They had five children, namely, Mehetabel, David, Hiram, Edward, and Benjamin, the last of whom is dead. In politics, Samuel Gardner was a Whig. He died April 28, 1860. Mrs. Gardner died Nov. 21, 1853. Colonel David Gardner was born on the farm where he now resides in Burlington, Otsego Co., N. Y. Oct. 11, 1802. His advantages for an early education wre very limited, as he was obliged to remain at home on the farm to aid in supporting the family.
He continued with his parents on the farm till their death, and has since resided here. He married Miss Maria J. Cook, a native of Exeter, Otsego County, Oct. 20, 1829. She was born about 1806. By this union five children were born, namely, Adaline M., Deidamia, Carrie A., Otis C., and Samuel W. Mrs. Gardner was a lady greatly esteemed by those who knew her. She was a faithful wife and a very devoted mother. She died in June, 1846, and was buried in the town of Windfield, Herkimer Co., N. Y.
The colonel was married to his present wife, Mrs. S. R. Joslin, widow of s. r. Joslin, of Essex, Vt., Feb. 15, 1847. Mrs. Gardner’s maiden name was Martha Enos, daughter of Sessions and Mehitabel Enos, and was born in Lester, Addison Co., Vt., July 6, 1816. Her father was a native of Woodstock, Conn., and her mother of Union, Conn.
Mr. Gardner has now one of the best farms in the town, of more than 300 acres, and at one time he owned over 400 acres. He has lived to aid in the building of all the improvements on his farm, a view of which, with portraits of himself and wife above, may be seen elsewhere.
The colonel cast his first presidential vote for General Jackson at his first election; but in politics she was identified with the Whig party until the organization of the Republican Party. He never sought any political offices in his town, preferring the quiet of home to any political honors. He has, however, been assessor for a great many years, and supervisor of his town.
The colonel was formerly connected with the State militia, entering at the age of eighteen as a private, and gradually advanced through the various military positions until he became colonel. He was very fond of the military tactics. He is now an old gentleman of nearly seventy-six, very much broken down in health, but his mind is as clear as ever. He enjoys the confidence of his neighbors, and reviews the part with no apprehension of the future.
Son of Asa and Elizabeth Richmond Matteson, was born in West Greenwich, Kent Co., R. I., Aug. 16, 1819. Asa Matteson was of English origin and was born in Rhode Island. About 1775 he married Elizabeth Richmond, a native of Rhode Island, by whom five children were borne. The grandfather of the subject of this sketch was John Matteson, who served in the French war from 1775 to 1763, and A. Alonzo has the same old gun that he carried through that war.
In the spring of 1824, Asa Matteson and family removed to Fairfield, Herkimer County, and continued there till March 1, 1830, when the family removed to Exeter, Otsego County, where Mr. and Mrs. Asa Matteson died. Asa followed farming. He died May 10, 1858, and Mrs. Asa Matteson died Jan. 4, 1863, at the home of her son, A. Alonzo. A. Alonzo received a common-school education, and when a young man taught school two winters. He also taught singing-school for a number of years, and was leader of the choir at Schuyler’s Lake for several years until he removed to Burlington on April 1, 1863, and since has led the singing in the village where he now resides.
Mr. A. A. Matteson has been engaged as a farmer. He married Miss Eliza J. Ball, daughter of Joseph Ball, of Exeter, Nov. 18, 1847, by whom one daughter, Charlotte E., was borne, June 18, 1855, in Exeter. Mrs. Elizabeth J. Ball Matteson was born in Exeter, Jan. 21, 1825. She died may 21, 1859, and was buried at the cemetery at Schuyler’s Lake. Mr. A. A. Matteson married his present wife, Mrs. Mary R. Bliss Matteson, daughter of Seth L. Bliss, of Exeter, June 5, 1860. She was born at Exeter, Feb. 12, 1839. Mr. Matteson has some 145 acres of good land. A view of his present home may be seen elsewhere. In politics he affiliates with the Republican Party. He has a natural gift as a mechanic, being able to make most anything he undertakes. Mr. Matteson commenced life a poor man, but by his own industry and frugality he has acquired a competency, and is now surrounded by all the necessaries and comforts of a happy home on the village of West Burlington.
When Mr. Matteson was about eighteen years of age he united with the Free-Will Baptist Church, and since coming to West Burlington has been identified with the Baptist Church, though not a member. He has held several of the offices of said church, and his home has always been open to ministers of all denominations to stay. By his means he assists to all the calls of Christian benevolence, and is ever ready in every good word and work.
son of Asa and Hannah Chase, was born in Hancock, R. I., Oct. 5, 1802, and removed to Otsego County, and settled in Pittsfield, in1804, in company with his parents. Asa and Hannah were the parents of fourteen children. Asa was a farmer, and died at the age of eighty-five. His wife Hannah lived to be nearly ninety-one years of age, and both of them now lie sleeping in the family cemetery, some one-half mile west of where Willet now resides.
Willet went to learn the blacksmith trade, in his nineteenth year, serving three years as an apprentice. March 28, 1828, he removed into Burlington, to his present farm. It then consisted of but three-quarters of an acre on which was a small house and shop, and to this small beginning he has been constantly adding little by little, until he now owns 138-1/2 acres of good land, on which are built some splendid buildings, a view of which may be seen elsewhere. He married Miss Eliza Harrington, a daughter of Thomas and Lucinda Harrington, Sept. 1, 1827. She was born in Cobleskill, Schoharie Co., N. Y., July 9, 1805. In 1810 her parents settled in Edmeston, and removed to New Lisbon, where they died. By the union of Mr. and Mrs. Chase, ten children—five sons ands five daughters—have been born, namely, Miron, Caroline, Almira, Emily, Truman, Clarissa L., Ann A., Albert, Robert T., and Henry.
Truman died at the age of twenty-seven. Henry died while young.
Albert and Miron wre soldiers in the War of the Rebellion. Miron served in the 4th Regiment of Wisconsin Volunteers during the entire war, and lived to see his old home again; but Albert was a soldier in Co. K. 121st. Regiment of New York Volumteers, serving about six months, when he fell a victim by sickness. Mr. chase is a Republican in politics. Mr. chase is one of the old pioneers of the county who came here when a boy, and has lived to witness the greatest improvements in the various departments of industry that the world has ever seen. He is now an old man of seventy-six, and seems to be in good health.
son of Nicholas and Russil Gardner, was born on the farm where he now resides in Burlington, Otsego Co., N. Y., Aug. 16, 1831. His father was a native of Pownell, Vt., born in January, 1787, and removed to this county about the year 1800. He settled on the farm now owned by his son Orange, and where he continued to reside till his death. He married Miss Sally Vane, a native of Vermont, by whom three children were borne; one only, Stephen Gardner, is now living in Oswego county. Mr. Nicholas Gardner married for his second wife Miss Russil Sewell. A native of this town and who was born in 1793, by whom the following children were borne, namely, Aaron, Sally, Wm. Sewell, Emeline, Albert, Orange, and Harmon, four of whom still live. Mr. Nicholas Gardner was a farmer by occupation, and owned about 250 acres of good land. In politics, a Whig. He died Jan. 22, 1863. Mrs. Gardner died Jan. 15, 1869. Orange is the youngest living son of this family. He was reared a farmer, which business he still follows. He received common-school advantages for an education. He was married to Miss Margaret Chisholm, April 26, 1868. She is the daughter of Geo. and Catharine Chisholm, and was born in this town June 3, 1835.
Her parents were natives of Scotland, and emigrated to America in 1833, and settled in Burlington, Otsego Co., N. Y. They had eight children,--Jane, Margaret, Ellen, Janette, Andrew, Elizabeth, Robert, and George. Andrew was a soldier in the Rebellion, in the 121st. Reg. N. Y. Vol., and lost his life by sickness; the rest survive. Mrs. Chisholm died in October, 1870. Mr. Orange Gardner lived with his parents till their death; and has sine continued to reside on the "Old Homestead" where he was born, and where his two sons Sewell and Andrew were born, the former July 22, 1869, and the latter June 28, 1871. A view of his residence, with portraits above of himself and wife, may be seen elsewhere. Mr. Gardner is one of the substantial farmers of Burlington. He owns some 275 acres. In politics, a Republican. He has never sought any political positions, preferring the quiet of home. He is now in the prime of life, surrounded by all the comforts of a happy home.
ANDREW A. MATHER
son of Dan and Susannah Mather, was born in this town and county, Oct. 17, 1812. His father was a lineal descendant of Richard Mather, of English origin, who came from Warrington, England, landing at Boston, Aug. 17, 1635, and settled in Dorchester, Mass. He was a clergyman of marked ability. He left England from his unwillingness to conform to the rules of the established church. He founded a Presbyterian Church at Dorchester, Mass., Aug. 23, 1636, and remained pastor of the same until his death, which occurred April 16, 1669.
From him have descended a numerous race, all of whom have been noted for their great energy and indomitable perseverance. Dan, the father of Andrew A Mather, was born in Lyme, Conn., Oct. 1, 1774. He was a tanner and currier by occupation, which business he followed several years after settling in the town of Burlington. He married, for his second wife, Miss Susannah Onderdonk, a resident of Manhasset, Long Island. She was born December 12, 1775. By this union three sons were born: Andrew A., Ezra, and Dan. Ezra died at the age of fifty-seven. Mr. Dan Mather settled in the south part of the town of Burlington, Otsego Co., N. Y. , in the Butternut Creek valley, in 1810, on the farm where he died Sept. 1, 1856, and which is now owned and operated by his son, Andrew A. Mather. Mrs. Mather, wife of Dan Mather, died March 9, 1853. Dan Mather was one of the most respected citizens of the town; he held various positions of trust and honor, and by industry and frugality he gained a competence. He was strictly honest in all his dealings, and lived respected and died lamented. His son, Andrew A., was reared on the farm, receiving a good common-school education. He taught school five terms in winter, commencing at the age of seventeen, and working on the farm in summer. At the age of twenty-two he married Teresa D. Cummings, a daughter of Elias and Lucinda Cummings, of New Lisbon, Sept. 7, 1834. By this marriage seven children were born, namely, Adrian O., Andrew E., A. Dan, Elias C., and Kate M., who are living and two died in infancy. Adrian O., Andrew E., and A. Dan live in Albany, N. Y.; are wholesale grocers, know as the firm of "Mather Brothers." Elias C., is a farmer in Burlington, living adjoining the old homestead, and Kate M., living now in Albany with her brothers.
Mrs. Mather, wife of Andrew A. Mather, died Jan. 27, 1860.
Mr. Mather married Miss Addie J. Birdsall, of Otego, Jan. 6, 1862. She was born June 5, 21834; her parents were of New England parentage, and wre born in Otsego County. By this alliance two daughters were born: Clara L. and Jennie A., aged twelve and fourteen respectively.
Mr. Andrew A. Mather has always been engaged in agricultural pursuits, and is closely allied with the best interests of his town and county. He is now living at the same old homestead where he first saw the light of day. Mr. Mather is the grower of some find Jersey stock and Leicester sheep. He is a man that thinks for himself and acts from his own convictions of right and wrong; always ready to engage in any reform that has for its aim the amelioration of mankind. He allied himself with the Washingtonian movement in 1841, and has ever since that time been identified with all the temperance reforms of the day. In politics, he was a democrat, and voted the Democratic ticket down to the time Lewis Cass wrote his Nicholson letter, taking the ground that congress had no power to keep slavery out of the territories; and when Cass and Taylor ran for president in 1848, he voted for Van Buren to beat Cass, and ever since has voted with the anti-slavery party, voting the Republican ticket. In 1872 he thought Horace Greeley the best man and voted or him. After the defeat of Horace Greeley, not being satisfied which party was the safest to carry on the government in 1876, he voted the temperance ticket. He has held various positions of trust and honor in town, and was elected supervisor in 1846. In 1853 he was elected by the temperance party to the legislature as a "Maine Law" man, and in the fall of 1860, Mr. Mather was elected sheriff of Otsego county, which office he held three years, and at the expiration of his term returned to his farm in the Butternut Creek valley, where is now resides.
Andrew E. Mather was mustered in as first lieutenant of K Company, 121st New York Volunteers, August 1862. Promoted to Captain January, 1863; to major June, 1863; was appointed lieutenant-colonel in Janaury, 1864, and transferred to the 20th United States Colored Infantry, and served until the close of the war. Was wounded in the shoulder at Salem Heights, May 3, 1863.
Elias C. Mather was mustered in as private of K Company, 121st New York Volunteers, in august, 1862. Was appointed first lieutenant and adjutant of the 20th United States Colored Infantry in September, 1864, and served until the close of the war. Was wounded in the arm at Fredericksburg May 3, 1863, and at Petersburg June 14, 1864.
THE BOLTON AND BRIGGS FAMILIES
Lemuel Bolton was born in New London, Conn., May 4, 1778, and settled in Burlington as early as 1795. He married Miss Ruth Briggs, a lineal descendant of Noah Briggs, of Bristol Co., Mass., in the year 1800.
Lemuel’s father was a sea-captain, and was killed in a New London fort. The Bolton’s are of English origin, and wre among the early settlers in New England. Lemuel purchased the farm now owned by his son, Maurice W., in1801. He had ten children, namely, Isaac, Ezra, Maurice, Perez, Elizabeth, Esther, Ruth A., Susannah, Olive and Hannah. Isaac, Ezra, and Hannah are dead. In politics, a Democrat. He was the owner of some 680 acres of land in Burlington at one time. All that he had to commence life with was a free carpenter’s tools and five dollars on money. Besides following farming, he was a carpenter and joiner. Rith Bolton died May 30, 1843, and Lemuel Bolton died March 12, 1844.
Maurice Bolton was born Oct. 19, 1804. He was reared on the farm, and this has been his life’s work. He lived with his parents till their death, when he came in possession of the "homestead." He is the grower of some fine stock, being the owner of the finest pair of matched oxen we have ever seen. He is a farmer of 200 acres.
Olive married the Hon. Eliza C. Wright, a native of Rhode Island. He was a prominent man in the town of Milford, being justice of the peace, and member of the legislature in 1855. He died April 17, 1858. Hannah married Judson C. Faulkner, of Middlefield Centre, Jan. 28, 1847. He was a farmer by occupation. He died Nov. 17, 1862, leaving one son, Arthur.
THE BRIGGS FAMILY
Noah Briggs, of Bristol Co., Mass., moved to Voluntown, Conn., about 1745. He married Elizabeth Trumbull, of Taunton, Mass., where he resided for several years. Eleven children were born to them, namely, Elkanah, Zephaniah, Perez, William, Isaac, John, James, Betsey, Freelove, Sarah, and Susan.
Zephaniah married and lived in Sherman, Conn., and died in 1838 or 1839 aged one hundred and two years. Perez married Elizabeth Smith, and lived in Burlington, Otsego Co., N. Y. He settled in 1789, in Burlington. William married a Gallup, and resided in Sterling, Conn., and died at the age of ninety-three. Isaac was not married, and died a soldier in Washington’s army. John married a Hall, and moved to Skaneateles, N. Y., and died in 1838, aged eight-eight, leaving several children. John was a Revolutionary soldier. William and James were soldiers also. James married Phebe Bowen, of Rhode Island, and had twelve children.
This is all we have at our command of this pioneer family of Otsego County.
DAVID G. PARKER
Among the early pioneers of this town may be mentioned the Parker family. Alexander Parker was of English origin; his grandfather was from England, and settled in the New England States. Alexander was a native of Rhode Island, and was born Jan. 8, 1768. His father’s name was Elisha Parker, and was born Aug. 6, 1746, in Rhode Island; his mother’s maiden name was Miss Maria Ellsworth, and was born near Plymouth, Mass. They had eleven children, all born in the New England States.
Capt. Elisha Parker served as a captain during the Revolutionary war. Soon after the year 1800 he and his wife and balance of family settled in Burlington on a part of the farm now owned by their grandson, David G., here they continued to reside till their death. Mrs. Elisha Parker died Sept. 24, 1828, and he died March 19, 1813. Alexander was reared a farmer, and when a boy he worked out by the month to aid in the support of his father’s large family. Thus he worked till he was of age, and for one year thereafter he continued to work by the month in order to get a little money to begin life. In 1790 he settled on the farm now owned by his son, David G., at West Burlington. While still a small boy he was a waiter in the Revolutionary war. He married Miss Joanna Gardner, a daughter of Abram Gardner, of Pownell, Vt., Feb. 17, 1793. She was born Aug. 28, 1777, In Pownell, Vt. By this union nine children were born,--Abram, Polly, Elisha, Ira, Betsey, Mehitable, Alexander, Jr., Sarah, and David G.; four are dead. Alexander Parker, Sr., was at one time a very
Among the most respected pioneer families of Otsego County may be mentioned the Norton family. John Norton was born in Chathan, Conn., April 7, 1775. Coming upon the stage of action only a few days before the first fun was fired which was the signal of war between the thirteen united colonies and their mother country, he was early disciplined to endure all the privations incident to those revolutionary days. He was reared a farmer, and by this healthful and best of all employments, combined with good habits formed early in life, he was able to obtain a good home and live to a ripe old age.
He married Miss Lucy Johnson, a native of Chatham, Conn., March 7, 1798. Mrs. Lucy Johnson Norton was born May 13, 1775. By this happy union five children were born, namely: Chauncey H., born Sept. 21, 1800; Lucinda P., born Feb. 10, 1802; Florida J., born July 14, 1808; John C., born Sept. 5, 1811; and Diadana H., born Nov. 16, 1815.
John Norton settled in Burlington, Otsego County, about 1799. He settled on a small farm near or in Burlington Flats, and this locality was his home ever after, save eight years in Exeter, from 1804 to 1812.
He and his estimable wife were members of he Congregational church for many years. In politics he was formerly a Whig, but upon the organization of the Republican Party he joined it. He died at the advanced age of ninety-three years, two months, and twenty-four days, on July 1, 1868, and Mrs. Norton survived her husband some five years. She died July 23, 1873, aged ninety-eight years, two months, and ten days.
It will be observed that this couple lived together for more than seventy years before death did them separate; seventy years they walked life’s journey together; seventy years the same familiar footsteps upon the threshold of a happy home, to meet warm comforts and a loving greeting; seventy years hand in hand and heart to heart, reading the inmost thoughts, and loving more and more. Mrs. Norton had a sister, Mrs. Hubbard, who lived to nearly one hundred and one, lacking only a few days.
Chauncey H., eldest son and child of John and Lucy Norton, was born in Burlington, Otsego Co., N. Y. His early advantages for an education were very limited. He was reared a farmer, which has been the principal business of his life.
At the age of twenty-five he commenced to learn the carpenter and joiner trade, and has worked at it for many years since. He was a home-boy, the one on whom his parents mainly depended for counsel and support in their advanced years. He has often been called upon to occupy positions of trust and honor in his native town. He was formerly a Democrat in politics, but when the Republican Party was organized he joined it. He has been inspector and commissioner of schools, assessor for one year, and justice of the peace for more than twenty years. He is highly esteemed by his neighbors. He and one brother living with him have never been married. Chauncey H. is the one who thus takes this opportunity to identify his parents in the history of Otsego County, and in memory of them.
BENJ. S. WALWORTH
Ben. S. Walworth, son of Jas. C. and Helen Talcott Sill Walworth, was born in Burlington, Otsego Co., N. Y., Oct. 10, 1811. His father, Judge Jas. C. Walworth, was of English origin., his paternal ancestors were among the early settlers of Bozrah, Conn. H e was the son of Benjamin Walworth, and he married Apphia Hyde, whose ancestors were among the Pilgrims who landed on Plymouth Rock, Dec. 20, 1620. Jas. C. was born at Bozrah, Conn., March 5, 1787. His advantages for an education were confined to the common school. He was reared on the farm, and this, in connection with mercantile business at Argyle, N. Y., and the manufacture of machine cards at Burlington, N. Y. has been his life-work.
He married Helen T. Sill, July 20, 1812, by whom four children were born, two of whom died in infancy, and Clinton, born Sept. 17, 1815, and Ben Oct. 10, 1821.
Mrs. Walworth was born May 10, 1788, at Lyme, Conn., and died May 15, 1824. Mr. Walworth married Maria M. Haynes, March 30, 1831, in Hoosick, N. Y., by whom one daughter, Helen Maria, was born, Oct. 20, 1836.
Judge Walworth settled in Burlington soon after his first marriage, in 1812, and located on the farm now owned by his son Ben.
In politics, a Democrat. He was justice of the peace for many years, and county judge for more then twenty years until 1840.
He was universally esteemed by his neighbors, living a quiet, unassuming life. He was a son of strong mind and sound judgment, and his opinion and advice were often sought by his neighbors. He was a prominent and influential member of the Episcopal society. He died on the 25thof November, 1871, and was buried in the cemetery at Burlington Green.
Ben. S. Walworth was reared a farmer, which occupation he still follows.
On the 28th of May, 1850, he set sail from New York, on the steamer "Ohio," for California, by the way of the Isthmus of Panama, arriving in San Francisco in August. He remained there seventeen years, during which time he followed mining some ten years, and then was in the lumber and livery business. For some time he was chairman of vigilance committee in California. In 1867 he returned to have the care of his aged father. He married Miss Elizabeth Hall, a native of this town, March 31, 1871, by whom two daughters were born, Jennie H. and Fleda A.
Mrs. Elizabeth Walworth was born Sept. 7, 1839; her parents were natives of Scotland, and came here about 1830, and settled in Burlington, Otsego Co., New York.
Transcribed by Holice B. Young
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