Otsego Town, Otsego, NY
Biography of Colonel Joseph A. Cheney
By Holice and Debbie

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Colonel Joseph A. Cheney

Son of Joseph and Lydia Cheney, was born at Fly Creek, Otsego County, Feb. 28, 1807. He attended the district schools of his native county, and succeeded in acquiring a substantial business education.

He early manifested an interest in military matters, and at the age of eighteen entered the service as a non-commissioned officer He rendered excellent service, and by the ability and talent won the esteem of his superiors; in recognition of his valuable service he was promoted step by step to the office of colonel, and was in command of a regiment when the law was repealed. He then reported himself to the adjutant general as a supernumerary, together with most of the other officers of the regiment.

Mr. Cheney was colonel of the 2d Regiment, 2d Brigade, 16th Division of Infantry of Militia of the State of New York. The division was commanded by General S. S. Burnside, now a practicing attorney in Oneonta. At the time of the election of General Burnside as brigadier-general in this brigade there were three candidates.--S. S. Burnside, Colonel Cheney, the subject of this sketch, and George White, of Cherry Valley,--each of whom received six votes. Colonel Cheney withdrew in favor of Burnside, thus securing his election. Colonel Cheney's love for the military did not cease with the passage of the law disbanding the military, and he was often called by his fellow-citizens to act as marshal at various political and other gatherings.

Colonel Cheney was a Democrat until the campaign of 1856, when he voted for John C. Fremont, and has since been an active and uncompromising member of the Republican party. He has ever manifested an interest in all matters concerning the welfare of his town, and has officiated in a number of offices within the gift of his townsmen. During the late Rebellion, he notified the adjutant-general that he a supernumerary, and that if his services were needed he was ready to respond to the call of his country, and to strike at the hideous head of rebellion.

Colonel Cheney has two brothers and two sisters living of a family of nine children, viz., Mita C., who married Edward H. Parmalee, and is now a celebrated doctress, residing in Laurens. She practiced with eminent success about four years in the State of Connecticut, and six years ago returned to her native county, and was present at the sickness and death of two of her sisters. The daughter of Mita C. married Henry Gartace who died in Andersonville. She is now the wife of J. Harvey Steere, a merchant in Laurens. Mary M. married Alfred Burnham, now residing in Sparland, Ill. She has been a school-teacher for over twenty years, and has paid for two farms from the proceeds of teaching. Ebenezer W. resides at White's store, Chenango county. Stephen P. resides at Fly Creek, on a part of the original purchase of Joseph Cheney. The following children are deceased: Samuel W., Celia Ann, Eliza M., and Isaac R. A nephew of Colonel Cheney, Edward C. Parmalee, who married Anna Woodbeck, of Oneonta, resides with him at Fly Creek, and has two children,--one daughter, Mita N., and one son, Joseph F.

Colonel Cheney now resides on ten acres of land called the "southern valley view," located on the turnpike between Fry Creek and Cooperstown, affording a fine view of the valley of the Susquehanna, and in sight of the spot where Leatherstocking's house stood, on the banks of Oaks creek, and in view of the Adams burial-ground, where Leatherstocking is buried. (The History of Otsego, NY, Duane Hamilton Hurd, 1878)

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  Transcribed by Holice B. Young

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Copyright Debbie Axtman and Holice B. Young

December 23, 1999

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