Cape Vincent BIOGRAPHIES

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ELISHA P. DODGE

Elisha P. Dodge was born on Black Island, in the State of Rhode Island, May 10, 1800. When he was three years old his father moved with his family, and they settled in Exeter, and remained there until 1817, when they removed to Jefferson County, and settled on Carlton island. At this time Elisha commenced life for himself and, in company with his brother, embarked in the lumber trade. This partnership continued four years, when he accepted the position of foreman for A. Lewis, an extensive lumberman. This situation he held four years, and subsequently he engaged to other parties in the same business until 1832, when he turned his attention to farming.

On the 17th of September, 1833, he married Olive Twincliff, and settled on the farm owned by Gilbert Robbins. The result of this union has been seven children; namely, Eliza R., wife of Henry Fox; Edwin T., died in 1876; Mary A., wife of Henry Clark; died in 1867; Elisha L., Adelaide, wife of Nicholas Schell, Flora, wife of Isaac Cross, Imogene, wife of Fayette Millen. They moved on to the farm where the widow now resides in 1832; where he lived until his death, which occurred February 14, 1864 He commenced life a poor lad, but by industry and perseverance he succeeded in surrounding himself with all the necessary comforts of life, besides having a very fine farm of 210 acres. In politics he was a republican, but never south or accepted office, being of a retiring disposition. He was a close observer of men and things, and his opinions and judgment were always respected. He was a true, good man, charitable, hospitable, and benevolent, and when he died he left behind him an untarnished reputation.

We find Mrs. Dodge still hale and hearty, though having passed the allotted threescore years and ten. She is a kind-hearted, generous lady, one whom it is an honor to know, and one who is entitled to a prominent place among the pioneer ladies of Jefferson County. (Transcribed by Holice B.Young. Original HTML by Debbie Axtman top

 

DAVID C. SHULER

David C. Shuler is the son of John and Hannah Shuler, and John the son of Lawrence Shuler, who was a native of Germany, who, on landing in New York, was sold to pay his passage. David C. was born in Montgomery County, New York, January 27, 1800. He worked on his father's farm until he became of age, when he married Penilla, daughter of John and Elizabeth Butler, of the same county. They commenced life on a rented farm, and continued working farms on shares until 1836, when they decided to move to a newer county, where they could purchase and cultivate their own land. They arrived in Jefferson County, March 27, 1836, and located on the farm where Mr. D, now resides. The family then consisted of five children. He purchased fifty acres of land,--timbered, with the exception of about fifteen acres,--on which was a small house, aptly designated a "shanty." He has added to the farm by subsequent purchases until he now possesses 150 acres, under a state of good cultivation. They had a family of nine children, of whom six survived, who are all settled in life, namely:

Ann, wife of John Becker; Caroline, wife of William Becker; Jeremiah, now living on the old homestead, and is one of the most successful farmers in the town; Hannah, wife of George H. Klock; Sarah, wife of Theron Klock; John, now engaged in farming in Texas. One of the deceased daughters, Lydia, lived to be twenty-two years of age, and her demise was lamented by a large circle of friends and acquaintances. Mrs. Shuler died on the 29th of August, 1840; and her death cast a gloom over the family, for she was a dutiful wife and a kind and affectionate mother.

Mr. Shuler united in marriage with his present wife, Mrs. Elizabeth Loudawick, March 2, 1843. She is a lady of excellent household abilities, and has been a good mother to the children. He is a man who has attended strictly to his business,--that of farming. Has had little to do with politics, and less with outside speculations. He has experienced the usual hardships of pioneer life, and being now in his seventy-seventh year, and having an excellent memory, he can tell those experiences and incidents of his life in a very interesting manner. He crossed the St. Lawrence to Kingston in 1836 to buy seed, and he avers that there is only about enough water in the river to form the ice for a sleigh to run on. He never saw the water so low since. He an also remember when he sold No. 1 winter wheat in Watertown for sixty cents a bushel, payable in merchandise, money in those days being difficult to procure. He is a man of excellent judgments, unusual intelligence, and indisputable integrity,--in fine, a man who is an ornament to his town and a blessing to humanity. (Jefferson County History, by L. H. Everts, 1878 - Transcribed by Holice B.Young. Original HTML by Debbie Axtman top

 

JOEL AND LEVI TORREY

These brothers were born in the town of Chesterfield, New Hampshire. Joel was born in 1785 and Levi in the year 1789. They both came to this country at the same time, and settled in the town of Lorraine, in what was called the Done neighborhood, before the War of 1812. 

During this war Levi received a commission and had command of a company of men, and was at different points on the St. Lawrence river, from Cape Vincent to Ogdensburgh, in which he served his country with honor. We think at or near the close of the war he received the commission of colonel; and we presume there are persons yet living in this county who served under him. Some time after the war closed, in the early part of his life, he taught school in different parts of this county; and as a teacher he was very successful. He finally settled in the village of Brownville. Was a brick-maker by trade, and made the brick for his house, which stand yet on the upper side of the village, the walls, to appearance, as unbroken as ever. While living here he had born to him, by his first wife, five daughters, all of whom survive him. He filled many places of honored trust, and his integrity in doing business was never questioned. He was employed by John La Farge to survey Penet's Square, which was a tract of land ten miles square, the greater portion of which lies in the town of Orleans. In this business he was very successful, and his name is in our County Clerk's office perhaps more times than nay other man that ever lived here; and we believe he was the first surveyor in this county that ran his line by back-sights, thus overcoming local attraction. He was very particular and precise, as every one know that ever carried chain for him; strictly honest in this as in all his business, he aimed at justice for all parties, and owing to this he was called upon to settle a great many disputed lines.

We think it was in the year 1832 he lost his most accomplished wife by cholera, which blow fell heavily upon him. It was a sickly time, and he took his children and went to visit his brother, Joel, who had a year before moved into the woods, in the then town of Lyme. His health being recruited, he returned to Brownville. Afterwards he married the second time, and the same year moved into the Warren Settlement, where is sixth daughter was born. Here he owned fifty acres of good land, which, with his surveying, furnished a good living until the year 1857, when he with his two sons-in-law and his entire family, except one, moved into Adams county, Wisconsin, where he was chosen as county surveyor. He resided there until three years ago, when he went with his second widowed daughter, Mrs. Elvira Hill, to Minnesota to visit some of his children; and here, at their solicitation, he remained and closed his long and eventful life, October 18, 1875, at the residence of his son-in-law, Hon. L. Cook, after an illness of twelve days, at the advanced age of 86, leaving his second wife and all his children to mourn his loss.

In his politics he was an old-line Whig, inclined to the Silver-Grays, opposed for some time to any movement against slavery. But when the first Republican platform was made he stepped square upon it, and labored with all his influence to see its noble principles carried out and maintained. In the early years of this county he was one of the most useful and reliable men; he was elected constable six years in succession. Such was the confidence that people had in his ability and honesty that he was entrusted with the finances of many of his neighbors and acquaintances. He possessed a very social nature; he would take and give a good joke with as much pleasure as any person we ever knew, and his square, hearty laugh must be well remembered by all who had the pleasure of his acquaintance.

His religious belief was in the universal salvation of all mankind; that all wicked persons would be justly punished for their sins, and in the end be restored to the favor of God. He lived constantly in this faith. He was one of the most tender-hearted of men in all his relations in life.

Joel Torrey, as before stated, was born in the State of New Hampshire, county of Cheshire, town of Chesterfield, August 31, 1785; was married to Eddy Howard, January 17, 1811; moved into Jefferson County, town of Lorraine, in 1811, where, November 13, 1811, their first child, John Spafford Torrey, was born; afterwards they had five sons and five daughters born to them. He lived at Lorraine at the time of the battle of Sacket's Harbor, and was held as a minute-man, and when the alarm was given through this vicinity, he, with his neighbors, started for the scene of action, went to the arsenal, procured a gun, and went to the battle-field, and took his place in the ranks of our army that had commenced firing on the advancing foe. In this fight he engaged with all his might, and became so absorbed that he continued until he saw the enemy retreating and our men being drawn off the field; about this time a ball passed through his hat, brushing the hair on the top of his head. He tarried a little on the field of blood o see the wounded, and the sight was such as to cause him to say he would never use the deadly weapon against his fellow-men. It was during this war that he made brick in this city where the Winslow Block now stands. From here he moved to Sacket's Harbor; stated a boarding-house that would accommodate 300 persons; this was in 1815, just before peace was declared. Failing in this, he went to work for Abraham Jewitt, in Jewittsville, making bricks summers and coopering winters. His mechanical genius was first-class. At this time all pails, tubs, and buckets were made by hand, and he invented a jointing-machine that was a perfect success, and aided greatly in the making of pails, buckets, and wash-tubs; but he was poor, and before he could get it patented the pail-factory was started. Could he have had means when he first invented it he would have become wealthy. In 1826 he moved to Watertown, and for four seasons carried on a brick-yard for Edward Massey, where the railroad junction buildings are now. He turned off from two to three hundred thousand bricks in a season. There must be in the old buildings in this city a great many thousand bricks that passed through his hands. He possessed an iron constitution, and we think there are but few men that performed more hard labor in this county than he did. With all the hard labor and discouragements he never lay down in the furrow, full of hope for the better times coming, his courage was equal to his physical strength.

In the fall of 1830 he went into the northern part of town of Lyme, now Cape Vincent, and took a contract of fifty acres of land, all woods, at $3 per acre; built a log house, and the 1st day of March, 1831, moved from Watertown into what was then called the Tuttle and Warren Settlement, they having settled there six years before. He took with him all of his family except his second son, Levi, who stayed in Watertown and attended school. Here he lived eight or nine years, cleared up the fifty acres, and took a contract of 220 acres adjoining him; and sold an undivided half of the whole to Allen Cole; and at the close of a lawsuit with Cole he came in possession of 109 acres of said farm.

It was while living in this neighborhood that he and his wife were most useful to the world around them. There was a great deal of sickness, and many a day and night they left their large family o go and help their neighbor that was sick. He was strictly honest in his deal, and he never would take the advantage of his neighbors' necessitates. One very dry season he cut some twenty tons of beaver-meadow hay; the next spring he could get $20 per ton, but he sold it to his neighbors for $10. It was a rule with him to do to others as he wished them do to him; his religious creed was the Bible.

In politics, he was and old-line Whig, but he was among the first to vote the anti-slavery ticket. He was always in the front rank in every moral reform. He used all the influence he has against whatever he thought wrong; in church or state, for this cause he had some bitter enemies, but his friends were true and warm-hearted. He aimed to satisfy his own conscience, whether he pleased others or not.

In 1846 he sold his farm of 59 acres to his son, G. R. Torrey, and moved to Illinois, in 1847, remaining there three years; a few years afterward he moved to Geneva, Wisconsin, where his wife died in her 73rd year. He then moved to Minnesota, where he spent the last year of a long and eventful life. He died about a year ago, in his 89th year, at the residence of his son, F. O. Torrey. (Jefferson County History, by L. H. Everts, 1878 - Transcribed by Holice B.Young. Original HTML by Debbie Axtman)  top

 

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