OF THE TOWNSMEN.
Smith Brainard came to Belfast in 1847 and settled on White Creek. He was born
at Exeter, N. Y., in 1809, married Phila A. Purple, and had 5 sons and 3 daughters. His son, Morrell L. Brainard,
was born in Exeter in 1844, and has lived in Belfast since 1847. He has been assessor 9 years and supervisor of
the town for two terms. In 1868 he married Lucy A. Snider. They have 3 children. Mr. Brainard is a farmer and dealer
in live stock, and the family is Baptist in its religious affiliations.
Jacob Chalker, son of Jacob B. and Elizabeth Hinchman Chalker, was born Jan. 16, 1841, in Liberty, Pa. In 1860
he came to Belfast a poor youth and today he is one of the leading farmers of the town. He held the office of highway
commissioner of Belfast for 7 years and built the first iron bridge in town. He deals quite extensively in live
stock. In 1873 Mr. Chalker married Sarah, daughter of Abram Post, one of the early settlers of Allen. They have
two sons, Norman A. and Harry B.
John S. Crowell, son of Lucius Crowell, born in Angelica, married Lorinda Oaks, and after a few years' residence
in Angelica, settled permanently in Allen. He was a farmer and a very active member and deacon of the Baptist church.
He died Oct. 4, 1874, his wife Oct. 18, 1878. Their children were Ezra, John S., Melvin E., Frank F., Ellen M.
Frank F. was born July 7, 1853, and Sept. 4, 1878, married Aurelia, daughter of Hiram Gleason, and made his home
in Allen as a farmer. In 1886 he moved to Belfast and became a dealer in agricultural implements. His wife died
June 22, 1893, leaving one son, Melvin G. August 28, 1895. he married Lizzie, youngest daughter of Henry K. Stebbins.
Elisha Chamberlain, of Connecticut, married Hannah Twirchel. In 1801 he came to Belfast and located on the farm
now owned by his descendants. He cut his road from Angelica to his lot, four miles, through the woods. He collected
the taxes for the Holland Land Co., and went to Ellicottville for several years to deliver the money.
Tunis Cole, son of Thomas, who settled and bought land in Allen in 1828 and became a permanent resident, was born
in Pulteney, N. Y., in 1821. He was justice of the peace, held many town offices, and was supervisor of Allen for
1883 and 1884, and in 1885 located in Belfast. He is a director in the Bank of Belfast and was its vice president
for several years.
James M. Davis comes from an English family who settled in Bedford, Mass., where his father, Elijah Davis, was
born, and came to Allen in 1838, where he married Mary, daughter of James Crandall of Allen. Children, James M.
born in Allen in 1841, Mary B. and Frances (Mrs. Henry Renwick). Elijah Davis died in 1844, and his widow married
James C. Burr. James M. was educated at the Belfast Seminary, and became a farmer, and a dealer in horses and live
stock. In 1864 he entered the mercantile business in the firm of Lewis & Davis. buying his partner out in 1866.
For the next twenty years he was the leading merchant in Belfast, building three stores, and dealing in dry goods,
drugs, hardware and general supplies. He did a private banking, business for several years which grew to be the
present Bank of Belfast of which he has been president since it was founded in 1882. He married in 1865, Emma,
daughter of Christopher Jennings of Belfast. Their children are, Sophie (Mrs. Lyman E. Crandall of Chicago) and
Charles. Mr. Davis was supervisor of Belfast in 1873-4, served as town clerk, and for 13 years was postmaster.
He removed to Rochester in 1888, is now in Chicago, where he is president of the Fowler Cycle Manufacturing Company.
N. G. Davis, son of Malachi, was born in Milo, Yates Co., N. Y., in 1820, and was a small boy when his father came
to Scio. He married, in 1843, Delilah Utter, oldest living daughter of Joshua Utter, a resident of Amity, and settled
in Hume. In 1867 he made his home in Belfast where he has since resided. His only child, Florence, married A. J.
Van Fleet and lives in Cuba. Mr. Davis was a millwright over 3o years.
Dearing L. Dorman was born in Sherman, Chautauqua Co. His father, Dearing Dorman, married Huldah Perkins and came
from Vermont to Sherman early and was its first settler. His oldest son was the first white child born in the town.
Dearing L. enlisted in Co, E, 9th N. Y. Cav., in October, 1861, but after one year's service was discharged on
account of sickness. He made his home in Allen and for a short time was a resident there, then removed to Caneadea
where he resided until he became a resident of Belfast. His wife's maiden name was Sarah Avery (dec.) They have
four children. During his residence in Caneadea Mr. Dorman was chosen one of the assessors of the town.
Robert English was born in Ireland in 1797. His father, John English. came to America in 1801. Robert came to Rushford,
Allegany Co., in April, 1826, and purchased a farm. He married Abigail Williams. They had six children, Charles,
son of Robert, was born in 1834. He married Frances, daughter of Harry Bums, and has 7 children. He is a farmer
and has been president of the Board of Education of Belfast for nearly fo years,
Deacon Lewis Hart Ford, born in Woodbridge, Conn., in 1799, came to Belfast about 1816. He was, then 16, apprenticed
to Mr. Raymond, a carpenter, and came here with him. At the age of 21 he commenced building, and there are many
of the old houses standing that he built. He married Deborah Reynolds, daughter of Major Nathaniel, the first white
child born in town. They had to children. Deacon Ford was assessor for many years and held a commission signed
by DeWitt Clinton. as lieutenant of a militia company. He died Nov. 29, 1877. Mrs. Ford died Oct 22, 1884 Six of
their children are living: Dr. Willis E., in Utica; Prof. D. R. and Robert W., in Elmira; Charles L., Sidney A.,
and Lucinda E., reside in Belfast,. The latter taught school 3o years, Charles L. Ford was born in 1833, enlisted
in 1862 in Co. F, 130th N. Y. S. V., and was mustered out in 1865. He is a member of A. K. Thorpe Post, G. A. R.,
and was its second commander. He married Mary Peckham. Their children are Edmund D. and R. Carlton. Charles L.
Ford is a farmer. Sidney Ford, born in 1837, enlisted, in September, 1864, in the U. S. Navy, and served one year.
He is also a member of A. K. Thorpe Post. In 1886, he married Rozette Allen and had 3 children, Charles M., a physician,
in New York city, Allen H., Nettie D. The Ford family are members of the Baptist church.
William R. Gleason is son of Jonathan Gleason, who came to Belfast from Seneca county in 1825, and settled on and
gave its name to Gleason's Hill, where, June 13, 1830. William R. was born. Jonathan died in 1854, after developing
a fine farm. William in 1864 married Caroline, daughter of Charles Lewis of New Hudson, and settled on the farm
where his son Bruce,_ who married Daisy Franklin, resides.
Samuel Guilford, born in Franklin county, Mass., came to Belfast before 1818, settled in the southern part of the
town on White Creek, was supervisor and justice many years. and did: much for the town. He married Sally Gray and
had 14 children. He died in May, 1857. His son Burbridge, born in Massachusetts in 1816, came to Belfast with his
father and lived his life here, dying in 1884. He married Electa Kendall Howell, who died in 1875. Six children,
William Guilford, son of Samuel, was born in Belfast in 1826. He married Mary. daughter of Nathaniel Britton, and
had 3 children: Mary E., wife of M. Hobart, William L. and Frank S., Nathaniel Britton came to Friendship, in 1833,
from Lycoming county, Pa. He died in 1835. Mrs. Guilford, and a brother and sister residing in Bureau county, Ill.,
are the only survivors of his 6 children.
The Rev. Thomas E. Haire was born in Addison, N. Y., in 1861. After graduating from Addison public schools, he
became a student of Canisius College at Buffalo in 1875, and was graduated in due time from the Niagara University
of Niagara In 1855 he went to Attica, was there 4 years, and in 1889 came to Belfast, where he had charge of the
Catholic parish. Rev. Mr. Haire has recently removed to Olean.
Earl Herkimer, son of William, was born June 15, 1829, in Exeter, N. Y. In 1836 his father moved to Cameron, from
there to Addison, and in 1847 to Belfast, where he died May 18, 1874. Earl came here in 1842 with his uncle, Isaac
Miles, and has since resided here. In 1859 he married Martha Stuart. Their children are Julia A. and Hattie E.
August 20, 1864. Mr. Herkimer enlisted in Co. F, 1st Regt., N. Y. S. Dragoons, and served until the close of the
war, and was discharged in July, 1865. He is a member of A. K. Thorpe Post, No, 86, G. A. R. Since the war he has
been engaged in farming and lumbering.
Isaac Miles purchased a farm of "old Bill Bennett," and remained on the farm until about. 1867, when
be moved to Scio. He died in November, 1892. His wife was Julia A. Cable, Mr. Miles was conversant with the town
affairs of Belfast, having served as supervisor, etc.
Norman Holden, son of Thomas Caryl and Randy Drucilla (Damon) Holden, was born in New Hudson April r7, 1836, on
the farm where his parents had settled in 1830, coming from Springfield, Vt. The children were John L., Norman,
Harry, Gardner, Olive and Lawson C. Norman married Rachel Crawford Nov. 21, 1857, for a second wife, a sister,
Melinda, in November, 1871, and for a third wife, another sister, Sinda A., December 19, 1882. There were two girls
by the first marriage, both are dead; no other children. Mr. Holden was brought upon the farm, followed buying
cattle for years, and is now proprietor of the Belfast House, Belfast.
Isaac S. Hunt, son of I. D., was born at Mt, Morris, N. Y., in 1858. In 1860 his father settled in Belfast. Isaac
S., after an education at Genesee Valley Seminary, "clerked" in a store for 4 years, then formed a mercantile
partnership with B, T, Willis in a general store, which continued six years. Since then Mr. Hunt has been proprietor
of a drug and grocery store, He was secretary of the school board of Belfast five years, is vice president of the
Bank of Belfast, and was elected supervisor of the town in 1893 and every year since, He is a member of Western
Union Lodge. F. & A. M., Genesee River Chapter, and DeMolay Commandery of Hornellsville, He married Mira Seeley,
June 20, 1882, and has four children.
Samuel Hunt, a native of Vermont, came to Caneadea about 182o and bought a farm. He married Hannah Peasley and
had five children. Samuel P, Hunt, son of Samuel, born in 1823, married Caroline Green, and lived for years on
the farm which he developed from a virgin forest, making the first clearing and building the farm buildings, Here
were reared their three sons and two daughters, and here May 2, 1884, he died, His widow resides in Belfast. Oren
Hunt, son of Samuel P., was born July 11, 1846, In 1871 he married Sarah, daughter of Alexander and Sarah Lang,
located as a farmer in Belfast. but is now a stone mason on the W. N. Y. & P. R. R. He has 3 children, Lela
M., Robert B, and Satie, He is a Methodist, and a Maccabee,
William Ingleby was born in Lincolnshire, England, in 1845, and came to America in 1870, first locating at Castile
for two years, then living in other places until 1890 when he established himself as a furniture dealer and undertaker
in Belfast. He married Emma Willcockson and has one child, William, Mr. Ingleby is a member of Tent No. 47, K.
O. T. M., and the family are adherents of the Methodist church. William Ingleby, Jr,. was born in England in 1868,
and is a printer by trade, but has been a partner in his father's furniture business in Belfast, He married Mabel,
daughter of Clark Rice.
James Jennings came to Belfast in 1809 from Lawrenceville, Pa, He bought several hunted acres of the Holland Land
Company, on which there was an Indian clearing and a log house where town meetings were held. His wife was Mary
Doty. They had to children. His death occurred in December, 1859, and that of his wife in December, 1862, James
O'Hara Jennings, son of James, was born in Belfast in 1822, and was educated and remained through life a farmer.
He was quite extensively connected with the lumber trade and a dealer in real estate. He died March 23, 1895, His
wife, formerly Esther Sortore Howell, is still a resident of Belfast. Their 4 children were Mary Helen, Julia Sophia,
James Volney and Christopher, who died in infancy.
Christopher Jennings, son of James, was born in Lawrenceville, Tioga Co., Pa., Feb. 22, 1808, Coming to Belfast
with his parents in 1809, he attained maturity in the pioneer days, and was one of those by whose efforts civilization
replaced the savage condition, Feb. 4, 1838, he was married to Sophie Reese, They had 4 children, Charles, a Union
soldier in the 1st N. Y. Dragoons, who died of fever in November, 1862; Susan S., Emma J. and James, drowned in
the Genesee river when nine years old, Mr. Jennings died April 26, 1892. His widow still lives in Belfast, Mr.
Jennings was a large land owner and a progressive farmer. He built the first brick building in Belfast, and always
gave generously in aid of any improvement in the town. He was several times elected supervisor, and held that responsible
office for three years during the civil war, He was a man of sterling integrity, and his influence was widely felt
in the community,
David Kinney, son of Alpheus, was born in Union, Tolland Co., Conn., Jan, 5, 1813. His father came to Madison county,
N. Y., in 1816, David married Betsey Sweet in 1837, She died in June, 1847. She had t son, Eaton, and 3 daughters,
Mr. Kinney married Esther A. Hanks for his second wife, They had 5 children. David Kinney settled in Belfast in
November, 1837, and has been engaged in farming, Eaton Kinney, son of David, was born in Belfast Sept, 25, 1843,
He enlisted in Co. F, 1st N. Y. Dragoons, was mustered into service Jan. 1864, and served until the close of the
war, He was wounded Oct, 14, 1864. He is a member of A. K. Thorpe Post, G. A. R., No, 86. In 1866 Mr. Kinney married
Eva M. Conover and had 4 children, In company with E, W, Gunn, he built the first and largest cheese factory in
the town, Mr. Kinney has been assessor one term, and supervisor 2 years,
W. B. Manley, son of William Manley, was born in Ellicottville, Cattaraugus county, in 1859, He was educated at
the public schools in his native town, When 16 years of age he learned telegraphy, In 1882 he was elected cashier
of the Bank of Belfast, He helped organize the bank, and has been its cashier since its organization in 1882, He
bad previously been in the banking office of J. King Skinner, and in the Bank of Gowanda, Mr. Manley married Minnie
Addis F. Perry, son of Josiah Quincy Perry, an early settler of Rushford, was born in Linden in 1848. When 19
years of age he learned the art of cheesemaking and has been in that business since, He owns 5 cheese factories
and one half interest in another, In 1874 he married Miss Carpenter and has 4 children. Ebenezer D. Perry, grandfather
of Addis E., and son of Josiah, was born in Massachusetts. He settled, in 1813, in the south part of Rushford,
and was elected overseer of the poor of the first town meeting. He was a farmer. He married Hannah Spear. Of their
10 children only 3 are living. Josiah Q, Perry, a son of Ebenezer P., was born Nov. 28, 1812. He married Emeline
M, Knickerbocker in 1840 and settled in Rushford. In 1845 he moved to Lyndon, where he now resides, His children
are Addis E. and Ebenezer P who resides in Ellendale, N. D. Mrs. Perry died in March, 1894. J. Q. Perry has been
supervisor of Lyndon 6 terms, has held the offices of assessor, justice of the peace, highway commissioner, etc,
Rozel C. Phelps, son of John B, Phelps, who settled at Oramel over 4o years ago, was born April 15, 1840, at Mt.
Morris. He was educated at the common schools and Genesee Valley Seminary, and was graduated from Bryant &
Stratton's Business College at Buffalo in 1864. In 1860 he received the nomination for a cadetship at West Point,
but was unable to take the examination. October 11, 1861, he enlisted in Co. E, 76th N. Y. S. V.; his company was
transferred to the 93d regiment, He was mustered out July 19, 1862, on account of sickness from which he never
recovered, He is a member of A. K. Thorpe Post, G. A. R., was its adjutant 6 years, and commander I year, and has
held most of the offices, During his army life he acted as quartermaster while the regiment was at Cortland and
Albany, at Washington he was detailed to the medical department of Eckington Hospital, and also held an important
position in Epiphany Hospital. From 1865 to 1869 he was in the employ of the Illinois Central R. R. at Cairo as
forwarding clerk, and for 7 years he was engaged in cheese manufacturing at Oramel. In 1871 he married Mary E,
Marble and has 2 children, George E. and Allie M. The family are members of the M. E, church. Mr. Phelps has resided
in Belfast since 1882, has held the office of justice of the peace 3 terms, is now pension attorney, and is aid-de-camp
on the staff of John C. Schott, department commander,
John Quinton, son of Joshua Quinton, born at Fairhaven, Vt., June 27, 1818, came to Perry in 1840 and worked at
his shoemaker's trade, Here he married Phoebe Waters May 31, 1841. (Joshua Quinton was privateer's man on the "Gen,
Armstrong," which sailed from Boston against the British in the war of 1812, and was one of six in charge
of the "long Tom" 6-pounder pivot gun), John Quinton enlisted in the regimental band of the 28th N. Y.
at Darustown, Md., Aug, 10, 1861, and served until it was disbanded by order of Gen, McClellan. His son, Ambert
F., enlisted in 1862 in Co, F, 130th N. Y., which in 1863 was the 1st N. Y. Dragoons, and served until the close
of the war and was wounded May 8, 1864, at the battle of the Wilderness. He is a member of Stephen T. Bartle Post,
No, 183, G. A. R., of Cuba James K. another son enlisted in 1861, in Co, E, 93d N. Y., was discharged in /862 on
account of sickness and died at Belfast Nov. 18, 1862. A daughter, Florence A., married George Sherman and died
in 1871, Another son, Edwin E., enlisted in 1863, in Battery M., 1st U. S. Artillery, and served during the war.
Mr. Quinton himself belongs to A. K. Thorpe Post, G. A. R., No. 86, of Belfast, He it was who, with J. S. Pitt
of Short Tract, organized "The Allegany County Grand Army Corps," that attracts so much attention and
applause, Every member is an "old vet," This corps has eleven pieces and a drum major, and is open for
engagement at parades, drills, celebrations, etc. For terms, etc., address J. S. Pitt, Short Tract, N. Y. This
drumcorps is perpetuated by Major McFlipp of the Elmira Telegram in a poem which concludes thus:
I hear the fifer's shrill trill-rill-ra
And the rat-tat-tat and rum-tum-trum
Of the double drag and big bass drum
Of the Short Tract Band-the Veteran corps
Bowed and grizzled, who long before,
Thrilled men's souls as they marched away
From these same hills on a summer day,
O. music of harps on the golden shore,
When our lamp goes out forever more,
As it floats along the shining strand,
Not sweeter will be than the Short Tract Band
Robert Renwick, Jr., was born June 29, 1804, in the Parish of Hobkirk, Roxborough Co., Scotland. He came to this
country when he was 13 years old with his father Robert Renwick, 3 brothers and 2 sisters, who settled in Angelica,
He went to school winters and worked out summers chopping and clearing land till after he was 21 when he began
teaching winters, He taught 2 or 3 terms at Caneadea, and one at Transit Bridge, About 1833 he commenced selling
goods for Sherman Bros, of Angelica, putting in his capital of $30, at Hopperville. He soon commenced business
for himself. In the big flood his store was carried away, He then occupied Dr. Davis' office until he built him
a store on the hill, which was the second building built in what is now called Belfast. He was in the mercantile
business over 3o years. He married Aug. 13, 1835, Harriet Ketchum, They had 8 children; 3 died in infancy, the
others are: Margaret, Bowman, Bruce, George and Sabrina. Mr. Renwick died Jan. 19, 1865, Harriet Renwick was born
Nov. to, 1811, in Greene, Chenango Co., N. Y. Her father, George Ketchum. settled on a farm 2 miles below Belfast
now Oramel when Harriet was 2 years old. When she was 19 she commenced teaching, and taught several terms on Gleason
Hill, She and other ladies had the cemetery cleared and fenced, also the village park fenced. She and her husband
worked hand in hand in helping the poor and those in trouble. She died March 12, 1860,
Newland C. Saunders, son of Harvey, was born in Franklinville Cattaraugus Co., in 1845. In 1857 he came to Belfast
and clerked in the store of Saunders Bros, About 1845 he bought his brothers' interest and has since carried on
a general store, He also has a drugstore and is one of the leading merchants of Belfast. Mr. Saunders has been
a member of the school board for several years, In 1875 he married Julia Jennings. They have 1 son and 2 daughters,
Captain Robert R. Seeley, son of Eber S. (who with his twin brother Silas, natives of Vermont, settled in Allen),
was born July 13, 1837, in Allen, and was educated at Genesee Valley Seminary. In 1860 he was graduated from Bassini's
Musical School at Geneseo, and has taught music for 25 years, In 1862 he raised Co, I of the 160th N. Y. S. V.,
was its first lieutenant and was promoted to captain. He was wounded at the Battle of Pleasant Hill, April 9, 1864.
He served until the close of the war and was mustered out at Savannah, Ga. He is a charter member of A. K. Thorpe
Post, No, 86, G. A. R., was senior vice commander at organization and for 8 consecutive years was commander, He
was supervisor of Allen 2 years, and made his residence in Belfast in 1882, where he was elected justice of the
peace in 1894. In 1870 he married Jane Armstrong, and has 2 children, Frank E. and Charles R. Frank E. had scarlet
fever when 18 months old, and his hearing was so impaired that he is being educated at the Western New York Institute
for Deaf Mutes,
John J. Shuart, one of the 1838 pioneers of Allen, was a native of New Jersey. He married Ruth Lounsbery, and had
9 children, In 1852 he moved to Belfast, He was a farmer. Charles D., son of John, was born Jan, 18, 1842, in Allen,
He enlisted Sept. 3, 1864, in Co, F, 1st N. Y. Dragoons, and served until the close of the war. He was a charter
member of A. K. Thorpe Post, and is quartermaster, which office he has held several years, In 1865 Mr. Shuart married
Gertrude D., daughter of Justus H. Neeley. They had 3 children, Ruth A. (Mrs. J. D. Swift), resides in town, Fred
W. and Bruce C., both deceased, Mr. Shuart has held the office of assssor 4 years. He has been engaged in farming
since the war, The family are members of the Baptist church. Matthew Lounsbery, born in New Jersey in 1799, came
to Belfast in 1824 and bought a tract of wild land in the southwest corner. He married Eliza Shuart, had to children,
and transformed the forest into fruitful acres and a pleasant home, He died April 19, 1884, his wife June 14, 1886.
Benjamin S. Snider, son of Benjamin, was born June 14, 1821, in Rushville, N. Y. In 1824 his father moved to Centerville
where he engaged in farming. His mother was Charity Green, She had 12 children. Benjamin Snider died in Granger,
Benjamin S. Snider married Priscilla Very, They had 5 children, 2 died in infancy, He married, second, Hannah Webster.
Mr. Snider enlisted in Co. D. 64th Regt, N. Y. S. V. He was discharged in November, 1864, by a special order of
Hon. E, M. Stanton, U, S. Secretary of War, He was wounded at the battle of Chancellorsville by a gunshot in the
right temple, was taken prisoner and was 20 days in Libby prison. He is a member of A. K. Thorpe Post, and has
been a resident of Belfast since the war.
Seth Weed Lowell, son of Gideon, was born in Portage, N. Y., in 1845, He was in trade as a harness maker in Fillmore
for ten years. In 1883 he engaged in evaporating fruit at Olcott; in 1890 he was at Brockville, Canada, In 1891
he located at Whitby, Canada, where he does an extensive business, employing 75 hands in the evaporating season.
In 1868 he married Jennie Snider, daughter of B, S. Their children are F. Fern and James Russell, The daughter
graduated in 1894 from Geneseo Normal School and went as a teacher to Rockville Center.
Rev. C D. Swift was born in Burlington, Vt., Sept. 20, 1809. In 1823 his father, Wyatt Swift, brought his family
to New Hudson. Rev. Mr. Swift has preached since 1832 and has been a resident of Belfast since 1839, He was ordained
a clergyman of the Methodist church Oct, 14, 186o. He married Rebecca Tibbetts and has had 12 children,
M. D. Tarba was born in 1854 at Ontario, N. Y., was educated at the public schools of Ontario and Webster, graduating
at the latter place in 1875. He possesses business and executive ability, He built the heading mills at Oakfield,
and has been a burner and dealer in charcoal and owned the "Tarba camp" at Oakfield, He was originator
and organizer of "The M. D. Tarba Mf'g Co." of Rochester, and is a successful business operator. He married
Frances M. Homer, and settled at Belfast in the fall of 1894.
Cosanus Thurston, son of Nathan, was born in Farmington, Pa., in 1833, June 8, 1865, he located at Friendship,
and pursued his trade of carpenter and joiner, In 1870 he married his third wife, Ruth A. Wales, They have two
children. Mr. Thurston's first wife was Deborah Ann Watson, and his second Henrietta Burt. Since 1890 Mr. Thurston
has been a resident of Belfast.
Elijah Very came to Belfast from New Hampshire when a lad with his father, Samuel, about 1815, and on attaining
manhood married Olive Crawford. After a few years of life here he moved to a farm he purchased in Caneadea, where
he died in 1883. Of his 7 children 3 are living. John C, Very, son of Elijah, was born March 17, 1831, and in 1852
married Mary Wheeler. He has been a butcher and farmer, and has lived in Belfast since 1860, and has been constable
and collector 3 years, The family are adherents of the Methodist church. Charles Very, only child of John C., was
born in 1857, married Lillian Russell and has one child, Ella Irene.
Benjamin T. Willis, son of Leonard and Mary M. (Wicks) Willis, was born in Minerva, Essex Co., June 2, 1830. He
became a clerk in 1848, and 3 years later opened a store in his native town and was postmaster there under Pierce's
and Buchanan's administrations, In 1857, with his brothers, Woodward and Rodney, he came to Belfast and opened
a general store which he kept for 20 years until it was burned, Then, after 3 years' partnership in a meat market
with E, Warner, Mr. Willis again engaged in merchandising with I. S. Hunt as Willis & Hunt; after 4 years the
firm became as now, B. T. Willis & Son, They sell drugs and groceries. Mr. Willis also does a general insurance
business, He is a Democrat, and, although having a majority vote of 75 against him to overcome, he was elected
supervisor in 1871, 1881, 1882, 1883, 1884, 1885, and was appointed postmaster of Belfast in 1894, He married Mary
F. Champney in 1858, Two of their three sons are living.
Warren Wilkinson, son of Eber G., was born in Clarksville, Dec. 31, 1854. When 15 years old be went to work in
a cheese factory, thoroughly learning the business, and has all his life since been a practical and successful
cheesemaker. In 1880 he purchased the White Creek cheese factory, and has since conducted it. He married in 1880
Anna J. Drake, They have one child, Eber G. Mr. Wilkinson is a member of Western Union Lodge. F. & A. M., Van
Campen Lodge, I. O. O. F., and Belfast and Oramel Tent, No. 47, K. O. T. M.
Stephen Wilson, son of Stephen and (Cogswell) Wilson, was born in Montrose, Susquehanna Co., Pa., April 13, 1808,
When to years of age his parents moved to Wysox, Bradford Co., Pa, They subsequently settled in West Almond, and
in 1829, moved to Belfast, where Stephen Wilson lived until his death, Feb. 27, 1895. From his father he inherited
much of the Scotch trait of character, and was a man of pronounced political and religious views. In his time he
was prominent in local politics, and for many years without interruption held some town office, having been supervisor,
highway commissioner and justice of the peace. During the early seventies he was one of the 3 leaders in a successful
fight against bonding the town for a proposed railroad. In politics he was first a Democrat second a member of
the Free Soil party and a Republican from the founding of that party ever after, In the early years of Universalism
in this county he was a prominent Universalist layman; and there were few Universalist ministers in northern Allegany
who did not partake of his hospitality. The "whirlwind" of 1838 tumbled his new frame barn down upon
him and his team of horses, and hurt him considerably. The house, a nearly new frame dwelling, was unroofed and
partially moved from its foundation walls, while pieces of the siding were carried into West Almond. These boards
were painted red, and the house was the only red one in the path of the cyclone. His infant daughter was taken
from the cradle by her mother when the storm struck the house. A heavy stone from the chimney was subsequently
found lying on the pillow where the infant's head had rested but a short time before, In 1832 Stephen Wilson married
Martha A., daughter of John McKeen, who died in 1889. Mr. McKeen was a native of Belfast, Maine, and a member of
the first board of assessors here, In 1839 he emigrated to Texas, Of the 5 children of Stephen Wilson, Oscar and
George W. are living, Oscar Wilson was born in 1836, married Mary A. Crandall and has 2 children, E. Manley, who
was educated at the Genesee Valley Seminary and graded schools, and Edith.
[Also see History
of Belfast, N. Y.]