Townsmen of Rushford, New York (Part 1)
A Centennial Memorial
History of Allegany County, New York
John S. Minard, Esq. Historian
Mrs. Georgia Drew Andrews, Editor.
W. A. Fergusson & Co., Alfred, N. Y. 1896

Amby H. Alderman, sawmill proprietor in Rushford village, is the son of Amby, born in Hartford, Conn., where his father John Alderman lived and died, came to Rushford in 1814 and bought 100 acres four miles northwest of Rushford village, of the Holland Co., at $3 per acre, paying for it in oxen, a pair at a time. He married Rhoba Johnson. Children, Sophronia, Lois, Amby H., Chauncey (dec.), Eluthera. Atha A. C. now Mrs. Evans, living on the old place, and Chauncey L. Amby H. was born in Rushford in 1822, married in 1845 Maryette Bishop and settled on 40 acres of the old farm. Children, Almond, Lutheria, Flora and Florence, twins, the latter Mrs. DeWitt Thayer, in South Dakota. children: Mary E. and Arthur; Flora married Homer Colburn, children, Ruth and Clyde. Mrs. Alderman died in 1878, and in 1880 Mr. Alderman married Mrs. Harriet (Tyrrel) Penfield, born in Massachusetts. They have one child, Arthur. Mr. Alderman enlisted in 1864 in 1st N. Y. Dragoons and served under General Sheridan whom he saw on his famous ride in the Shenandoah Valley, and at the battle of Cedar Creek. He belongs to A. K. Thorpe Post, G. A. R., at Belfast. In 1872 he came to Rushford village and built the steam sawmill in which he has sawed an average of 250,000 feet of lumber per year ever since. Since 1882 he has rented the basement of his mill to Woods Bros. for a cheese box factory, he furnishing the power; previously Wm. Henry & Son, now of Farmersville, had rented the basement for 5 years.

Romain W. Benjamin is grandson of Levi Benjamin, from Vermont, whose first wife was Nancy Willard. Children, Nancy and Betsey, the second wife was Abigail Kimball. Children, Sally, Lucy, Eliab, Almon K., Albert and Charles E., who was born in 1817 in the house in which his father kept the first postoffice, and one of the first taverns in Rushford. Charles E. was a farmer, married Huldah, daughter of John Lamberson, from Herkimer county. Children, Romain W., Arcelia (Mrs. George Hall), and Ralph L. (killed at the battle of Chancellorsville). Romain W. was born Aug. 20, 1840, on the old farm where his father was, was educated at Rushford Academy, taught his first school in winter of 1860-1, and his last in 1874, teaching 13 winters. He married in 1863 Ellen, daughter of William E. Williams of Freedom, who was born in Wales. Children, Charles (a hardware merchant in Olean, married Ella Michael, has one child Fannie M.) and Lucian L. R. W. Benjamin left his farm of 136 acres which he still owns and settled in Rushford village in 1892. His father, a successful breeder of cattle, became a specialist in treating their diseases, a calling which Romain W. early acquired, and to which and as an auctioneer he now devotes most of his time. In '864 Charles E. Benjamin, H. K. Stebbins and Robert Morrow built and run in Rushford, the pioneer cheese factory of Allegany county. Mr. Benjamin died in 1891. Romain enlisted in 1861, in Co. I, 27th N. Y. and was in the memorable Bull Run battle Sunday July 21, 1861. His division under Gen. Slocum left Camp Hunter at 2 A. M. marched 23 miles and went into battle with no breakfast and no rest, and got nothing to eat till Monday night when they reached Arlington Heights. He was discharged in August following on account of a rupture caused by the excessive march. Mr. Benjamin, always a Republican, served as justice of the peace from 1886 to 1894. He is special agent for the Society of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

William H. Benson is son of Amos F. and grandson of Samuel Benson, a native of Connecticut of English extraction, who came at an early day to Mt. Morris, and settled in Portage, where Amos F. was born. He learned the blacksmith trade, and married Julia Donahue. Childran, William H., Irvin, Mary and Eugene F. (a commercial traveler). Amos F. Benson moved to Rushford village in 1856, where William H. was born July 20, 1858. He attended the Union School, taught school two years then entered the store of W. E. Keyes where he was a clerk six years. In 1883 he formed a partnership with John G. James in the mercantile business, which now occupies two stores in the Kendall block on Main street. Mr. Benson has long been a member of the board of trustees of the Union School, and for the past six years its president. He was postmaster in Rushford from 1885 to 1890. He was supervisor of Rushford in 1889. He married in 1886 Alice, daughter of Rev. A. H. Johnson. They have one child, Harold.

Oscar F. Board is the son of David J. Board, who was born in Castleton, Vt., in 1792. He married Laura Woods from Windsor, Vt., a sister of Ely Woods. Mr. Board and his young wife left Vermont in 1815 and came to Olean, and in 1816, to Rushford. He established a blacksmith business on his farm in Podunk, now the home of Frank Board. Oscar F., the only child of David J. and Laura Board was born there Feb. 22, 1820. He was a farmer and married in 1848, Clarissa, daughter of Thomas and Clarissa (Woods) Richards, born in 1819. Mr. Richards was a native of New London, Conn. Mr. and Mrs. Board have two children, Frank and Anna. Podonque, or Podunk, was first called the Woods Settlement. Daniel, Ely and Riley Woods owned adjoining farms, William Woods was a little east of them and all were pioneers in that section. Albert Woods, a fifth brother, came later. Five of their sisters also lived in Rushford, Clarissa (Mrs. Thomas Richards), Lucy (Mrs. Calvin Leavens), Laura (Mrs. David J. Board), Maila and Louisa.

Homer Brooks, shoe dealer in Rushford village, is grandson of Joseph Brooks of Paris, N. Y., born in 1776, who married Thais Kendall, both from Massachusetts. Chapman, fifth of their nine children, was born Oct. 9. 1799 in Paris, Oneida county. In 1804 Joseph moved to Champion, Jefferson county, where he died in 1813. The family removed in 1816 to Otisco, Onondaga county, returning in 1820 to Champion, all but Chapman, who, with pack on his back, came on foot to Rushford. The first meal he ate in town was at Ephraim White's, all they had was hulled corn and molasses. In February, 1821, he married Maria Roberts in Otisco. They made their journey to Rushford in a lumber wagon. Mr. Brooks was a school teacher. Leaving home Monday morning to teach in another town, his wife would sometimes not see a person to speak with till his return Saturday night, their neighbors were so far away. Their children were Caroline (Mrs. Dr. William B. Alley of Nunda), Cynthia C. (Mrs. Charles W. Woodworth), Mary J. (Mrs. S. R. Remington). Homer and Amelia E. (Mrs. Dwight Atkins of Nunda). Homer Brooks was born in Rushford, April 22, 1840, in the Brooks Hotel, now the Tarbell House, which his father owned and kept over twenty years. When 14 he worked one year in the county clerk's office for William B. Alley, county clerk, was next a clerk for Wolcott Griffin, manager of the New England Protective Union Store for two years thereafter. He was then clerk in Hornellsville, later at Killbuck on the Indian reservation, and last for R. O. Smith at Olean. From 1864 to 1866 he conducted a clothing store at Corning, then was in the same business at Cuba until 1868 when he came to Rushford. For 15 years he worked for O. T. Higgins, eight years in his Rushford store, and then superintended the 11 stores Mr. Higgins had in different towns. Since 1884 he has conducted the first and only shoe store in Rushford. Mr. Brooks married, in 1864. Philinda, daughter of Elihu Talcott from Vermont, a Yankee peddler, who sold goods from his wagon in the South. They have two children, Frank (who married Rebecca Argue and has one child, Homer) and Talcott.

Darius Clark, son of Calvin and Clarissa (Ames) Clark, whose children were: Martha, Laura, Darius, and Hiland, was born in Mt. Holley, Vt., in 1821. His grandfather Goodyear Clark, of English descent, was a native of Connecticut. Darius came in 1844 to Rushford and bought his present farm of 8o acres on Rush Creek in 1868. He married Eliza, daughter of David Chase from New Hampshire, children: Monroe; Quincy, married Lottie Welch, children, Charles, Ralph, Clara, Guy, Harland and Rena; Irving, married Alma Lafferty, children: Orville, Bruce, Eva and Clara; Clara married Elbert, son of Isaac N and Betsey (Marsh) Baker, one child Clair: Flora who became Elbert Baker's second wife and has children: Colonel, Jennie and Eddie. Calvin Clark moved to St. Lawrence Co., N. Y., in 1820, where Mrs. Clark died in 1852 and he in 1868.

Mrs. Harriet Colburn, daughter of Asa and Abigail (Swinerton) Benjamin, was born in Rushford Oct. 31, 1823, near that part of Podunk called by the pioneers Wolf Meadow, where her father settled, in 1817, from Windsor, Vt. His children were Sylvia, Percy, Asa, Abigail and Harriet. Asa Benjamin was appointed justice of the peace in Rushford in 1817, and served 17 years. He was also a road commissioner. He died in 1853 71 years old. Harriet Benjamin and George C. Colburn were married April 11, 1847. He was the son of Charles Colburn who came to Rushford from Shrewsbury, Vt., in 1833, and settled on land now belonging to Martin Lyon. He married Nancy Wetherel. Children: George C., Caleb, Charles and Abijah. Charles and his sons George C. and Caleb built a sawmill in 1846 on Caneadea creek. After cutting vast quantities of lumber they sold the mill to Calvin Kellogg. Mrs. Colburn died in 1847, and Mr. Colburn in 1866. The children of George C. and Harriet Colburn were Wallace (married Mary J. Gray, children, Bertha, Ella and Harry), Flora, and Homer, who married Flora Alderman of Rushford. Children Ruth and Clyde. Mr. Colburn was a farmer and also a lumberman while the pine timber lasted. He was for a time highway commissioner in Rushford. He died in 1878 57 years old.

Charles J. Elmer, the veteran cheese manufacturer and dealer of Rushford, is grandson of of Joel Elmer, a Revolutionary soldier who lived in the Mohawk Valley. He was one of the pioneers of Hume, settling near Flanigan Pond, where he died about 1842. His son David, born in the Mohawk Valley in 1802, married, in 1828, Annie, daughter of Jacob Potter of Centreville. Children: Charles J., Lucretia (married Henry Brua, who died in A ndersonville prison; married, 2d, Asa Morse), and Nellie. Charles J. Elmer was born in Hume in 1830, and from common school advantages became a common school teacher. In 1851 he went to Pennsylvania where he taught school till 1856, when he came to Rushford and in 1859 engaged with Robert Norton in making pine-apple cheese. In 1864 Mr. Elmer bought the Rushford cheese factory which he has since owned and operated. He began dealing in cheese in 1862. His yearly operations for several years have averaged 40,000 boxes. He is constantly buying and shipping. He has also been a private banker for 28 years. He married, in 1855, Jane, daughter of Deacon Ashley of Freedom. Herbert C. Elmer, their only child, was born in 1860, prepared for college and graduated from Cornell in 1883. After a year's study in Europe and four years at Johns Hopkins University, he became professor of Latin at Cornell. He has a wide reputation as an author, and a scholar of original investigation. He married Bertha Beebe of East Aurora. They have one child, Basil.

Alonzo Farwell, son of Leonard and Susanna (Pratt) Farwell, was born in 1812. The same year his parents came to Rushford and settled on too acres now owned by Will Acker, adjoining Centreville. They were Vermont people and came in 1810 to Ontario, Monroe county. Their children were Armenia, Amanda, Arvilla, Roland, Alonzo, Aldula, Eliza A., Lemuel, Hannah, Charles, Clarissa A. and Sally. Alonzo was raised a farmer and lived from 1833 to 1838 in Stafford, Genesee Co. He married, in 1835, Electa, daughter of William Gary, son of pioneer Eneas Gary. From 1838 to 1843 they lived in Podunk, and then settled on the Fairview road, coming to Rushford village in 1885. Their children have been, Elsie (Mrs. Miles M. Tarbell), Ann (Mrs. William Guild, one child, Frank) and Albert, who married Viola Adams, one child. Dorrance. Leonard Farwell died in 1848, Mrs. Farwell in 1868.

Jedediah B. Gordon, son of William, son of James, was born in Rushford, Sept. 7, 1812. James came from Scotland when 16 with Burgoyne's army, deserted and became a waiter for Gen. Washington's staff. He married Jerusha Tarbell in Windsor, Vt., and Thomas, James, William, Tarbell, John and Willson were born there, all except Thomas came to Rushford, John and William in 1809. William married Myra, daughter of Eneas Gary the pioneer, a Revolutionary soldier. Children: Samuel and Jedediah B. Mr. Gordon's second wife was his first wife's sister, Martha. Children: Lorenzo, Castorn (Mrs. Avery Washburn of Kansas), Stanbury, Stoddard. Saloma (Mrs. Russell Bell of Sterling. Ill.), John Copeland, John Wesley, Asbury and Tarbell. William Gordon organized the first M. E. church in Rushford, was a local preacher, liberal in building and supporting churches, and an early abolitionist. Jedediah B. married Juliette, daughter of Eliphalet Hovey; children: Ellen, Albert, Mary. married W. H. Acker (a banker in Richmond, Mich) and Fred, married Jennie, daughter of Daniel C, Woods of Rushford. Mrs. Gordon died in 187o. He married, second, in 1872. Mary C. A., daughter of Israel Thompson, who came from Tompkins county in 1832. In 1838 Mr. Gordon was commissioned colonel of militia by Gov. Marcy. He has been many years assessor and supervisor. Although 83 years old he is vigorous in both mind and body.

Milton E. Gordon is the owner of Brookside cheese factory in Rushford which he built in 1886, and makes an average of 100,000 pounds per year. This cheese on account of its uniform excellence is largely bought by local merchants for their retail trade. John F., son of James Gordon, married Sophronia Adams from Vermont. Their children were Frank W. (married Cora Burr, children, Edwin B., Milton E., Nellie, Carlton and Louis, Lucy R. and Maria B. (Mrs. W. G. Young, one daughter Cora B.), Ella (Mrs. Bert B. Holmes, one child, John Lanning). Milton E. was born in 1857. When his school days were over he learned cheese making and worked in factories at Sheldon and Fairview before he came to Brookside. In 1879 he married Paulina, daughter of William P. Young. They have one child, Berthie.

Samuel A. Hardy is grandson of Samson Hardy, a pioneer of Rushford, who brought his family in 1811 from Cavendish, Vt. He was born in Bradford, Mass., in 1753, and married Mary Spaulding. Children: Polly (Mrs. Samuel Upham, born 1787); Rachel, (Mrs. Blakesley, born 1789); Lucy (Mrs. Matthew P. Cady, born 1790; Hannah, 1763 (Mrs. Ezra Nom born 1793); Lucinda (Mrs. Dutton, born 1795); Stephen, 1797; Samson, 1799; Betsey, (Mrs. Fayette Ely, born 1802); and Rebecca (Mrs. Phillips, born [804). He bought of the Holland Land Co. zoo acres on lot 37, at $2.25 per acre, and was a soldier in the War of 1812. His son Samson, born in Cavendish, Vt., in 1799, married in 1823, Sophronia Wright, from Westford, Mass Children; Rolon, born 1824; Susan, 1825; Samuel A., 1827; Maria, 1829 (Mrs. Andrew Kimball); Lucy, 1830 (Mrs. D. C. Butts); Webster, 1832; Sophronia, 1835 (Mrs. D. D. Persons); Asa W., 1837; Martha, 1840 (Mrs. A. H. Claus), and Mary, 1845. Samuel A., born in 1827, bought 95 acres of land, and married, in 1850, Catherine, daughter of Henry Young. Their son Elbert C. married Florence Hill; Children: Dazell J., and Elbert C. Mrs. Hardy died in 1852, and in 1855 he married Ann, daughter of Evan Williams; Children: Lucian E. (married Anna R., daughter of Charles B. Kendall; Children: Grace and Kendall); Catherine A. (Mrs. Dr. W. F. Wells; Children: WilliamA., and Herbert) and Martha E. In 1867 Mr. Hardy exchanged his farm for the old homestead in Rushford village, where he has served as justice of the peace.

James B. Haynes, son of William, son of James, was born at Helpstone, county of Northhampton, England, in 1883. William Haynes married Ann Mills, daughter of John Burwell and granddaughter of Bishop Mills of Peterborough, England. Children: William, John, Sarah, Elijah, and James B. The latter attended the village schools and worked in his father's meat market business and upon the farm till he was 21 years old. He came to America in 1854 and settled in Rushford. In 1860 he married Amy Edwards, a native of England. Their six children are Rebecca S., Jonathan E., Eben, Anna E. Ruth M., and David J. Their grandchildren (children of Rebecca S., Mrs. John J. Wilson. four), James M., Katie A., Leigh and Ralph. (Children of Anna E., Mrs. Fred McElheney two), Leslie C. and Amy A. Eben married Ethel Miller. Mr. Haynes bought his farm of 185 acres in 1877, for $5,900. He has been quite a traveler both west and east having twice re-visited his native England in 1876 and in 1888.

John Dezell Hill is son of John W. Hill who was born in 1814. one of eight children in Middlebury, N. Y., where his father, John Hill from Vermont. was an early settler. In 1828 Mr. Hill brought his family to Centerville, where he spent the rest of his life as a farmer. John W. Hill married Sophia McClure. Children: Jeanette (Mrs. M. M. Tarbell), John D., Wealthy J. (Mrs. W. W. Bush), Fred O. Sophia E., Florence A. (Mrs. Elbert Hardy) and Walter. He came to Rushford in 1853 and bought the farm of 214 acres now the residence of his son John D. Here he spent the balance of a useful and active life. He served the town as assessor, and as highway commissioner, and was supervisor in 1857 and 1858. He died in 1891. John D. was born in 1843, and has always been a farmer. He married in 1884 Esther, daughter of Charles Wilmot. They have two children, Milford and Winifred.

Henry A. Holden is son of Anthony Holden whose father, Benjamin Holden, lived in Charleston, R. I. Anthony married Maria Clark; their children were Joseph N. and Henry A., who was born Aug. 25, 1848. In 1871 he came to Rushford and engaged in the grocery trade. In 1875 he married Alice. daughter of Isaiah, and Allathyna (Green) Lathrop. Children: Mary, Ellen and Lathrop. In 1889 Mr. Holden moved to Buffalo where he is now in business, Isaiah Lathrop, son of Simeon Lathrop of Vermont, was born in Bethel. Vt., Aug. 2, 1805. He was for many years a school teacher, living in Pike before he came to Rushford in 1835. He was a hardware dealer here till his death, the first in town. He was a school commissioner from 1837 to 1842, town clerk in 1843 and 1844, supervisor in 1845 and assessor in 1850. He was one of the most active founders of the Rushford Academy, his name being first of the sixteen citizens incorporated by the Board of Regents as its trustees March 4. 1852. The children of Isaiah and Allathyna (Green) Lathrop were America, Julia (Mrs. Clinton Bond), Willis, Ellen, Janie, Mary and Alice. Mr. Holden is an active Republican, and supervisor of Rushford in 1888, '89, '93. During his last term he was chairman of the committee that built the new jail at Belmont. The fact that the appropriation of $15,000 was not all expended is worthy of record.

Charles F. Howard is the grandson of David Howard. a Welchman. and the son of Eleazer Howard who came from England and settled in Perry in 183o. He married Nancy, daughter of David and Hannah (Agett) Hillary, who also came from England and settled in Perry in 1830. and to Rushford in 1832. Eleazer and Nancy Howard had four children, Mary J., Emma (Mrs. John T. Moore, now of Oramel, on whose farm the first oil well in Rushford was drilled in 188o), Charles F. and Walter E. Charles F. was born on the George Cady farm in Rushford, and has always been a farmer. His farm of 85 acres adjoins that of his brothers on the road leading from Rushford to Hardy's Corners. He married in 1878 Carrie D., daughter of William Capen, of Silver Springs. They have three children: Bertha E., Maud M., and Clarence W. Mr. Howard is an active member of the Baptist church in Rushford. The Howard family is one of England's most distinguished ones, and is very prominent in New England.

Hiram Kellogg is son of Calvin Kellogg, son of Aaron of Cayuga county. Calvin married Sally Davis and came from Eden. N. Y., to Caneadea Creek in 1849, living in Caneadea till 186o, then in Rushford till his death in 1883, 75 years old. His widow died in 1891, 79 years old. Alice (Bartoo) Davis her mother, of French extraction, was born in Redding, Conn., Dec. 14, r783, and died in Rushford Oct. 28, 1884. She sewed a bedquilt of 840 pieees during the last year of her life. She married in 1799 William Davis and bore him seven children. of whom six were alive on her tooth birthday. Their ages added to hers were 518 years. Six generations were present. A representative of each, the youngest in its great great greatgrandmothers's lap, formed a group that was photographed. The children of Calvin and Sally (Davis) Kellogg were, Alfred, Cornelius, Hiram, Aaron D., Philander (a soldier, killed at Chancellorsville), and Orlena. Calvin, born in Locke, Cayuga county in 1808, came to what has since been known as Kelloggville in 1849, and in 1853 built a sawmill in the Gorge and ran it till the great flood of 1864 washed it away. Hiram Kellogg. born ft. Freedom, Cattaraugus county, April 8, 1836, was brought up in the shingle and lumber business at Kelloggville. He married in 1865, Sophia, daughter of William and Caroline (Swan) Chaffee. They have one child, Philander H. a graduate of Houghton Seminary. He is an artist, making photography a specialty. Hiram Kellogg owns 51 acres of land mostly devoted to small fruits and market gardening. The income one year was $r,o5o cash, besides keeping 8 cows.

Mrs. Betsey E. Kingsbury was the daughter of John C. Bassett, born in Windsor, Vt., in 1795, and Martha St. John, born in 1798 in Delaware county, N. Y., who were married in 1818. Mr. Bassett lived in Vermont until he came to Independence, N. Y. in 1827. In 1848 Betsey E. married William W. Kingsbury, son of Benjamin, son of Daniel. Benjamin lived in Cherry Valley, N. Y., where he married Joanna Jennings. Children. William W., Adelia, Daniel, Hannah, Benjamin, Alvin. Edward, Julia and Sophia. In 1830 he brought his family to Rushford and settled on the present Israel Thompson farm. He died in 185o, 71 years old. William W. was born in 1817, and became a carpenter, builder and contractor, living at Black Creek when married. His children were, Frank D. born Sept. 25, 1849, married in 188o Arlouine Smith, children Harry and William; George H. born Feb. 18, 1853, married in 1873 Laura, daughter of Sullivan B. Morrison of Rushford, children, Earl M. and Belle M.; William C. born in 1857, married in 1884, Bessie Willard, children, Jessie and Lynn W. William W. Kingsbury bought the farm now the home of his son George H. in 1835, but did not settle in Rushford till 1852, where he died in 1891.

Ralph Bonham Laning, attorney at law, is the eighth resident lawyer in the village of Rushford, his predecessors being, Abram J. Lyon, William A. Stewart, Albert P. Laning, R. Bonham Laning, Gideon L. Walker, Charles W. Woodworth and Asa R. Burleson. Ralph B. is the son of R. Bonham Laning. who was born in Dryden, Tompkins county, in 1827, where his father, Rev. Ralph Laning, who married Anna Pierce, a cousin of President Franklin Pierce, was a minister in the M. E. church, and had a brother, Rev. Gideon Laning, an eminent Methodist divine. R. Bonham Laning came to Rushford, read law with his brother A. P. Laning, was admitted to the bar in 1844, and settled the same year in Oramel, where he practiced law till his death in 1861. He married, in 1851. Helen, daughter of Luther Woodworth of Rushford. Children, Nelson, Ralph B. and Genevieve, now a teacher in Corning. Ralph B. born in Oramel in 1857 was educated at Rushford Academy, read law with C. W. Woodworth at Rushford and with A. P. Laning in Buffalo, and was admitted to the bar in 188o at Syracuse, where he stood at the head of his class and was elected its president. He at once became a partner with his preceptor, and the law firm of Woodworth & Laning existed till Mr. Woodworth's death in 1891. Mr. Laning has been the only lawyer in Rushford since. He makes a specialty of the settlement of estates, the foreclosure of mortgages, and the sale of infants' real estates, practicing only in surrogate, county and supreme courts. Mr. Laning married in 1880, Nellie, daughter of Gideon L. Walker. They have one child, Ruth W.

Rushford History Index

Rushford History
Rushford Churche History
Rushford People Part 1
Rushford People Part 2.

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