Citizens of Wirt, New York Part 2
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

Carlton R. Loomis, son of Ezra and Ann (Lamb) Loomis, was born Nov. 16, 1846, at Westfield, N. Y. When he was 5 years of age his parents removed to Forestville and here he was educated. In 1860 be entered the employ of the Erie railroad continued until 1865, when he went to Jamestown and was engaged in the drugstore of Hall & Moore for about 5 years. He was then for a few years in New York City with the N. Y. Central railroad, and subsequently was in the oil business with B. B. Campbell & Co., in Butler county, Pa. After remaining tnere 9 years, Mr. Loomis came to Richburg as superintendent of the oil field of the McCalmont Oil Co. of Pittsburgh. In 1879 he married Rebecca, daughter of James and Jane Parks. Their children are A. Gertrude, Charles R. and Genevieve.

George Maxson came to Wirt from Rhode Island about 1826 with his family, and located on the farm owned by Alvan Richardson. His wife, Eleanor Barber, died there in. 1852, and he died in 1853. Their children were Eleanor, George, Matthew, Lavinia, Job, Nathan, John, Moses, Nancy, David, Joseph, Benjamin and Polly. All but two or three lived to be heads of families. Nathan Maxson, son of George, came when a young man, married Sylvia Palmer and lived where his daughter, Mrs. Sallie O. Phillips, now resides, until 1864 when he moved to Illinois. They had 5 children, besides Mrs. Phillips, George L., Susan A., Russell J., Lydia O. and Martin L. Moses Maxson, who came to Wirt with his father, George Maxson, was among the early settlers of the town. He was a tanner and a shoemaker, and carried on both trades. He established one of the first tanneries at Richburg. He was a deacon in the Seventh-day Baptist church, and was chorister for many years. He married Martha, daughter of John Prosser. Children, A. Jeannette (Mrs. E. S. Fuller) and M. Laverne (Mrs. C. S. Cleveland, dec.) David was born in 1814. and in 1837 married Jane, daughter of Jared Coon of Alfred, and settled on the ancestral acres. He subsequently purchased the farm now owned by Owen R. Stillman, where he died April 27, 1877, his wife died June 6, 1886. Of their children were Melissa M. (Mrs. Martin Woodard, living near the old homestead), Harriet L. (Mrs. E. D. Gilbert) of Alfred. Garphelia A. (Mrs. E. B. Smith) of Pomona, Cal., Cassius M. (killed at Petersburg June 6, 1864. in honor of whom the Richburg Post, G. A. R., is named), Byron D. of Fresno, Cal., Alice (died young), Dr. Willis H. of St. Helena, Cal., and Albert M. of Florida.

James F: McGibeny, son of David, was born in Washington county July 6, 1833, and when 4 years old his father came ro West Almond. In 1858 James married Martha, daughter of Lutner Messenger, and located in Angelica, where he resided until 1888, when he moved to Wirt and occupied the Messenger homestead. Mr. McGibeny enlisted in 1862, in Co. B, 85th Regt., N. Y. V., was taken prisoner at Plymouth, N. C.. April 20, 1864. He was wounded and taken to Andersinville prison where he remained until November 20th, when he was paroled and removed to Annapolis, Md. He was honorably discharged June 15, 1865. He is a member of Cassius M. Maxson Post of Richburg. He was assessor of Wjrt in 1894. and supervisor in His children are Bert L., Elva Q., Inez L., Henderson L., Vinna L., Claud L. and Roy L. Luther Messenger came from Scott to Wirt in 1824 and settled on the place now owned by James F. McGibeny. He married Zilpha Morgan. Their children were Martha, Joseph of East Otto, and Mary E. (Mrs. E. Skinner of Hampden, O.) He died in 1889, his wife in 1878.

LaFrone Merriman was born at Richburg in 1859. His father taught singing school and also taught music at Alfred University. His mother was a singer and played the organ in church. His own first musical study began at an early age, and was continued in Buffalo in 1874 under J. Kuhn and Albert Poppenberg in violin playing, and L. G. Chaffin in organ and harmony. In 1876 he went to Boston, where he studied for some years under Julius Eichberg. Eugene Thayer. Bernhard Listemann, J. W. Tufts, Louis Mans and J. Harry Wheeler. While in Boston he was a member of the Philharmonic Orchestra under Listemann, playing violin. He also played in the Harvard Orchestra under Zerrahn and under Maas, Henschel and B. J. Lange. In 1886 he accompanied a party of eighteen pupils and friends to Berlin for study. While there he studied counterpoint, fugue, musical form and composition under Phillipp Scharwenka, and violin under Heinrich de Ahna, having access to the rehearsals of the Joachim Quartet at the Hochschüle, and where one of his vocal pupils was granted a free entrance and orchestra chair at the Imperial Opera as long as she remained in Berlin. His home has been in Hornellsville since he was three years of age. Several of his church and orchestral compositions have been given with success, and a number of his pupils are either abroad perfecting their musical studies, or are holding positions as music teachers in well-known institutions. Two of them are orchestra leaders (one but 15 years of age). Three fill positions in New York city. Five fill positions as organists. and a number are teaching in different parts of the country, Peoria, Ill., Brookhaven, Miss., etc. Mr. Merriman has been instrumental in giving the people of Hornellsville such works as Mendelssohn's " Athalie," Bruch's "Schon Ellen," Haydn's "Seasons." Beethoven's first symphony, Mozart's Twelfth Mass, Rossini's "Stabat Mater," and many smaller works; also two comic operas, "The Sorcerer" and "Doctor of Alcantara," His conservatory of music at Hornellsville is so largely patronized as to require to assistant instructors.

Cortland B. Nelson. son of John and Priscilla (Boyce) Nelson, was born in Cambridge, Lamoille Co., Vt., March 29, 1842. When Cortland was a child his father moved to Franklinville, Cattaraugus Co. In 1866, Cortland married Charlotte B., daughter of Lemuel and Charlotte (Almy) Bessey, and settled in Wirt where he has since resided. He has served his town as assessor. His children are Charles L., Albert C., Porter S., Edgar D. and Mabel D.

Frank Leroy Peckham, son of Cephas B. and Sarah E. Peckham, was born in Caneadea, Sept. 19, 1861. His first education was received in the schoolhouse on West Hill. For several years he attended school at the Genesee Valley Seminary at Belfast, a short time at Pike Seminary, and completed his education in the Geneseo State Normal School, where he was 4 years, finishing in the classical course in June, 1890. He began the profession of teaching in his own district where he taught 2 terms. Being successful he next taught 2 terms in Granger. Sept. 3, 1884, he married Myrta A. Seely of Belfast. In 1890 immediately after graduation Mr. Peckham was elected vice principal of the Genesee Valley Seminary at Belfast where he remained 1 year. He then became principal of the Custer City High School in McKean Co., Pa., at an advance salary, remaining there 2 years. In the spring of 1893 he was engaged as principal of the Richburg school where he has since remained. Mr. Peckham joined the Methodist church at Angelica in 1884 during the pastorate of Rev. Benjamin Copeland. In the spring of 1893 he became a K. O. T. M. and at present is a member of Park Tent, No. 17, Richburg.

Wilson Phillips, son of John, was born in Vermont in 1806. In 1828, when he was first married, he came with his wife, Eliza Z. Cady, driving his horse and wagon into Wirt, with 25 cents in his pocket. He took up 100 acres of uncleared land, cleared and cultivated it and made it his home. Of his 5 children, none live in town. He died in 1888, his wife in 1889. Warten W. Phillips, son of Wilson and Eliza (Cady) Phillips, was born Jan. 13. 1839. In 1862. Sept. 13, he married Sallie O., daughter of Nathan and Sylvia Maxson. In 1862 he enlisted in Co. H, 160th Regt. N. Y. V., and served his country until discharged Nov. 1, 1865. On his return he lived on the old homestead. In 1882 he removed to the place where his widow now resides. He died Feb. 13, 1886. His surviving children are Windsor, Viona and Grace.

The Pierce family is one of the noted ones of New England. Uriah Pierce was born in Bennington, Vt., in 1800. His wife, Millie Thayer. was born in the same town in 1798. They were married Oct. 14, 1821, and soon after moved to Spafford in this state. In 1835 they came to this county, took up a lot of wild land in Wirt. He built his log house and raised a family of 11 children: Harriet, Samuel, Jane, Mary, Uriah, Lyman N., Truman. Daniel, Henry. Sarah. Rachel, all of whom attained maturity. Only Lyman N., Truman W., Henry and Sarah (Mrs. Alonzo Shaw), all residents of this town, survive. Mr. Pierce died Aug. 28. his wife June 14, 1885. Lyman N. Pierce, son of Uriah and Milly (Thayer) Pierce. was born in Spafford March 3, 1831. He was formerly a carpenter but at present is a successful and practical farmer, owning lands in the town of Wirt among them the farm that his father Uriah Pierce cleared and cultivated and where he made his home for so many years. Lyman N. Pierce married Jenette, daughter of David and Antoinette (Cole) Brown. Mr. Brown was son of James Brown an early settler, who was born in Skaneateles, and came to Wirt and carried on wagon making. He died in April, 1872, his wife in October, 1872. Mr. Pierce had one child, Emma, who married Elmer R. Wilson and has 2 children, E. Pierce and A. Marl. Truman W. Pierce was born in Spafford in 1833. In 1863 he married Emily, daughter of Pomeroy Hannum. and settled on the farm where he now resides. Mr. Pierce has been road commissioner some years. His wife died in 1893. He has a daughter, Lottie M., who married Charles M. Crandall and has one child T. Lynn. Henry Pierce was born in Wirt in 1839. In 1864 he was married to Mary Almy of Wirt. He is a practical and progressive farmer. He has 2 children, Sally and Floyd. Sally married Benjamin F. Lane and has two children, Beatrice and Bernice. Sarah Pierce, born 1843, married Alonzo Shaw in 1865; they had two children, Bennie and Henry. Bennie married Minnie Sanders of Friendship. Henry died in September, 1894.

Walter G. Richardson, son of Alvan and Rebecca H. (Gray) Richardson, was born Sept. 27, 1850, in Richburg. His education was obtained at the Richburg Union Free School and at Belfast Seminary. He was brought up on the farm, and from (873 tO 1876 was in the meat business, was deputy sheriff in 1881 and 1882, and in 1883 he established himself in the clothing business, which he now conducts. Mr. Richardson served as town clerk in 1882, 1889 and 1890 and has been postmaster. He married Ada M., daughter of Andrew J. and Eleanor Jordan. Their children are Eleanor and Frederica.

James K. Robinson, M. D., son of James and Louisa (Hobbs) Robinson, was born April 13, 1844, at Lenoxville, Pa. He was educated at common schools, studied medicine with Dr. Woodward of Tunkhannock, Pa., in 1874 and '75, and for the next 3 years was engaged in the sale and manufacture of family medicines. He then practiced medicine in Deposit for a short time, when, in 1878, he settled in Clarksville where he remained until 1893 in the pursuit of medicine, then he located in Richburg, where he is continuing his business, and also manufacturing. In 1863 Dr. Robinson married Phebe White. They had 3 children, Nellie, Mabel and Carrie. Mrs. Robinson died in 1872, and he married in 1882 Melissa C. Dunn. Their children are Mabel E. and Edna B.

Isaac S. Smalley, son of Abner and Mary Smalley, was born in New Jersey in 1803, married Cornelia, daughter of Samuel Parrott, in 1823, came to Amity in 1824, and located in the northwest corner of Wirt in 1825, where he "took up " 100 acres of land and became a successful farmer. He also dealt largely in raising and buying cattle. He added to his farm until he had 500 acres. He died in 1880, his wife in 1875. Their children were Phebe (Mrs. H. B. Newton of Cuba), Abner of Friendship, Fanny (dec.), Andrew of Cuba, Squire (dec.), Emeline (dec.), Charles of Friendship, Mary A. (Mrs. Wm. Hicks of Wirt). Abner Smalley, son of Isaac S., was born July 17, 1825, married Martha E., daughter of James and Rachel (Armstrong) McMonager of Maryland. He resided in Wirt 8 years, then located in Friendship on the farm he owns, and has been a farmer and cattle dealer, and for 12 years road commissioner. His surviving children are Frank C., Mary S. (Mrs. J. L. Latta of Friendship) and Fred C. Frank C. Smalley was born Oct. 21, 1852, in Wirt. He married Matilda Howe, who died in 1885. Her children, Roy D. and Ned A. Mr. Smalley married second, Alzona, daughter of Charles and Mary (Rutherford) Moot. Their children are Richard C., Lloyd F. and Ruth. Mr. Smalley is a farmer, cattle dealer, and dealer in farm implements, Osborne's "Mowers and Reapers" and road machines.

Sheldon P. Stanton was born in Spafford, Onondaga Co., in 1806. In 1826 he came here, bought 80 acres of the forest, made a clearing and built a log house. He married Ruth Sherman of Cambridge, Washington Co., born in (803. Children, Benjamin F., Angenette (Mrs. William Townsend), Samuel S. Mr. Stanton died Feb. 11, 1888, and is survived by his widow. He was supervisor in 1845, 6, 7. Benjamin F. Stanton was born in Spafford in 1828, came to Wirt with his parents in 1829, married Joanna Smith, and became a farmer. Children, Sheldon L. and Lillian D. Sheldon L. Stanton was born Jan. 1, 1853, in Wirt. He has always been a farmer. He attended Friendship Academy. Since 1881 he has been a justice of the peace. He has been prominently connected with the organization and conducting of the Farmer's Alliance, and, besides other offices in its gift, was the first president of the County Alliance, and is its present vice president. He married Aug. 27, 1878, Arline V. Tanner, and has two children, Dora B. and George F. There are now 4 generations of the family living on the same farm, the homestead in Wirt. Mr. Stanton is a graceful writer as is evidenced by the history of Wirt in this volume.

Elisha Van Velzor came from Madison county, N. Y., to Wirt about 1828, and settled on the farm owned by H. J. Shaw. He took up a wild lot of 150 acres, where he resided for a number of years. He married Betsey Barret, also born in Madison county. They had 7 children. Their oldest son, T. Jefferson, married Nancy M., daughter of J. L. Thurston, in 1837 and lived on the farm on which he died in April, 1892, first settled by J. L. Thurston. His wife died in August, 1886. They had 8 children. Oscar B. Van Velzor, son of Thomas Jefferson and Nancy W. Van Velzor, was born in May, 1843, married in December, 1872, Mary E., daughter of Horace and Mary H. Butterfield. They have 4 children, Ruth. Alice, Vivien and Blanche. Mr. Van Velzor is a farmer on the old homestead. John L. Thurston came to Wirt in 1836 and settled on the farm now owned by O. B. Van Velzor. The latter part of his life he lived at Nile. He died in November, 1859. He had children, Polly (Mrs. Barzilla Burdick), Avis (Mrs. Wm. Burdick), and Nancy (Mrs. T. J. Van Velzor).

Josiah Wheeler, son of Amos, was born in Vermont, and came from Brookfield, Madison county, to Wirt. In 1822 he took up a lot of 150 acres and later brought his family. He built a log house which is still standing. His wife was Eunice Crandall. They had 11 children. Mr. Wheeler died in 1833, his wife in 1868. Four of the children are living. Calvin Wheeler, son of Josiah and Eunice (Crandall) Wheeler, was born in 1812. In 1843 he married Phebe A., daughter of George and Phebe (Wells) Maxson, and settled on the farm, where he now lives, Their children are Belle (Mrs. Charles A. Chapin of Milwakee, Wis.), Amos D., George M. (dec.), and Mary B. (Mrs. W. T. Eaton of Chicago, Ill.). Mr. Wheeler is a farmer, and has been commissioner and pnstmaster.

Simon Wightman came from Skaneateles, Onondaga Co., to this county about 1812, and took up a lot of 150 acres, whose timber he felled and hewed, made his house of logs, and raised a small crop for present sustenance. He married Catherine Allen. They had io children of whom 3 survive, William of Turtle Point, Pa., Morton and Simon. Morton was born Oct. 11, 1824, married in 1850, Calista, daughter of Rev. I. Knapp of Wirt, and Sally Stanton his wife. His children living are Mark A. and Luther L. Simon Wightman, son of Simon and Catherine (Allen) Wightman, born March 6, 1827, married Melissa S. Gilbert, Sept. 25, 1853. Their children are Rosa E., Frank M. and Bennie A. Simon Wightman Sr. and his wife Catherine were among the constituent members of the Baptist church of Richburg. organized in 1828.

Lathrop Wightman, son of Simon, was born in Marcellus, Onondaga county in 1820. His father moved to Wirt in 1821, and located in the southeast part of the town and was among the early settlers. Lathrop married Jane, daughter of Uriah Pierce, and settled on the farm now owned by his son, Elbert E. His daughter Harriet married T. H. Carryer. He died June 13, 1889. Elbert E. Wightman, son of Lathrop, was born Dec. 12, 1857. In 1877 he married Ella I., daughter of Joseph and Mercie (Chapin) Davie. They have 3 children, Nelson E., Herbert L. and Leon G.

William L. Wilcox, son of a sea captain, was born in Rhode Island Aug. 6, 1800, and died in 1882. When about 18 he came to Angelica, remained a few years, married Lovina Woodruff at Tyrone, then Steuben Co., and settled in Friendship where he made his home until 1841 when he settled in Wirt, and cleared the farm (on which he erected a log house) afterwards owned by Wilson G. Wilcox, his son. He had 12 children, of whom, now live. Lucy (Mrs. Charles Wescott of Rushford), Alvira (Mrs. John Van Home), James, Jane (Mrs. Delos West of Cuba), John of Andover, Mrs. Clarissa Dye of South Bolivar, and Wilson G. Wilcox who married Anna E. Wescott, and lives on the old farm. He enlisted Aug. 27, 1862, in Co. B, 23d N. Y. Vols., and served two years. He is a member of Cassius Maxson Post, G. A. R. Wilson G. Wilcox died Feb. 16, 1896.

Daniel Willard came to Wirt in 1815, and purchased a lot of 250 acres of wild land, and was one of the first settlers of the town. About 1839 he bought the Benjamin Crabtree farm, which his son Derrick S. now owns. Here Daniel Willard died in 1877. His wife, whose maidem name was Elizabeth Saunders, died in 1873. Their children were Daniel, Jr. (dec.), David, Lucy (dec.), Abigail (dec.), Denis, Miraett, Dewitt C. and Derrick S. Willard, who was born Feb. 23, 1835, in 1880 married Mary E., daughter of Azel and Julia Francisco Clapp. They settled on the old homestead where he devotes himself to farming. His children are Julia G. and Arville.

David B. Woodard was born April i, 1804, in Cambridge, Washington Co., N. Y. He was a son of John Woodard, and resided in Steuben county when he married Amanda Hall. She died in 1825, leaving one child, Warren P., who died in the army Jan. 16, 1863. In 1836 David Woodard moved to Wirt and took up a lot of 100 acres on East Hill. In 1828 he married Eliza Brown of Almond. Their children were Martin, Cordelia, Mary, Amanda, Prentice B., Lucinda W., Hezekiah D., John, Emily J., Elna E. Mrs. Woodard died April 20, 1871. He died Nov. 13, 1892. Martin Woodard, son of David B., was born Aug. 23, 1829. In 1856 he mamed Melissa M. Maxson. In 1862 he settled on the farm where he now lives. He is a farmer and carpenter. Children are Leman A. of Olean, Walter E. (dec.), Grant B. of Bolivar, Roy L. and George L.

Charles A. Woodard, son of Hiram and Orpha (Hendy) Woodard, was born July 6, 1847, in South Dansville, N. Y. In 1864 he enlisted in Co. D. 64th N. Y., and was discharged in July, 1865. In 1867 he came to this county, married Henrietta Horton, lived some years and moved to Miliport, Pa. In 1871 Mr. Woodard enlisted in Co. K, 4th U. S. Artillery (regular army), served two years in Nortn Carolina and then in the west, participating there in the fa.mous campaigns against the Modoc Indians. He married, in 1881, his second wife, De Francie, daughter of Warren and Eunice (Furnald) Woodard. Children, Frank L. and Gertrude L. Mr. Woodard belongs to Cassius Maxson Post, G. A. R. -

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Also see History of Wirt, NY.

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