Rev. Ferdinand DeWilton Ward Livingston, Genesee, Monroe facing 401
Samuel Warren Livingston, Herkimer 424
John Weidman Livingston 224
Harlow Willard Wells, Dr. Livingston, Oswego 466 - 467
Erastus West Livingston facing 370
Lucy M. West Livingston facing 370
Charles E. Whaley Livingston between 436 and 437
John White Livingston 361
William M. White, Hon. Livingston, Oneida, Saratoga 214
Reuben Whiteman Livingston 193 - 194
William Whitmore Livingston 348
Matthew Wiard Livingston facing 430
George Wilhelm Livingston,Steuben, Yates 336
George Williams, Col. Livingston 280 – 281 – 282
Buell D. Woodruff Livingston 378 – 379
George Zerfass Livingston 204 -205
SAMUEL P. ALLEN
The earliest known ancestor of Samuel Percival ALLEN is Edward ALLEN, who, according to tradition in the family, was a soldier under Cromwell, and came to this country upon the Restoration. He was of Ipswich, Essex County, Massachusetts, 167O, and died Nov. 22, 1696. The subject of this notice is of the seventh generation, and is the grandson of Apollos ALLEN, who came from Gill, Franklin County, Massachusetts, to Smyrna, Chenango County, N. Y., in 1797. His father, Marsena ALLEN, was then but eight years old, and died in Mt. Morris, June 18. 1861. His mother was Hannah G. PERCIVAL, sister of James PERCIVAL, a newspaper editor in Moscow and Geneseo, from 1821 until 1832. Her father served in the Revolutionary war from Lee, Berkshire County, Massachusetts.
Samuel P. ALLEN was born in Smyrna, Chenango County, October 21, 1814, and came to Geneseo in 1830, where he became an apprentice at the printing business in the office of the Livingston Register; Between 1832 and 1836 he went to school, worked upon a farm and in a printing office, and in September, 1837, commenced the publication of the Livingston Republican. Disposing of it in 1846, he purchased an interest in the Rochester Daily Democrat and as assistant and chief editor continued until 1864. In 1870 and for four years thereafter, he was half owner of the Chenango Telegraph. Returning to Geneseo in 1874, he repurchased the Livingston Republican, with which he is still (1881) connected. Mr. ALLEN was elected Clerk of Livingston county in 1840; Clerk of the State Senate in 1856, and reelected in 1858; was appointed Collector of Internal Revenue for Monroe and Orleans counties in 1863, by President Lincoln, and continued in that office six years; was appointed Assistant Clerk of the Assembly for seven years, ending with the session of 1879, and many times served upon the Whig and Republican State Committees and as a delegate to State Conventions.
Mr. ALLEN was married in 1838 to Harriet C. STANLEY, daughter of Luman STANLEY, of Mt. Morris, an early pioneer of that town. Three of their six children are living; a daughter who was teaching in Detroit, died in 1872, and two others who were teaching in the Normal School at Geneseo, died in 1876.
Mr. ALLEN and his wife visited California in 1878, passing several weeks at Salt Lake City, San Francisco, Big Trees, Yosemite, Lake Tahoe, etc. (Page 388)
JAMES LAWRENCE ALVERSON, LL. D.
James Lawrence ALVERSON LL. D., was born in the town of Seneca, Ontario County, N. Y., Oct. 6, 1815. His father, Stephen ALVERSON, was the son of Uriah ALVERSON, who died in Cazenovia, Madison County, N. Y., at the age of one hundred and two years, having lived an honored and useful life.
Stephen ALVERSON married Amy SMITH, the daughter of David SMITH, and to them were born ten children. After their marriage, they lived awhile in Utica, Oneida County, N. Y., where their eldest child, Richard, was born. They then removed to the residence of Mr. SMITH in Seneca Falls, near Geneva, where their other children were born.
In 1818, Stephen ALVERSON removed to Perry, Wyoming County, N. Y., which was then in the midst of a dense forest, and connected with neighboring places only by an Indian trail. Mr. ALVERSON was a pioneer, both at Seneca Falls and Perry. He and his family were hardy and knew how to endure privation and toil. He and his wife were consistent Christians. She was distinguished for superior natural abilities, great discernment and practical wisdom.
Dr. ALVERSON was fortunate in having such parents, from whom he inherited a fine constitution, and under their training and example he was prepared for the noble and successful career he pursued. He remained with his parents on the farm in Perry till his eighteenth year when he became a student in Genesee Wesleyan Seminary. From his early childhood he manifested great love for study, and devoted all the time he could command, to reading. He was thoughtful and earnest in his inquiries, and his conduct was in every way becoming and exemplary. At the early age of eleven he became a member of the church. This course was then much more unusual than now. His mother regarded him as a Christian from the age of five years.
After completing his preparatory studies in the Seminary, he entered the Wesleyan University, at Middletown, Conn., from which he graduated with honor in 1838. On the sixth of the following September he married Emily BENNETT, the daughter of Jeremiah and Mary BENNETT. She was descended from a hardy, pioneer family. Her grandfather, James BENNETT, emigrated from Vermont to Genesee County when it was a wilderness, driving nine horses and a yoke of oxen the entire distance, over roads almost impassable. He was a good and influential man, and though a layman he established and conducted religious services in the community where he resided till the services of a clergyman could be obtained willing to share their hardships. Her parents were worthy people, highly respected and esteemed. Her father lived a life of strict integrity and usefulness, and her mother gave a noble example of cheerfulness, equanimity and self-denial.
After his graduation, Dr. ALVERSON became the principal of an academy in Elmira, N. Y., and in 1841 a teacher in the Oneida Conference Seminary, now the Central New York Conference Seminary, located in Cazenovia, N. Y. In 1844 he became a teacher in Genesee Wesleyan Seminary, of which he became principal in 1847. From 1849, till his death, he was the Professor of Mathematics in Genesee College. In 1860 he received from his Alma Mater, Wesleyan University, the degree of LL. D., and at different times, from other sources, testimonials of the high respect in which he was held. He labored faithfully and earnestly in the discharge of his duties, and with increasing influence and fame. He held a high rank among the scholars and educators of the country. Having naturally a good constitution, his habits being regular, temperate and in every respect exemplary, he gave promise of a long life. Unfortunately he was led to make unusual exertions under unfavorable circumstances, and as a consequence he was violently seized by disease, and after a brief but very painful illness, he died, Sept. 12, 1864. His premature death caused a profound sensation, and cast a dark shadow of gloom over the literary institutions of Lima and the whole community. A large concourse of people, many coming from a distance, gathered at his funeral to show for him their respect and esteem. The sermon was preached by his intimate friend, Rev. Joseph Cummings, D. D., LL. D., President of the Wesleyan university, who as a former President of Genesee College, had been associated with him in his work in that institution and also in other difficult and very important works. He died with a full and joyful assurance of the favor of the Redeemer, to whose service he had consecrated his life. His Christian death was a fitting close to an honorable, useful, devoted life. Of him we may well say “ Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord, from henceforth: Yea ! saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors; and their works do follow them.”
Dr. ALVERSON was a man of marked and varied abilities. His personal appearance was fine and indicative of true dignity and esthetic tastes. His habits and demeanor, even in minute things, were faultless. Whoever met him recognized him as a gentleman of refinement and culture. He had a lofty scorn of all that is low, mean and degrading. He was usually calm and had great self-control. Like all men of delicate feelings, he was retiring and reserved to all but intimate friends, hence he was often misunderstood, and termed cold and unfeeling; but when he was aroused by real distress and calamity to others, his flowing tears and strong emotions indicated a warm and noble heart. For years, with more than a woman’s tenderness and care, he cherished one bound to him by closest ties, who as an invalid was often helpless and endured much suffering, striving by personal attention to lessen her pain, disappointment and sorrow. He did not repine or become discouraged in adversity, but with cheerfulness used the good in the present and hoped for better fortune in the future.
He was cautious in forming his opinions but tenacious in retaining and firm in upholding them. He had great power over others, and great skill and tact in retaining his influence. As a citizen, he favored all measures that were calculated to promote good order and improve the best interests of society. His personal efforts were untiring to secure these objects.
His life work was given to his profession as a teacher. For this he was well qualified by natural endowments and acquirements; and considering his methods and the results of his work he had few superiors.
His mental powers were harmoniously developed and their action was controlled by a sound judgment and the dictates of conscience. His life, passed in the quiet of scholarly and professional pursuits, presents no wonderful or startling incidents. Most well ordered and useful lives are of this character. They may not exhibit the brilliancy that attracts, but they are free from the errors and indiscretions too often associated with genius. If there are no striking deeds that excite the admiration of friends, there are none that cause to them humiliation and shame while they give gladness and triumph to foes.
Dr. ALVERSON was not one of the multitude swayed by the will of the ambitious and selfish. He was an independent thinker and naturally a leader, exerting a powerful influence over others.
His work is not ended; his life is renewed in its transforming power over the lives of others. Though dead, he still speaks, and when his name shall no more be mentioned on earth it shall be remembered in Heaven. (Pages 486, 487, 488)
Oliver ATHERTON, the subject of this sketch, was born in Chesterfield, Cheshire County, New Hampshire, December 5, 1806. He was the second son of a family of seven children, four sons and three daughters. He remained at home with his parents, assisting his father on the farm, until 19 years of age, when he went to Warsaw, now Wyoming County, and in partnership with a man named Marvin, bought the stage route running between LeRoy and Angelica. This proved to be a bad investment, for his partner was unreliable, and he then commenced working in a hotel for Co. Wm. Bingham, of Warsaw, with whom he remained two years. After this he drove the stage for Gen. McElwain, from Warsaw to Moscow, and in 1838 commenced the grocery and restaurant business in Moscow, where he continued till his death, which occurred February 5, 1865.
Mr. ATHERTON was successful as a merchant, careful, prudent and industrious. February 27, 1839, he was married to Maryette, daughter of William and Clarinda KNAPP, of Perry, Wyoming County. They adopted a son who is as dear to Mrs. ATHERTON as though he were her own. He carries on the same business, begun by his father and occupied the same building until 1880, when he moved to the present large and commodious building near the old one.
In politics, Mr. ATHERTON was a Republican, supporting his party by his vote only, never interfering with others in their political views. (Page 343)
Allen AYRAULT was born in Sandisfield, Berkshire County, Mass., October 30, 1793. He passed the early years of his life at home assisting his parents on the farm and attending the district schools. He taught school a number of terms, and when twenty-one years of age left home and came to Geneseo, where he at once found employment in Spencer & Co.’s store, the * Co. * being Gen. James Wadsworth and William Wadsworth.
He remained with Spencer & Co. but a short time, going to Mt. Morris, where he started business for himself in general merchandising, but continued it for a short time only, having been appointed agent for the lands of Rogers & Murray. He remained in Mt. Morris until 1819, when he removed to Moscow, still retaining this agency. Here he engaged in the purchase and sale of cattle, pasturing them on the lands for which he was agent, and the profits from these transactions gave him a start in life. He carried on a large and lucrative business in Moscow until 1830, when he removed to Geneseo, having been elected President of the Livingston County Bank, which was organized in that year, and of which he remained President until the expiration of its charter and close of its business, June 30, 1855.
His management of this bank was characterized by prudence, untiring vigilance, and a watchfulness that nothing could escape. He made it his sole thought and care, and gave it twenty-five of the best years of his life, and during that entire period, though the board of directors was composed of many of the best men of Geneseo and vicinity, no occasion was ever found to criticize his official or personal conduct.
Mr. AYRAULT belonged to that class of citizens who give stability to the financial status of our country and character to society. He was a safe counselor and a judicious manager of his own affairs. His influence in all departments of society and in all associations for business. was characterized by modesty and diffidence, for his judgment (expressed without pretense and generally upon solicitation) was generally based upon reasons which demanded and secured concurrence. Mr. AYRAULT was a plain, unpretentious man, never a seeker for public office or honors. He affiliated with the Whig party, and strove in a consistent manner to enhance its interests, and was in turn honored, on several occasions, by nominations from his fellow citizens for important offices.
In 1841 he was a candidate for State Senator in the old Sixth District, including Allegany and Livingston counties on the west and running east on the southern tier and including Broome and Chenango counties on the east. In this contest he was defeated by James Faulkner, of Dansville, the Democratic candidate. He was elected as delegate to the Constitutional Convention which convened April 22d of that year and adjourned on the ninth of October following, serving upon several important committees. In 1847 he was elected to the State Senate from the Twenty-ninth District (Ontario and Livingston counties) but resigned after serving one session.
Mr. AYRAULT was President of the County Bible Society fourteen years – always manifesting a deep interest in its success and good work. In religious sentiment he was an Episcopalian, and a member of St. Michael’s church in Geneseo, and gave liberally from his means for the support of church interests and any enterprise looking to the advancement of education among the rising generation and the establishment of good society.
September 9, 1822. Mr. AYRAULT was united in marriage to Bethiah, daughter of Rev. Wm. LYMAN. She was born July 12, 1792, at East Haddam, Conn. Her father was born in 1765; and died June 5, 1833. Her mother was born in 1767 and died June 22, 1858 at the great age of ninety-one years, and their remains lie buried at Arcade, Wyoming County. They had eleven children, seven of whom are yet living, the youngest at the age of seventy-two years and the oldest ninety. Mrs. AYRAULT is still living, now in her eighty-ninth year, in possession of her faculties to a wonderful degree. Allen AYRAULT died at Geneseo, N. Y., February 4, 1861. They have had no children. (Page 395)
SETH S. BARKER
The subject of this sketch was born near Oriskany Falls, Oneida County, N. Y., August 30, 1801. His parents whose ancestors came from England in the seventeenth century, and settled in New England, were from Connecticut. Feb. 8, 1821, he married Sarah DURFEE, who was born in Fall River, R. I., and whose mother was a descendant from the old warrior, Col. CHURCH, of King Phillip’s time. Soon after his marriage, Mr. BARKER set out on foot with his knapsack on his back to seek a home in the West. In August, 1821, he came to Nunda and took an article for the farm on East Hill, where he now resides, selecting it on account of the large timber growing thereon. The place where the village now stands being then covered with pitch pine and scrub oaks, he considered it valueless. He then went for his wife and her mother, and returned in November with them to his forest home. The house to which they moved scarcely deserved the name, blankets being suspended instead of doors and windows. He was a person of few words, but deep thought, and though not appearing to be as vigilant as some was silently conquering troubles and overcoming difficulties little known to others. He has held several offices of trust, serving several terms as Assessor and Commissioner of Highways of the town. Being quite a mechanic, he manufactured many of his tools, while most of his neighbors had to purchase theirs. He kept well informed as regards the news of the day, both in our own and foreign countries.
Mrs. BARKER, as a weaver and spinner, was unexcelled. She wove cloth for her neighbors, made cloths and exchanged them at the stores for her purchases; also worked considerable at the tailor’s trade. While her husband was working in the timber, she nobly did her part working at her loom, and to show her skill it is stated that when only 11 years of age she wove 1,100 yards of checked dress cloth for a factory in Fall River. Mr. and Mrs. BARKER have been married 60 years, and have had four children, three of whom are now living, as follows: Munson O., who married Adaline RAWSON; Orlando W., who married Mary E. SWAIN, and Justus L., who married Olive L., daughter of Richard BOWEN, who moved to this county from Fall River, Mass., in 1825.
Time has dealt gently with this pioneer couple, and the severe hardships and trials through which they have passed have left but few impressions. They have been members of the Baptist church for over fifty years. Surrounded by their sons, who are living on adjacent farms, their path of life is, in return for untiring energy and industry, being beautifully strewn with flowers of filial love and veneration. (Pages 260 & 261)