John Honeywood Steel was a native of Massachusetts, being born in Leicester in 1780. He was the son of Samuel and Anne Garfield Steel. His grandfather, Samuel, was a judge of the county court; his great-grandfather, Thomas, was also a judge; his great-great-grandfather, Thomas also, emigrated from England to Boston, and was a descendant of William Steel, Esq., magistrate, counsellor, recorder of London, baronet, and lord-lieutenant of Ireland.

Dr. Steel was named for his great-uncle by marriage, Dr. John Honeywood, of England, who subsequently removed to Leicester, Mass. He left home when quite young, and his parents dying soon after, he never returned. He read medicine with Daniel Bull, M.D., of Saratoga. In 1829 he received the honorary degree of "doctor of medicine" from the University of the State of New York, and in 1800 his diploma to practice physic and surgery. In 1808 he was elected a member of the Saratoga County Medical Society, and during nearly every year from 1808 to 1832 held either the office of president, vice-president, secretary, or censor. During his thirty years' membership, he took an active part in its operations. He was president of the New York State Medical Society; he was appointed surgeon of the Fourth Regiment of Cavalry of the State of New York, mustered into service for the War of 1812; officiated also as assistant-surgeon on board a man-of-war, and was present at the bombardment of Algiers. In 1814 he was commissioned as surgeon in the New York State militia. He was a prominent Freemason. He was an official member of the Albany Lyceum of Natural History, and either an honorary or corresponding member of every scientific and historical association of note in North America, and of many in Europe.

Dr. Steel married Mary Taylor, sister of Hon. Miles Taylor, Dec. 23, 1817. His family consisted of seven children, of whom one died in infancy. John H. and Mary are also deceased; the others are Richard, Miles T., Sarah, and Ann. He died at Saratoga Springs in 1838. His widow survived him until 1872.

Dr. Steel was a notable man, devoted to his profession, and beloved by the entire community as a wise and good man. Politics was little to his taste, yet he fulfilled his duty as a citizen, and discharged his share of its burdens and responsibilities, serving acceptably as judge of the court of common pleas in Saratoga County for several years, and as postmaster of Saratoga Springs village.



Portrait of T.B. Reynolds

Tabor B. Reynolds was born in Wilton, Saratoga Co., N.Y., April 8, 1821. After acquiring an academic education he entered upon a course of study with a view to the medical profession with his father, the late Dr. Henry Reynolds, a well-known physician of the town of Wilton. He continued his studies with Drs. March and Armsby, at Albany, and graduated from the medical college of that city, in February, 1842. He was associated in practice with his father and brother at Wilton till the time of their decease. His father died Dec. 20, 1857; his brother, Dr. John Henry Reynolds, April 3, 1870.

The subject of this sketch, while residing at Wilton, was repeatedly honored with official position by his townsmen. He was town superintendent of schools from 1847 to 1852. In 1856 and 1857 he was elected a member of the board of supervisors, was re-elected in 1863, and by successive elections held the office till Dec. 31, 1867. In the fall of 1857 he was chosen by the Democrats and Americans to represent the Second Assembly district in the Legislature. He was a popular and useful member during his term of office. Previous to the war he was a Democrat, but upon the outbreak of the Rebellion he joined the party which was sustaining the hands of the government. He has ever since acted and voted with the Republicans, although since 1870 he has taken no active part in politics.

His services on the hoard of supervisors during the war were very laborious. He was among the most active and energetic in securing enlistments, filling the county's quota of men, providing for bounties, and making provisions for the soldiers generally.

In the fall of 1867 he was elected sheriff of the county by a handsome majority, and discharged the duties of the office till Dee. 31, 1870, with credit to himself and satisfaction to his constituents.

Since his retirement from office he has resided at Saratoga Springs, and has devoted himself exclusively to his profession. By his eminent skill as a physician, his honorable character and genial qualities as a man, his energy and strict attention, to business, he has built up a large and lucrative practice, and stands second to none in the medical profession of his village and county. He has been a leading member of the Saratoga County Medical Society, of which he was president in 1857. In 1858 he was elected a permanent member of the New York State Medical Society, and a member of the American Medical Association in 1860. He was also president of the Union Medical Association of Washington, Warren, and Saratoga counties, in 1872.

On the 17th of February, 1843, he was married to Sarah Ann, daughter of Linds Emerson, of Wilton, Saratoga County. She died Sept. 9, 1874, after a lingering illness.



Residence of John W. Eddy (with portrait)

John W. Eddy is of Scotch-Irish origin, - his grandfather, John Eddy, coming from Ireland, and his grand mother from Scotland. John Eddy, Jr., the father of John W. Eddy, was born Feb. 15, 1770, and died March 20, 1847, aged seventy-seven years, one month, and five days. Margaret Miller Eddy, his mother, was a daughter of Adam Miller, formerly of Germany, and was born April 3, 1774. She died Aug. 15, 1838, aged sixty-four years, four months, and eleven days. John Eddy, Jr., was formerly a blacksmith, at what used to be called Livingstone Manor, at a place known as Clairmont. He removed to Saratoga County in 1810, and went to farming, settling at what is now known as Eddy's Corners, near Saratoga Springs. John Eddy, Jr., and Margaret Miller Eddy had two sons and two daughters, - Maria, born Nov. 23, 1803, died Nov. 22, 1838; Samantha, born April 27, 1811; Daniel D., born Aug. 12, 1813; and John W. Eddy.

John W. Eddy was born on March 7, 1808. His early years were passed in assisting his father in farming. he received no education other than that afforded by the common schools of his day. In 1832 he married Hannah Maria, daughter of Moses Marshall, of Stillwater. He had seven children by this wife, of whom three - Elizabeth M., John M., and Margaret C. - are still living. Hannah M. Eddy died on April 5, 1844.

In the year 1845, John W. Eddy married Mrs. Syrena Collamer, having by her one son, James S., who is still living. She died Aug. 30, 1847.

Mr. Eddy married for his third wife, Martha Taylor, daughter of John Taylor, of Milton, on Oct. 17, 1852, and is still living with this lady.

John W. Eddy has never made himself obtrusive in any way, but has steadily pursued his chosen calling as a farmer. He was born a Democrat, and has remained true to his faith. He has filled, without seeking them, certain town offices of trust. He has never made any special religious professions, but has tried to make the golden rule his standard of duty through life. He has lived to a hale old age, being over seventy years of age, and is still active, energetic, and industrious. He has a beautiful residence at Eddy's Corners, which may be seen elsewhere in this work, has accumulated much of this world's goods, is surrounded by a pleasant family, and is respected for his plain, straightforward performance of duty by all who know him.



Oliver L. Barbour was born in Washington Co., N.Y., in the year 1811, but when quite young removed to Saratoga Springs. He is a relative of Reuben H. Walworth, and as the confidential clerk of the celebrated "Chancellor," gained a knowledge of legal lore, and "became familiar with those great legal principles, the elucidating of which has given him such an enviable reputation in the profession." His works hold high rank, having been commended by Chief-Justice Story, the American jurist, and other authorities of repute. He is author of the following treatises: "Equity Digest, embracing English, Irish, and American Reports," 4 vols., 8vo; "Collyer on Partnerships;" "Chitty on Bills;" "A Treatise on Criminal Law;" "A Treatise on the Law of Set-off;" "A Treatise on the Court of Chancery," 2 vols.; "Reports of Cases decided in the Court of Chancery," 3 vols.; "Reports of Cases decided in the Supreme Court of the State of New York," 18 vols.; and revisions of his "Chancery Practice" and "Equity Practice." Hamilton College has honored him by conferring upon him the degree of LL.D. He continues to reside at Saratoga, greatly honored both at home and abroad.



Judge John A. Corey, son of a farmer living in Washington Co., N.Y., was born at Greenwich, Nov. 5, 1805. Allen Corey, of the West Troy (N.Y.) Democrat, was a brother, and Sidney G. Corey, D.D., and Rev. Daniel Corey, well-known Baptist divines, were cousins of the subject of this brief sketch. He received a good common school education, and adopted the profession of teaching. In 1824 he established his residence at Saratoga, and, entering the office of The Sentinel, learned the "art preservative," with the late G.M. Davison, then publishing that paper. He subsequently turned his attention to the study of Black-stone and Chitty, in the offices of Judge Cowen, Ellsworth, and Nicholas Hill, Jr. He was admitted to practice in the Supreme Court in 1835, and advanced to the degree of counsellor in 1838. He was appointed examiner in chancery in 1836.

With a "divided love," he again, in 1844, went back to journalistic labors, - commencing the publication of The Saratoga Republican in the year named. He continued the same until 1853, when his successor, Thomas G. Young, merged it in The Sentinel. Although this was his last proprietary interest, he remained a contributor to the press until his death.

He was supervisor of Saratoga Springs in 1849, clerk of the board in 1850, '52, and from 1864 to 1867, and for several years a justice of the peace of his town. He was appointed county judge by Governor Seymour, in 1854, to fill the unexpired term caused by the resignation of Judge Bockes. The well-remembered "Carson league" prosecutions occurred during his term of office, and he fearlessly pronounced sentence upon all convicted of illegal liquor selling, to the full extent of the law. As the Democratic candidate for re-election the following year, he was defeated by the liquor interest, who put a third candidate in the field against him. In 1855, President Pierce tendered him the governorship of the Territory of Kansas, but he declined the honor. Soon after he was appointed United States commissioner by Judge Hall, and retained the office until his demise.

He was one of the founders, and for many years secretary, of the Saratoga County Agricultural Society. Early in life he married a daughter of George Strover, Esq., of Schuylerville, who survives him, with a family of one son and three daughters.

Judge Corey departed this life, after a lingering illness, the 29th of April, 1873, aged seventy years.



Dr. Joshua Porter was born in 1759, at Salisbury, Litchfield Co., Conn. He was the eldest son of Colonel Joshua Porter, a prominent man in his day, for more than fifty sessions judge of probate, and representative in both the Colonial and State Councils. During the Revolution he commanded the Fourteenth Connecticut Regiment, which formed part of the brigade of General John Fellows, and was present with his regiment at the surrender of Burgoyne at Saratoga. Colonel Joshua Porter died at Salisbury, Conn., in 1826, aged ninety-five years.

Dr. Joshua Porter, his eldest son, after taking his degree at Yale College, and in medicine and surgery, was attached to the Continental army as surgeon's mate.

While serving in that rank at the disastrous battle of Long Island, he was taken prisoner and confined in the notorious prison-ship "Jersey," but subsequently was released on parole.

During the early part of the present century, suffering from the opening of an old wound, he moved with his family to Saratoga Springs, then just in the dawn of their celebrity, in hopes of deriving benefit from their curative properties. Here he resided until his death, which occurred in 1831.

He was the first president of the village, his son-in-law, Peter V. Wiggins, being village clerk, and he was long remembered for zeal and energy in his management of municipal affairs. For many years he was one of the principal physicians of the village, and the contemporary of Dr. John H. Steel. He was elder brother of the late John Augustus Porter, of Niagara Falls, and of General Peter B. Porter, secretary of war, etc., and Eunice Porter, wife of Colonel Albert Pawling, of the personal staff of General Washington, and first mayor of Troy. Another sister, Sally Porter, was wife of John M. Holley, and mother of Alexander H. Holley, late governor of Connecticut.

Of Dr. Porter's five children, his eldest daughter, Augusta, became the wife of R.F. Barnard, of Berkshire Co., Mass., and was the mother of Rev. Dr. F.A.P. Bernard, present president of Columbia College, N.Y., and General John G. Bernard of the United States Army. His youngest daughter, Mary, married, first, Henry Walton Andrews, second, Peter V. Wiggins.



Portrait of Hon. John W. Crane

Judge John W. Crane is a native of Saratoga County, and is of English descent by both his parents. His paternal ancestors settled in New Hampshire about the year 1725, and subsequently that branch of the family from whom he is descended removed to New Jersey. His father was Justus Crane, who settled in Saratoga County about the year 1820, and died here in 1860. His mother, who is still living, in the eightieth year of her age, at Saratoga Springs, was Betsey, daughter of William Bridges, one of the first settlers of Ballston Spa.

John W. Crane was born Sept. 30, 1827, at West Milton, Saratoga Co., N.Y. At the age of fifteen he entered upon a course of studies at the academies at Saratoga Springs, and received a good classical and scientific education, chiefly under the instruction of that eminent teacher, Professor William J. Hancock.

In 1847, having chosen the profession of the law, he became a student in the office of Hon. William A. Beach, at Saratoga Springs; and, after a thorough course of preparation, was admitted to practice at the September general term, in 1852. In 1854 he formed a law partnership with P.J. Avery and Franklin Hoag, under the firm style of Avery, Hoag & Crane, which did an extensive legal business. After the retirement of Mr. Avery the other partners continued the practice successfully till the election of Mr. Crane to the office of county judge, in 1858, or, rather, till his assumption of the duties of the office, on the 1st of January, 1859.

He was nominated on the Democratic ticket. His opponents were Alembert Pond, Republican, and Lemuel B. Pike, American. The Democrats were in the minority in the county; yet such was his reputation for probity and integrity, that at the November election he received a plurality of three hundred and twenty-three votes over Mr. Pond, and a clear majority of forty-three over both competitors.

At the close of his eminently successful term of four years on the bench, he resumed his professional practice on the 1st of January, 1864. During his official years he had practiced successfully in the higher courts of the State, and had been admitted to the Supreme Court of the United States in 1861. He made an honorable record on the bench, and has the reputation of being one of the best office lawyers and most careful conveyancers in the county.

Judge Crane was elected supervisor of his town in 1863, and again in 1868 and 1869, and has also held various other positions of trust and responsibility in his town and village. Several noted cases might be cited wherein his abilities as a lawyer were signalized, but it is unnecessary where his reputation is so well known, and his general character in his official and professional life has been above reproach.

In 1876 he was again elected to the office of county judge for a term of six years, and at this writing is honorably discharging the duties of his station.

Judge Crane has always been a stanch Democrat. At the time of his last election he did not desire the office, and was nominated against his expressed wish. It was at the time of the presidential contest, when party lines were drawn more strongly than usual, and the county was Republican by a majority of about fifteen hundred, yet he was elected by a good majority, showing in what estimate his character and abilities are held even by his political opponents.

Judge Crane was married to Mary Martin, of Hartford, Washington Co., in 1852, and has one son, George M. Crane, who is a student at-law in the office of his father.



Portrait of Ransom Cook

was born Nov. 8, 1794, in Wallingford, New Haven Co., Conn. His parents, Joseph Cook and Mary Ann Tolman Cook, removed to this, Saratoga Co., N.Y., when their son Ransom was but seven years of age. Joseph Cook was a furniture manufacturer, and took his said son to work in the shop with him at an early age, he being found expert in mechanical pursuits. At the age of ten years he made what was called common chairs, - turning the posts and rounds in a foot lathe, framing, seating, painting, and varnishing the chairs. When twelve years of age, he manufactured electrical machines for several physicians in the county. The machines were thought wonderful as the work of a small boy. "The cracking shocks they would give, which were thought certain to cure all diseases for which there was no other remedy," greatly increased the wonder. The boy's success with these machines no doubt served to stimulate his propensity for scientific experiments and investigations, which has been a prominent characteristic of his life, attended with flattering success. He had never seen an electrical machine when he made these, only a poor picture of one. His education was obtained in the common schools.

In 1813, when he had entered his nineteenth year, he commenced work in the village of Saratoga Springs as journeyman, at his trade of furniture manufacturer. This he followed with various intervals for several years. At this time the land now occupied by buildings in said village was mostly covered with a second growth of white pine, - the primitive forest having been cut off for lumber. What is called the Upper village was then the principal settlement. Our present Broadway, now miles in length, was then mostly a pine grove. The inhabitants, about three hundred in number, were quiet, honest, and industrious. No prosecution for a criminal offense, even for assault and battery, is recollected by Mr. Cook, for several years after he commenced his residence here.

In February, 1818, Ransom Cook was married to Rachel Ayres, the daughter of a respectable and extensive farmer, living in the same neighborhood with Joseph Cook, the father of our subject, on the road between Saratoga Springs and Ballston.

In 1822, Ransom Cook, finding the inhabitants of the village largely increasing their demands for his services, purchased a place there to which he removed and extended his business, which soon became too extensive for his room there. He therefore in 1827-28 erected an extensive shop and spacious dwelling on South Broadway. He there also erected a steam-engine, and various machines for working and shaping wood and metals to his purposes, which were the first of the kind known in said village. These facilities enabled Mr. Cook to greatly increase the products of his shop in furniture, and devote a considerable part of his own time to the manufacture of scientific apparatus. These articles, after filling his own shelves, he sold to colleges and other public institutions.

Now, in another residence and in another shop, he still retains and frequently adds to his own supply of apparatus, as well as to his choicely-selected and much-admired library. Here, in this quiet retreat, to use his own words, his "books and plaything furnish him with all the felicity he desires, during those intervals from pain which neuralgia allows him."

We are admonished that in a work of this kind we have not room for more than an inventory of the events personally connected with such a long and active life as that of Mr. Cook's, nor can we give even those in full. In November, 1828, Mr. Cook was elected a justice of the peace, and re-elected thereafter for many years, regardless of the political changes in the town. An elderly member of the bar thus writes us on this subject:

"During the whole of Esquire Cook's full four terms, - sixteen years as a justice of the peace, - he was singularly successful in giving satisfaction in the discharge of his duties. His conduct was always careful and correct, never allowing himself to be biased or prejudiced for or against either party in litigation before him, and his honesty was never doubted. He acted with such rare good sense and intelligence, as well as strict integrity, that his decisions were generally accepted as final, and very seldom was any attempt made to disturb them by appeal to the reviewing courts."

He was also popular as an arbitrator, to whom cases which were then called large amounts were submitted. As a referee, cases were also referred to him from the Supreme Court, - sometimes on matters of account, but more especially those where the issue was on mechanical subjects.

Such references were not surprising to those aware of Mr. Cook's skill as a mechanic and inventor, he having obtained fifteen patents on various subjects. His first patent, obtained in 1842, was for a process for making wrought-iron and steel cannon. Our government, then fearing no war, declined to make the guns. The Englishman, Armstrong, as Mr. Cook learned at Washington, obtained a copy of his patent and specification, adopted his process, and has made a fortune of millions by it.

In 1842 he was appointed by our State government a commissioner to examine the mineral regions of our State, and obtain proposals for the sale of mines, with a view to the employment of our convicts in mining and smelting. This appointment was made without Mr. Cook's solicitation or knowledge, as were those to all the offices he ever accepted, - for he never applied for an office, but has refused many, and is still doing so. When the building of the State-prison was determined upon, its location was by law given to the governor, controller, and attorney-general. Mr. Cook had no vote or voice in the matter, as has been erroneously reported. But Mr. Cook was appointed, without his application, to the offices of both agent and warden of the prison, with the extraordinary authority to appoint all his subordinates, - physician, chaplain, keepers and guards, foremen and artisans, - the governor and Senate thus manifesting a strong confidence in the capacity and integrity of Mr. Cook.

Mr. Cook's management of Clinton prison was the subject of much commendation by the good and eminent people who became acquainted with it, as well as by the careful scrutiny of special committees, composed of such men as Governor Silas Wright, Controller Flagg, and joint committees of the Senate and Assembly. They found his discipline of the convicts to be even-tempered and humane. His mechanical skill and economy was manifested in so many ways that several pages would be required to describe them. The prison is a model one. The work upon that, the steam saw-mill, foundry, machine-shop, dwelling for his own and the clerk's family, with four or five other buildings and a large amount of machinery, including beautiful steam-engines, had prevented his erection of the forges for making iron before a change in politics relieved him from further labors there, - much to his pecuniary advantage but detrimental to the State.

An editor in Saratoga Springs, who had long been acquainted with Mr. Cook, spoke thus of him a few years ago in his editorial:

"His scientific attainments, all self-acquired, are of the highest order. His mind is well stored with knowledge on any subject within the range of human thought and investigation. His well-selected, library is his constant companion, from which he draws words of wisdom for the benefit of mankind, and his laboratory is ingeniously arranged for applying satisfactory tests to everything emanating from his inventive mind. He is a devotee to science, particularly as applied to mechanics. The archives of the patent-office at Washington contain designs and models by Mr. Cook which would do credit to any inventor in this country. By his improvement upon boring-implements he has conferred a lasting benefit upon all industries to which they are applied.

"Mr. Cook is a useful citizen, tenacious of his own honor and integrity, rather too credulous and confiding for a man who means to be honest himself and expects to find honesty in others; once deceived or imposed upon, no subsequent explanation or apology will restore his confidence in the man by whom he has been cheated."



The subject of this notice was born on the 15th of October, 1833, in Bainbridge, Chenango Co., N.Y. He is of Scotch descent. His paternal and maternal grandfathers, Charles McEwen and Josiah Hedden, were both eminent judges in the city of New York. The McEwens landed at Amboy, N.J., and thence removed to Stratford, Conn., where the old family residence still remains.

Robert D. McEwen, father of the subject of this sketch, was a merchant, and was brought up at Stratford, Conn. In early life he became a clerk in New York city: and subsequently embarked in mercantile business for himself at Bainbridge, Chenango Co. In 1834 he removed to New York city, where he continued to reside, having also a country residence at Stratford, Conn.

The early life of young McEwen was spent in the city of New York, where for nine years he was a pupil of the celebrated teacher, William Forest, A.M., whose school for boys was regarded as one of the best in the city. He was here prepared for college, and entered Williams at the age of sixteen. He graduated in 1853, and in 1854 took his first course of medical lectures in Yale Medical College, as student under Dr. N.B. Ives, of New Haven. During the years 1854-56 he was a student of medicine in the office of Professor J.M. Smith, of New York city, and graduated at the College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1856.

On the 1st of October, 1857, after examination by the medical board, and upon its recommendation, he was appointed by the governors of the almshouse junior assistant on the house staff of Bellevue Hospital, and subsequently occupied the positions of senior assistant and house physician, having resided in the hospital during the period of one year and a half, and having performed its duties in the several offices with credit and satisfaction, receiving the diploma of the hospital.

After a trip to South America, where he received a commission as surgeon in Her Majesty's service, and visited the Cape of Good Hope, Dr. McEwen returned to New England in March, 1860, and, at the solicitation of his friends, remained and practiced his profession at Stratford, Conn., till the 16th of August, 1862, at which date he was commissioned first assistant surgeon of the Seventeenth Connecticut Volunteers. He soon became acting surgeon of the regiment, and remained in that capacity till he resigned, on account of ill health, in September, 1863. After returning from the service he practiced in New York city, where he became a member of the New York County Medical Society.

In 1866 he removed to Saratoga Springs, where he has since resided, and has built up a successful practice, his learning and experience in his profession rendering him a very skillful physician.

Dr. McEwen occupies a high position in Masonry, being at present Eminent Commander of Washington Commandery, No. 33, K.T. He has also been for seven years a vestryman of Bethesda Episcopal church at Saratoga Springs.

His first wife was Caroline Armstrong, whom he married at Stratford, Conn. She died in 1864. June 10, 1867, he married his present wife, née Sarah Watrous, daughter of Andrew Watrous, of Saratoga. He has two children living, one by each marriage.



Portrait of B.F Judson

Benjamin F. Judson was born in Nassau, Rensselaer Co., N.Y., July 22, 1827. His parents removed to Hillsdale, Columbia Co., where he was brought up till the age of eighteen, at which time he went to the city of Hudson and learned the trade of a printer. He afterwards removed to Troy, where he continued the same occupation till 1855, when he came to Saratoga Springs and commenced the publication of The Temperance Helper, which he changed to The Saratogian on the 1st of January, 1856, and published about twenty-two years, a portion of the time alone, and the rest of the time associated with other parties.

In 1861 he assisted in raising the Seventy-seventh Regiment New York State Volunteers, raised in the county of Saratoga, which he accompanied to the field in the capacity of senior captain of the regiment. On account of disability he resigned, and returned home in the spring of 1862.

He has always been a zealous Republican since the formation of the party in 1856. He assisted in forming the first Republican organization of the county, and in 1856 changed The Saratogian, of which he was then publisher, to a political paper, advocating the principles of the new party. He established the first permanent daily newspaper at Saratoga Springs in 1869 - The Daily Saratogian - which has continued its issues without interruption ever since.

Soon after the election of General Grant to his first term of the presidency, in 1868, Mr. Judson received the appointment of postmaster at Saratoga Springs, and by successive appointments under each succeeding administration he has held the office ever since.

In 1873 he was elected president of the Editorial Association of the State of New York. The convention was held at Saratoga Springs in June of that year, and was the largest and most successful meeting of that body ever held in the State.

He severed his connection with The Saratogian, Dec. 22, 1876, since which time the affairs of the post-office have occupied his whole attention.

At Albany, in 1853, he was united in marriage to Miss E. Augusta Thompson, a lady of that city. The fruit of this union has been three children, two of whom (daughters) are living at the date of this writing - May, 1878.



Peter Vail Wiggins was born at Southold, Suffolk Co., L.I., June 23, 1793. He came to Saratoga County about the year 1820, first settling in the town of Greenfield, under the auspices of his uncle, James Vail, but moved to the village of Saratoga Springs, and commenced the mercantile business during the summer of 1822. This business he carried on successfully, and for many years was the principal merchant of the village.

Oct. 26, 1825, he married Mary S. Andrews, widow of Henry W. Andrews, Esq., and daughter of Dr. Joshua Porter. Four only of their children reached maturity, viz., Martha Vail, Augusta Porter, Mary Ellsworth, and Peter Porter.

The eldest daughter, Martha Vail, was married June 13, 1848, to Cruger Walton, Esq., son of Judge Henry Walton. Mrs. Walton died July 29, 1850, leaving two children. Mary E. Wiggins died Oct. 6, 1853; Peter V. Wiggins died May 28, 1862.



Lewis Putnam was the third among nine children of Gideon and Doanda Putnam, the original white settlers of Saratoga Springs, and was the first white child born at that place. During his earlier years he was employed in lumbering throughout this section of the country with one of his younger brothers. They transported their lumber to Schuylerville, and thence rafted it down the Hudson. His recollection of these good old days was always interesting, and it was with pride that he recalled the solid old log cabin of his birth, and the stump of a once immense tree in it which served for dining-table for the family.

In the War of 1812, he, as colonel of a regiment, went to Plattsburg and served until honorably discharged. He was first married on Feb. 22, 1813, to Laura Bradley, and by her he had two children, of whom Mervine G. is the only surviving one. She died Sept. 2, 1820. Mr. Putnam's second marriage was on Oct. 17, 1823, to Betsey Stillwell Alcott. Of the issue of this marriage, Dr. Lorin B. Putnam is the only survivor of seven children.

Mr. Putnam was born Aug. 12, 1790, and died on July 4, 1874, being nearly eighty-four years of age. He witnessed the development of Saratoga, from the log cabin and its stump table to its present size and prominence. His age covered the average of almost three generations, and has witnessed the growth of the Putnams to one of the largest families in the county. He filled several offices of trust, and among them that of trustee, overseer of the poor, assessor, and bank director. He built and, up to 1836, kept the Centre House, on Broadway, opposite to the United States Hotel, and in 1839 converted the building into stores. The spring which bears his name was discovered and first tubed in 1833.

In 1858, he became a member of Rising Sun Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons, and was a member in good standing at the time of his death. Mr. Putnam accumulated a handsome property, which has of course enhanced in value by the growth of the village. He was a man of sterling integrity and scrupulous honesty, being always ready to fulfill any obligation assumed by him. Though venerable in years, and having survived the allotted time of man many years, yet few will be more missed than Lewis Putnam, the oldest landmark of Saratoga.



Samuel Searing was born at or near Hemstead, Long Island, of Quaker parentage. He married Sarah Pearsall, sister of George Pearsall. Samuel, with his family, came to Saratoga Springs about or soon after the close of the War of the Revolution, and settled on the flat lands below the hill on which stands the house called the "Benjamin Putnam Place," about one mile west of the High Rock spring. He had six children - Richard, Nathaniel, Gilbert, Samuel, Margaret, and Sarah. The two daughters married brothers, John and Ziba Taylor, who were largely engaged in business (lumbering and merchandise)at the Ten Springs. At that time the Ten Springs was more of a business place than the village of Saratoga Springs.

Ziba Taylor's daughter married John H. Steel, for many years the leading surgeon and physician of the village.

Samuel Searing, Jr., settled at Fort Wayne, Indiana, and his descendants are numerous in that State. Nathaniel also married, and had three children, - Henry, Nathaniel, and Martha. Martha married a Mr. Worthington, of Albany, and the sons settled in Michigan. Gilbert Searing died a bachelor. Richard Searing married Elizabeth Thunder, and had by her Clinton, Courtland, Betsey, Laura, and Martha. He settled about one mile east of the village, on the farm now known as the Eureka and White Sulphur Springs farm, on Lake avenue.

He lost his wife, and married Hannah March, widow of William March: and daughter of Samuel Stanley. She was born at Jeffrey, near the base of old Grand Monadnock mountain, in New Hampshire. She was of English parents. She bore him three children, - Sarah, Hannah, and William M. Clinton never married. Courtland and Martha died young. Betsey married Leonard Adams, son of Jason Adams, an old resident of the southern part of Wilton. They settled at Cold Water, Mich., and had sons and daughters. Laura married Theron P. King, son of Daniel King, of Moreau, Saratoga County, settled about seven miles east of Troy, and had two sons and five daughters. Sarah married James Ingersoll, son of William Ingersoll, of Wilton, settled in the town of Wilton, and had three daughters. Hannah died a maiden. William M. married Caroline M. Huling, daughter of Beekman and Maria Smith Huling, old residents of Saratoga Springs and vicinity. He engaged in the profession of law, and practiced in said village, when his health would permit, up to the breaking out of the great Rebellion. He had six children, and was engaged in manufacturing when the President first called for seventy-five thousand men. He closed his factory and law-office, and responded to the call. He procured the necessary papers, and organized three companies, - two in Saratoga Springs and one in Greenfield, - went with them to Albany, and assisted Colonel Edward Frisbey with them to organize the Thirtieth Regiment New York Volunteers. Their children are Beckman H., who married Sarah J. Jenner, and resides at Saratoga Springs; William M. Searing, Jr., who married Harriet A. Carpenter, and reside at Beloit, Wis.; Richard C. Searing, an Episcopal minister, is rector of a church at Walton, Delaware Co., N.Y.; Edward J. Searing, clerk in St. Nicholas Hotel, New York city; Caroline M. Searing and David S. Searing, who reside with their parents. Hannah H. Searing died at the age of six years.



Among the many prominent citizens of Saratoga who, while younger, several years ago took an active part in public affairs, and now live somewhat retired from business cares, in the enjoyment of a green old age, is the subject of this sketch. General Blanchard first came to the Springs in 1822 or '23. Before the United States Hotel was first opened, in 1824, while the proprietor was absent in New York purchasing his supplies, leaving General Blanchard in charge, a stage-load of gentlemen drove to the door seeking entertainment. Although not formally open, the general took them in and kept them, and these were the first of the long list of summer tourists who have since made this famous hostelry their temporary home. General Blanchard afterwards was one of the proprietors of a line of stages, was engaged in railroad affairs, became major-general of the militia, and mingled extensively in politics as an old line Whig and Silver Grey, with Francis Granger and others.



Portrait of Samuel J. Pearsall, M.D.

Samuel Jay Pearsall is a native of Wilton, Saratoga Co., N. Y., where he was born on the 18th of May, 1833. He is the son of Samuel and Caroline E. Pearsall. His father was a native of Dutchess county, and an early settler in the town of Wilton, where he pursued the occupation of a farmer. His mother was born in this county.

The subject of this sketch was brought up on his father's farm in Wilton, and was educated at the district schools and at the academies in Poultney, Vt., and in Fort Edward, Washington county.

In the spring of 1856 he came to Saratoga Springs and began the study of medicine with Drs. Easton and Mitchell. In 1856 he commenced attending lectures at the Homťopathic Medical College of Philadelphia, where he continued his course, and graduated in March, 1858. On the first of May, 1858, he commenced practice at Saratoga Springs. Homťopathy was then new, and the prejudices to contend against and competition with the old school of practice rendered his progress at first difficult; but his energy and knowledge of his profession soon removed these obstacles, and, gaining in public confidence, he built up in a few years a very successful practice. During the past ten years Dr. Pearsall has had all the professional practice he could attend to, while his practice is constantly growing in favor among an enlarging circle of patients. He is a member of the Saratoga County Homťopathic Medical Society of Northern New York, and the State Homťopathic Medical Society, and has held all the offices in the gift of the two first-mentioned associations.

As a member of the Methodist Episcopal church, he contributed liberally to the erection of the new church at Saratoga Springs, and has held the office of trustee for the past seven years. Though not an active politician, he has been repeatedly solicited to accept offices of trust, such as member of the board of education and trustee of the village, but he has steadily declined, and given his exclusive attention to his medical practice. In 1860 he was married to Miss Carrie E., daughter of William Smith, of the town of Wilton, by whom he has one son, eighteen years of age, who is a student preparing to enter college.



Portrait of Henry W. Merrill

Henry W. Merrill was born in Jefferson Co., N.Y., Sept. 10, 1810. His father, Nathan Merrill, was a native of East Hartford, Conn., and married in Vermont, whence he removed to Jefferson county in 1809, where Henry was born the following year, being the eldest child of the family. His parents soon after removed to Bergen, Genesee Co., where he worked and assisted them on the farm, and attended district school as he had opportunity during his boyhood. He had naturally a strong desire for education, and at the age of seventeen he entered upon a course of study with a view to preparing himself for a professional life. His parents not being in circumstances to provide him the means, could only give their consent that he should undertake to educate himself by his own exertions. The way which seemed open to him was that of teacher in the district schools, and to this he had recourse, teaching in winter and attending at classical schools during the summer. In this manner he attended an academy at Middlebury, Wyoming Co., and subsequently a similar institution at Geneva, N. Y., and in due time, after experiencing many of those trials and hardships incident to the life of a young man seeking to make his own way in the world: he prepared himself for college. In 1835 he entered Union College as a freshman, and graduated in the class of 1839.

Immediately after this he accepted an offer to teach in the academy at Union Village, Washington Co., where he taught less than one year, and at the same time pursued the study of law in the office of Judge C.F. Ingalls, father of Hon. C.R. Ingalls, present judge of the Supreme Court of the Third district of New York. He soon gave up teaching and went to practicing law, his talents and services being in demand in the lower courts, where he earned the means of support while pursuing his legal studies. Mr. Merrill refers to this experience as being the most valuable of his life, giving him exercise, not only of his talents, but insight in human character and the motives and causes of litigations, which were of great service to him in his later practice.

In 1840 he was admitted to practice as an attorney and counsellor in the court of common pleas of Washington county, In 1841 he removed to Schuylerville, Saratoga Co., and opened a law-office. In 1842 he was admitted as an attorney-at-law to the Supreme Court. In due time he was admitted as counsellor, then as solicitor in the court of chancery, and finally to practice in the Supreme Court of the United States.

At Schuylerville, where he remained ten years, his practice became large and lucrative, laying the foundation of his future financial prosperity.

In 1846 he married Miss Valeria S. George, daughter of Jared George, of Waterbury, Vt., a lady of attractive personal appearance, excellent character, and amiable disposition, who has since been his faithful companion. The fruit of this union has been nine children, six of whom, three sons and three daughters, are now living.

In 1851 he removed to Saratoga Springs, where he pursued a successful practice till 1873, when, owing to ill health and other causes, the practice was partially abandoned.

The sketch we have thus hastily written indicates only some of the salient points in the life of a self-made man. He is one of whom the Latin phrase is eminently true, Faber suæ fortunæ - the architect of his own fortune, although it would better express the feelings of Mr. Merrill, as he has often expressed them, to say that under the Divine Providence he has been the architect of his own fortune, for he recognizes the assisting hand of the Creator in all man's ways.

On account of the inability of his parents to assist in the honorable course he had prescribed for himself, he was thrown early in life upon his own resources; and it was his greatest pleasure, in after-years, to contribute something of the property he had gained to their assistance who never lacked the disposition, only the means, to do all for his well-being which the tenderest affection and the most earnest solicitude could prompt.



Portrait of Elias Lee Wakeman

The Wakeman family is presumed to have descended from John Wakeman, formerly of England. Timothy Wakeman, the grandfather of Elias L. Wakeman, was a farmer in Fairfield Co., Conn., for a number of years, and was in the party who followed and harassed the British when they visited Danbury and burned the stores at that place. Elias Lee, his grandfather on his mother's side: was a Baptist minister; came originally from Connecticut, and established the First Baptist church of Ballston Spa, where he finally died.

Samuel S. Wakeman, the father of Elias L. Wakeman, was born in Connecticut, in 1787, and married Sarah Lee in that State. He removed, in 1812, to a point about two and a half miles from Ballston Spa, where he took up his residence as a farmer, at the same time sawing and trading in lumber. He continued that business until 1824, when he removed to the farm now occupied by Elias L. Wakeman. He had six children, four girls and two boys, viz., John A., Elias L., Rachel, Amanda Ann, Margaret, and Sarah, of whom all are living save Rachel. He held a number of important offices in his town, and was road commissioner at the time Saratoga Springs was cut off from Saratoga town.

Elias L. Wakeman was the third child, and was born on Jan. 10, 1816, in Saratoga Springs. He received a common-school education, and, until his father's death, assisted him in farming. Since that time he has farmed a large tract of land for a number of years, subsequently purchasing two hundred and eighty-three acres of the same, which is the place where he now resides. He is still engaged in farming. He never married.

He has been foremost in encouraging the introduction and use of the various farm improvements as they have appeared. He purchased one of the first mowing-machines introduced, and in 1858 one of the first wheel-rakes. He has continued to keep abreast of the times, and has actively co-operated in the various progressive movements of the day.

Mr. Wakeman has always been an active and sincere Democrat in politics, but has never desired, sought, nor filled any office. He has been a regular attendant of the Baptist church. Strange to say, he has never had any serious altercation or dispute with any one, has never had a lawsuit, and never identified himself with any of the societies of the day. He has stood singularly aloof, living a peaceful and smooth life. He has been acquainted with most of the old residents of his locality, has been identified with its growth and material improvement, and has watched with especial pleasure and pride the increasing importance and influence of his native town.



Portrait of Thomas Noxon

Thomas Noxon was born in Beekman, Dutchess Co., N.Y., April 20, 1813. He is of English descent on his father's side, and on his mother's side of Scotch extraction, his ancestors being common with those of the eminent Judges Noxon, of the city of Syracuse. His father, Clark Noxon, settled in the town of Half-Moon, in this county, in 1816. Here Thomas Noxon was reared on a farm, and educated primarily in the common schools, though in the school of experience and self-study he prepared himself for his successful business career.

He married, in 1836, Emma Clapp, daughter of Joseph Clapp, of Half-Moon, and engaged in farming, which he followed about two years. In 1838 he embarked in mercantile business at Clifton Park village, and continued in that business, with an intermission of five years, in which he was engaged in farming, till 1871.

He then removed to Ballston Spa, to attend to the duties of the office of sheriff of the county, to which he had been elected ia the fall of 1870. He is a Republican, and was elected on that ticket in opposition to David Harlow, the Democratic nominee. Previous to this he had represented the town of Half-Moon in the board of supervisors for the years 1856, '57: '60, '61, '64, '65, and '66. In May, 1865, he became a resident of Saratoga Springs, of which town he was elected supervisor in 1877, and was, during that year, chairman of the board. In March, 1878, he was elected president of the village of Saratoga Springs, and is at this writing discharging the duties of the office.

In all these official positions Mr. Noxon has discharged his duties with rare efficiency and integrity, and he is now retired from active business, occupying a high place in the esteem and confidence of his fellow-citizens. For many years he was postmaster at Clifton Park village.



Portrait of Anson M. Boyce

Anson M. Boyce is a son of Ananias Boyce, who was born in Dutchess county, at the town of Washington. His mother's name was Sarah Mead, a native of Nassau. She afterwards resided in the town of Schodack, Rensselaer county, where she was married. Ananias Boyce removed from Rensselaer county to the town of Wilton, Saratoga county, where he farmed for a number of years, and where he finally died. He had fifteen children, - twelve boys and three girls, - of whom all are living save one boy, who died in infancy. Himself and wife died a few years ago, each having lived to be over eighty years of age.

Anson M. Boyce was born on June 14, 1828, at Schodack, Rensselaer county. He engaged in farming with his father until seventeen years of age, when he commenced a system of self-education, attending school and teaching. He gained a thorough knowledge of algebra without the aid of a teacher. He attended the common schools, and subsequently the academy at Nassau, where he qualified himself to enter the sophomore class of Union College, but did not enter because of ill health. He was about twenty years old when ready for college.

He next entered upon the study of law in the office of Pierson & Wait, of Troy, N.Y., but after continuing this pursuit for two years his health compelled him to leave it.

He then returned to school-teaching, and taught at Castleton, Rensselaer county, for a term of years. He came to Saratoga County in 1854, and bought a farm in Wilton, upon which he supervised the work.

In about a year he was elected school commissioner of the Second Assembly district, and held that office two full terms and a part of a third, in all about seven years. He also taught at the same time in Pine Grove School, No. 4, Saratoga Springs, and continued principal of the same for about twenty years, resigning his charge on June 22, 1877. When he first took charge of this school it had an average attendance of sixty pupils, and he had one assistant; and when he left it the attendance averaged about three hundred, and he had six assistants.

In politics Mr. Boyce has always been a Democrat, and has filled several important local offices. He has been twice a member of the board of supervisors. He was a justice of the peace for four years. He has filled the responsible office of overseer of the poor. He was always elected as a Democrat, although the town is largely Republican, a fact which speaks well for his personal popularity, and shows the appreciation in which he is held by his fellow-townsmen.

In March, 1850, Mr. Boyce married Caroline M. Stewart, of Schodack, Rensselaer county, by whom he had one child, Frank M. Boyce, born August 2, 1852. This son subsequently pursued medical studies at Albany Medical College and Bellevue Hospital, New York, and is now a physician in successful practice in Saratoga Springs, where his father now resides. He is likewise a Democrat, and owing to his personal popularity has already been elected to and filled the important offices of coroner and physician to the poor.


It may be well to add, in closing this sketch, that Mr. Boyce has long since overcome the pulmonary disease which so seriously interfered with his earlier plans in life, and that today at the age of fifty years he is robust and strong, weighing about two hundred and sixty pounds. He has a fair promise of a long life.



A history of Saratoga would scarce be complete without a mention of these two talented sisters. They were the daughters of Dr. Oliver Davidson, and were born respectively Sept. 27, 1808, and March 26, 1823. In both, precocity was early developed; both had delicate constitutions, sensitive natures, and highly poetic temperaments. Lucretia Maria entered Mrs. Willard's Female Seminary, at Troy, in 1824, to complete her education. She died Aug. 27, 1825, one month before her seventeenth birthday. Margaret Miller Davidson, as well as her sister, was born at Plattsburg, but before she was ten years of age, her parents had removed to Saratoga Springs. She was an incessant writer, - her poetical writings, which have been collected, amount to two hundred and seventy-eight pieces. Her poems were introduced to the public under the kind auspices of Washington Irving. They were first published in 1829, with a memoir by Prof. Sam. B.F. Morse; they were noticed in a highly laudatory manner by Southey, the British poet. {Duyckinck's "Cyclopedia of Amer. Literature," vol. ii., 324-28.}

Views of Congress Spring Park

Residence of Dr. T.B. Reynolds

Residence of W.C. Bronson

Residence of J.H. Farrington

Views of the Geyser Spring Property



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