1898 Biographies


Lewis E. Carpenter.

    LEWIS E. CARPENTER, is one of the oldest and most highly respected citizens of the town of North Norwich, and has devoted many years of his life to public service. His work as a public servant began while he was yet a young man, and has continued to the present time, when he is an active and efficient as formerly. In 1849 he was elected justice of the peace of North Norwich, and has held the position continuously ever since. About the same time he was appointed postmaster, under the administration of Zachary Taylor and has held the office through every Republican administration since. During the '60s he served for three terms as Justice of the Sessions, occupying the bench with Judge Balcom and Judge Clark of Oxford. Then he has filled innumerable minor offices, was for five years supervisor of the town, president of the board of health, etc. he possessed a mind of rare analytical power, his judgment was discriminating and sound, in the court room his learning and impartiality commanded respect, while his own dignified deportment inspired decorum in others. His ancestors were among the pioneers of Chenango County and here he was born in the town of Preston, March 31, 1820. His parents were Noah and Judith (Wait) Carpenter.

    Noah Carpenter was a son of Noah Carpenter, Sr. and lived in the town of Preston where he owned a farm and owned and operated a cloth mill in the village. He was a clothier and made home-spun and other carded material. He was an industrious, hard working citizen, and a credit to the community in which he lived. He had been a Democrat, but at last became dissatisfied with their policy and joined forces with the Republicans. He was a member of the Masonic fraternity. A short time before his death, which took place when ha ehad reached the rope old age of eighty-four, he had taken up his residence in the village of North Norwich. He was united in marriage with Judith Wait and raised a family of nine children, two daughters and seven sons, whose names ere: Nelson; Submit; Andrew; Electa; Ralph; Lewis E. Franklin; Chester W. and William.

    Lewis E. Carpenter was thrown on his own resources at an early age in life and developed an independence of character and a fearlessness of criticism, which, combined with his love of truth and honorable dealings, soon won for him the admiration and esteem of the entire community. His education was received in the public schools until he was seventeen years old, when he had to leave the school room to earn his living. His first work was obtained on a farm where he staid(this is the spelling in the book) until he was twenty-one, when he went to work with a carpenter and joiner. Being naturally quick, he soon became proficient at this trade and followed for twenty years. When he was twenty-four he went to Michigan and plied his craft for one and one-half years, and then came back to north Norwich, where he has since lived and worked, and where many evidences of his skill are discernible. Twelve years were spent in catering to the public taste, when he was the popular and entertaining landlord of the Carpenter House of North Norwich. At the same time he was carrying on his farm, and was extensively engaged in lumbering, owning and operating a grist and saw-mill. His farm consists of 60 acres, lying near the village of North Norwich and is still owned and cultivated by him.

    Mr. Carpenter was married October 31, 1841, when he was little past twenty-one years of age to Laura Baker, and no doubt much of the prosperity and popularity which has been meted out to them is due in no small degree, to her faithful and loving counsel and encouragement. A family of five children were added to their home, viz: Earl, deceased, married Frances Brown, also deceased; Jane, deceased; Jane (2), who married Alonzo S. Kinney, and left two children, Lewis A. and Fred A.; Lewis who died at the age of fourteen months; and Annie Laura, the wife of Sam A. Hayes, a carpenter and joiner who resides in North Norwich with our subject. Mrs. Hayes is the mother of one child, Jennie Earleen. Mr. Carpenter is a man of intelligence and a close observer of human nature, and his long attendance in the court room has so familiarized him with the different phases of character that he can read the countenance like an open book. He had a hard struggle with poverty in his boyhood and his sympathies have always been with those who work with their hands rather than their brains, and to a worth representative of this class he finds pleasure in giving assistance in the shape of employment, the most desirable form of charity.

Source: Page 237
Transcribed by Ann Hopkins, April 14, 2006


    The Rockdale Company of Guilford township, of which John H. Curtis is a member, manufactures butter, cheese, and casein and operates creameries at Rockdale, Chattawitchie, Glen Llewellyn and Loomis. The company conducts business on the co-operative plan and Mr. Curtis acts as general manager. That he is well qualified to fill this position is demonstrated by the prosperous condition of the company. He was born in the town of Unadilla, Otsego County, N.Y. , November 28, 1866, and is a son of Joseph D. and Melissa E. (Morgan) Curtis.

    Zechariah Curtis, grandfather of our subject, was born in the State of Connecticut and in 1800 came to Madison County, N.Y., where he remained for a short time. He then moved to Unadilla, where he purchased a fine farm and tilled the soil until 1850. Leaving his farm in charge of his son, Joseph, he came to Rockdale where he was interested in a creamery and a mill. He remained here the rest of his days, dying in 1892 at the advanced age of ninety-two years. He was twice bound in the holy bonds of wedlock, his first wife's maiden name being Dickerson. Three children blessed that union: Joseph D., the father of our subject; Henry W., a merchant of Bainbridge; and Fred W., who died in infancy. His second union was with Miss Hannah Westover, by whom he had one son: Ira M., a retired banker of Rockdale. He was a faithful member of the Universalist Church. Politically, he was a Democrat and was elected to the county board of supervisors a number of times.

    Joseph Delos Curtis was born in the town of Unadilla, November 28, 1831. He has spent his entire life working on the farm formerly owned by his father. He has a well improved farm of 300 acres, supplied with a good house, barn and other convenient out-buildings. He is an industrious and energetic worker and is classed among the prosperous men in the community.

    He was united in marriage with Melissa Morgan, a daughter of Guerdon Morgan, and they became the parents of the following children: John H., the subject of these lines; Howard M.; Evelyn A.; and Scott L. In politics, he is a Democrat and served as supervisor for nine years. He held this office during the late Civil War and assisted in filling the quota of volunteers. Mr. Curtis is an active member of the Universalist Church.

    John H. Curtis was reared on his father's farm and attended the Bainbridge Union School. At the age of twenty he left the parental roof, and, to provide means of support, taught school for the following six years. He then began work in the creamery at Rockdale and after becoming thoroughly familiar with the business, he was taken in as a partner and was made general manager of the four plants. The Rockdale creamery is the largest in this section of the state, and was formerly owned by Mr. Curtis' grandfather. Six men are employed, who handle the milk from 1,500 cows and get out the daily product of 1,500 pounds of butter and 2,400 pounds of cheese. Print butter and casein are specialties. The creamery is well equipped with all modern machinery and other conveniences. Mr. Curtis has untiringly devoted his whole time to his work, and has had the pleasure of seeing the plant grow to be one of the largest in the state.

    December 9, 1886, our subject was united in marriage with Miss Carrie E. Brown, daughter of Dubois Brown, and one son Harry B., was born to make their home happy. Socially, he is a Mason, belonging to Sidney Lodge No. 801, F.& A.M.; Unadilla Chapter, R.A.M., No. 178; Norwich Conmandery No. 46, Knight Templars; and Zirayra Temple of the Mystic Shrine, at Utica, N.Y.

Source: Page 234
Transcribed by Ann Hopkins November 10, 2005

All biographies are from Book of Biographies - Biographical Sketches of Leading Citizens of Chenango County, NY
Biographical Publishing Company - Buffalo, NY - 1898
Biographies Page
Chenango Co, NY Page

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