1898 Biographies


H. H. Newton

    H. H. NEWTON, the senior proprietor of Highland Poultry Farm, and extensive farmer of Greene, is a son of Dexter and Laurinda (Rowley) Newton, and was born in the town of Greene, September 17, 1834. His grandfather, Allen Newton, was an agriculturist of the State of Massachusetts.

    Dexter Newton and his two brothers, Allen and Nathan, were prominent farmers of Greene, locating on Geneganstlet Creek in the early history of the town. Dexter followed farming all his life. He was united in marriage with Miss Zaurinda Rowley, daughter of the late Charles Rowley, a farmer of Greene, who was a soldier in the War of 1812. They were the parents of nine children, five sons and four daughters: Saphronia, wife of Stephen Bennet; Aaron D, a fruit grower of Napa Valley, Cal; Adelia, deceased; Charles, deceased; George, a farmer of Jackson County, Kansas; Caroline, wife of M. L. Hoyt; Albert, farmer of Jackson County, Kansas; Paulina, wife of Thatcher Joslin, a retired real estate dealer of Binghamton, N. Y.; Helem H., our subject. They were members of the Baptist Church.

    H. H. Newton was brought up on the farm, and received his education in the district schools. While still young, he learned the trade of shoemaker, which he followed for a few years; he then became engaged in the daguerreotype business, and worked at it in Norwich, Mt. Upton, Unadilla and Walton for about two years. He then returned to Geneganslet Corner, where he combined shoemaking and farming; this arrangement continued for a few years, when he finally gave up the business of shoemaking and turned his attention to the poultry and egg business. Commencing on a moderate scale, with a few fine birds, he has added to them and improved upon them, until it would be hard to find a larger assortment or a finer lot of birds in the country. He has a poultry yard of from 200 to 500 birds, of choice variety, being the originator of the following breeds: Rose Comb Black Minorcas, Rose Comb White Minorcas, also the Rose Comb White Face, Black Spanish, of which he has the entire stock. He was the first owner of White Leghorns in the town and the first shipper to the New York fancy trade. He still has an extensive trade in that city, and his eggs and birds are shipped also to western points, so high is their standing. Mr. Newton still oversees the farm, but does not for that reason forget the care that is necessary to the successful raising of chickens. Indeed chickens-nice ones-are a hobby with him, and it would be well if all persons with hobbies would emulate Mr. Newton and make their pet theories of some practical use. The greatest care is taken in the selection of the birds for breeding, and they were awarded first premium wherever they were exhibited in 1897. One cockerel Mr. Newton refused to part with even at the consideration of $5o.00. Everything about the poultry houses shows the thought and attention that is given to the business. The incubators, breeders, and all the appliances are of the best, and most approved make. The chickens are all bright lively looking birds, no droopy, sickly birds are to be seen and a pleasanter way of spending a few hours could not be found than accompanying this gentleman or his genial son through their Highland Home Poultry Farm.

    Mr. Newton was married July 3, 1855, to Miss Almira Canniff, daughter of Henry Canniff, formerly a farmer in the town of Greene. They are the parents of three children: Alice and Grace, both deceased; and Raymond, who married Donna Winchell of Greene, this county, July 21, 1897, and is a partner with his father in the chicken business. Mr. Newton is a member of the Eastern Light Lodge, NO. 126, F. & A.M. of Greene, also of the Patrons of Husbandry. He has supported all the temperance organizations that have been in the town, lending his influence to the cause of right. He is a populist, but voted for William Jennings Bryan at the last election.

Source: p. 64
Transcribed by Ann Hopkins, December 29, 2005

William Newton

    WILLIAM NEWTON, son of Ashel and Versalle(Booth) Newton, was born in Colchester, Conn., October 15, 1786, the eldest of seven sons. His father was a soldier of the Revolution.

    In boyhood William envinced the qualities of energy, resourcefulness and pluck that distinguished his after career. With the slightest opportunity for an education, he yet valued it highly; improve his little chance to the utmost; and in after years gave his children the fullest advantages, three of his sons being graduates of Yale College.

    Before Mr. Newton was twenty years old he came on foot into the wilds of Central New York, and purchasing a lot of land in East Hamilton, built a log house and the next year returned to Connecticut and brought on his father's family, of which at that time he was largely the mainstay. On the farm then settled, now known as the Hubbbard place, his parents lived and died. Tow brothers, Anson and Daniel, lived there for many years after attaining their manhood.

    After the family was well settled, Mr. Newton came to Sherburne, in 1806, and learned the trade of carding, weaving and cloth dressing of a Mr. Mills, whose factory was a mile below Sherburne village, near the Paddleford Bridge. Not satisfied with a dependen6t position, he soon commenced business for himself, building a factory on the Handsome Brook, near the Sherburne Quarter. This factory was burned, as was also another, soon after its erection. The manufacture of cloths, especially of a very fine grade of satinet, occupied his attention and such goods being little, if at all, manufactured west of Albany, his trade extended quite largely into the western part of the state, so that at the close of the War of 1812 he lost large sums by reason of the failure of many dealers through the influx of English goods. He however, continued his cloth manufacture, and with such a prospect of success that about 1820 he bought a large farm and built the family homestead residence now owned and occupied by his son, Lucius, expecting to pay for it out of the profits of his business. But the burning, about 1821 of his last factory, filled with new and expensive machinery, left him almost hopelessly in debt.

    Never were his manly qualities more sorely tried and never did he exhibit more resourcefulness and grit. It was the era of canal building. Mr. Newton sought and obtained contracts in the construction of the Eire Canal, and worked on the Utica section, when Utica was a hamlet. He had subsequently a contract on the famous Carbondale R. R., in Pennsylvania, and also large contracts for the bridge and lock building and canal excavation upon the Chenango and Black River Canals. His success in contract work kept him engaged in it more or less for from thirty to forty years. Though long burdened with debt, he finally threw off the load and at his death, August 9, 1879, at the age of ninety-three years, left a large estate, had provided a large family generously with educational advantages, and had supplied the pecuniary help they needed for a start in life. His wife, Lois, whom he married in 1810, was a worthy helpmeet. She was a daughter of Dea. Richard Butler, of the best stock in New England, and was born at Wethersfield, Conn.; pure, simple and energetic, she was an example to her daughters and a true mother to her sons. A humble and consistent follower of the Master, she trained her children in the path of virtue, and blessed them with her presence until called away at the age of ninety-four.

    The family consisted of seven sons and four daughters, namely: William Butler, now living on his farm at Parma, N.Y., at the age of eighty-seven years; Louisa (Lathrop), now living in Sherburne, aged eighty-five years; Lucinda (Buell), Warren, Maria, Amelia M. (Little), and Isaac S., all deceased; Lucius, now living on the old farm, setting an example of the country around of a practical and progressive farmer, girt about with modern farm buildings and appliances, and proud of his sleek herds of Jersey and other stock; Hubert A., lately deceased; Albro J; and Homer G. The daughter Amelia M. was, married to the Rev. Charles Little, a graduate of Yale College, went with him as a missionary and fifty years ago was buried in India.

    Warren Newton, as a young man, spent several years in contract work on the state canals. Afterwards he studied law in the office of Benjamin Rexford, at Norwich, N.Y. and was a law partner of Mr. Rexford until about 1852, when he formed a partnership with his brother, Isaac S., which continued until 1856. He then left the law, and with the late James H. Smith organized a bank, which in 1865 became the National Bank of Norwich, of which he was cashier and chief manager until his death in December 1891. He was untiring and absorbed in his business as a banker, with a capacity for work that was wonderful. The present substantial condition of the National Bank of Norwich is proof of his wise judgment.

    Isaac S. Newton was graduated at Yale College in 1848, and proceeded at once to the study of law. After a few months of practice at Sherburne, he formed a partnership with his brother Warren at Norwich, where the rest of his life was spent. He was soon made district attorney of the county, and held the office for six years. It is unnecessary to say to any one residing in Chenango County between the years of 1850 and 1890, that Isaac Newton was an able lawyer, for few men were better known in this region than he, and his counsel was sought far and near, not alone upon questions of law, for his breadth of knowledge-another evidence that the law is the "learned profession"-made him a ready counselor in other matters. It is doubtful if the life of any man in the country was ever more filled than his with activity, to the very hour of his sudden death in 1889. Skilled in the law, retentive of memory, trenchant in argument, and earnest of purpose, his antagonist needed alertness to meet him. He had an innate sense of justice, and the rights of men were sacred to him. A true Christian and an honest lawyer, he was trusted as such, and served his generation faithfully, and many mourned his death.

    Hubert A. Newton was born March 19, 1830; was graduated from Yale College in 1850; was made tutor in 1853; and at the age of twenty-five was appointed Professor of Mathematics in the college, which position he occupied until his death, August 12, 1896, a period of more than forty years. Under his instruction passed thousands of young men, who can testify to the accuracy, individuality and enthusiasm of his methods and the exhaustive value of his work.

    But his reputation rests largely upon his mathematical and astronomical researches. The published records of these are found mostly in the American Journal of Science, of which journal he was an associate editor from 1864 to 1896. These records begin in 1853, and few years of his life passed without the publication of some new research. The great star shower of November, 1853, filled the minds of a few thoughtful astronomers, notable Professor Olmstead and Mr. Edward C. He4rick of Yale College, with questioning as to its cause. Professor Newton, with his thorough geometrical training set himself to the task of studying the meteoric displays. He sought carefully all past records of star showers. He instituted a careful system of observation, many of the observers being trained by himself for the work; and out of the data thus obtained demonstrated by acute mathematical reasoning that these apparent vagrants of the heavens were under law, and he sought to find to whose kingdom they belonged. He became convinced that the great display of 1853 appeared at regular intervals of thirty-three and one-quarter years; and that. Therefore, it might be expected to return in 1866. His anticipation was abundantly verified that year in all parts of the world, and congratulations poured in upon him from astronomers of many nations.

    More than forty of his published papers relate to shooting stars, meteors, meteorites and comets. Upon receiving a gold medal, awarded him by the National Academy in 1888 for investigations upon the orbits of meteors, he said: "To discover some new truth is nature, even though it concerns the small things in the world, give one of the purest pleasures in human experience. It give joy to tell others of the treasure found." This remark is the key to his life-long enthusiasm. He sought truth and not reputation. But he was held in high repute; for as early as 1862 he became a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; in 1863 he was named by Congress of the original charter members of the National Academy of Sciences; was elected to the American Philosophical Society in 1867; in 1868 the degree of Doctor of Laws was conferred upon him by the University of Michigan; he was elected Associate of the Royal Astronomical Society of London in 1872; and Foreign Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 1886; and in 1892 was elected Foreign Member of the Royal Society of London.

    "But the studies, which have won for their author an honorable reputation among men of science of all countries," says his biographer, Professor Gibbs, "form only one side of the life of the man. Another side, probably the most important, is that in which he was identified with the organic life of the college and university with which we have been considering, the recreations of a busy life of one whose serious occupation has been that of an instructor." * * * * * "In all these relations of life the subject of this sketch exhibited the same traits of character which are seen in his published papers, the same modesty, the same conscientiousness, the same devotion to high ideals. His life was the quiet life of the scholar, ennobled by the unselfish aims of the Christian gentleman."

    Abler J. Newton, the sixth son of William Newton, was born August 16, 1832, at Sherburne, where his boyhood was spent on the family homestead. Ill health interfacing with his plans of study, he turned his attention to business, in which he has met with a large degree of success. Early he became associated with that excellent man of business, Mr. Whitman Kenyon, Sr. well known to Sherburne residents of forty years ago, and early in the fifties they joined partnership in the manufacture of doors, sashes, and blinds in the City of Binghamton. This business was transferred, in 1861 to the City of Brooklyn, where, in connection with a general lumber trade, it is now carried on under the style of "The Albro J. Newton Company," but with very different methods and machinery, and with products of a vastly higher finish than those of the early days. The business has kept a large number of men employed for many years. Mr. Newton is conservative, and yet has not failed to take advantage of opportunity, and is a man whose judgment is relied upon by business men. In the thirty-seven years he has spent in Brooklyn, he has been a prominent figure in the city's life and development, and although not holding public office, has been sought after as director in several of the city's strongest financial institutions, and has been identified with many of the prominent philanthropic organizations of the place. In the religious life of the city he has always been active, being first a member of the Reformed Church and later a member of the Church of the Pilgrims. He is also director of the Brooklyn Young Mens' Christian Association and of the American Board of Foreign Missions.

    Dr. Homer G. Newton, the youngest son born in Sherburne, in 1835 has for the past twenty years been a resident of his native town. His professional life consisted of a service of nearly two years as a regimental medical officer during the Civil War, and a subsequent practice in the City of Brooklyn, where, associated with Dr. Cornelius B. Agnew of New York and Fr. Arthur Mathewson, he actively helped in the organization and establishment of the Brooklyn Eye and Ear Hospital, of which he was a medical officer and director until leaving the city.

    In 1874, he and his wife, as seekers for health went to Southern California, where they had some years of pleasant experience and strenuous work among the earliest settlers of the infant colony of Pasadena. For the past fifteen years Dr. Newton has been connected with the Sherburne National Bank, either as cashier or vice-president. He was married in 1869 to Miss Grace Pratt, daughter of Mr. Joshua Pratt of Sherburne.

Source: page 197
Transcribed by Ann Hopkins December 29, 2005

James H. Nickerson

    Our subject is a son of George B. and Samaria (Dutton) Nickerson and was born May 5, 1837 in the town of Afton, which was then Bainbridge. His grandfather was George B. Nickerson, Sr. who came from Hudson, NY in the early part of this century and settled in the village of Oxford. He was engaged in merchandizing there until the time of his death in 1850.

    George B. Nickerson, the father of our subject was the first child born ot his parents, his birth occurring December 3, 1810, in the village of Hudson. At an early age he came with his father to Oxford, where he grew to Manhood. In 1830, he moved to Afton, and there lived the remainder of his days.......... He was united in marriage with Samaria Dutton who was born in the village of Afton, April 21, 1812 and died there September 7, 1878. As a resut of their union which occurred January 1, 1834, four children were born, namely: Cornelius, who was born February 27, 1835, and died August 28, 1875, was a farmer, speculator and large hop grower, and dealt extensively in hay, butter, etc.; James H. , in whom the interest of this sketch centers; Leroy A. was born janurarry 16, 1840, and passed into the world of rest August 27, 1840 and Sarah O., who married William Wilder of the village of Afton, was born September 20, 1842. Mr. Nickerson's useful life came to an end in 1870, when he was aged sixty-eight years.

    James H. Nickerson was reared on a farm near the village of Afton, and attended the common schools until he was sixteen years of age. he lthen left his parental roof and worked out until he was twenty-five years old. He then engaged in farming and hop growing with his brother, Cornelius, on a farm on Algerene Street, just two miles from the village. The farm contained 200 acres of land, and in connection with hop growing, they raised all kinds of farm produce and were extensive shippers. In 1872, he purchased the old Joseph Chamberlain farm, situated within the corporate limits of the village of Afton. It consisted of 125 acres of land, which he laid out in town lots on what are know known as High, Orchard and Sol. Main streets. 30 acres of this land were sold as town lots and most of them have been built upon. He retained 65 ascres of the original tract, upon which he built himself a handsome residence, in which he now lives. He cultivates the land and conducts a large dairy. In 1881, he in partnership with D.C. Church, deceased, built a large creamery, the first in the vicitity and operated it until 1894, when it was consumed by fire. They re-built the creamery and also purchased the milk station of E. R. Wescott of New York City. The milk station is now conducted under the firm name of Nickerson & Church Bros. and they buy all the milk in this section of the country. They are doing a large and lucrative business, which is steadily increasing.

    Mr. Nickerson had been twice bound in the holy bonds of wedlock. His first wife was Mary E. Van Woert, a sister of Delos Van Woert, whose personal history also appears in this Book of Biographies, and one child blessed their union, namely Leon J., born September 13, 1878, who is foreman of a shipping station of Cortland, NY. Mrs. Nickerson was called Home, May 20, 1884. June 28, 1887, our subbject was united in marriage with Mrs. Mina Jones of Carbondale, Pa, who was born in Clifford township, Susquehanna, Pa, September 28, 1851. Mr. and Mrs. Nickerson are hightly esteemed in their community and are entitled to be classed among the very first citizens. They are friends of good order and system and are contributing their share toward the building up fo the community, socially, morally, and intellectually. They are members of good standing in the Baptist Church of Afton, Our subject is a Republican in politics, and votes and works conscientously with that party. Socially, he is a member of the A.O.U. W. Mr. Nickerson possesses great force of character, high moral principles is a kind husband, and an affectioate father and faithful friend.

Source: p. 288

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

You are visitor since 22 Aug 2011 -- thanks for stopping by!

There were 1532 visitors to our previous host from 16 Apr 2005 to 22 Aug 2011.

Last updated: 22 Aug 2011

© 2005-2011
Email: Tim Stowell