1898 Biographies


F. Joe Schorn

    F. Joe Schorn, a member of the firm of Schorn Bros., manufacturers of cigars in the Schorn Block on East Main Street, is one of Norwich's enterprising and successful businessmen. He is a son of Joseph S. and Matilda Weiler Schorn and was born in 1846 in Cologne, Prussia, Germany.

    Joseph S. Schorn was born in Germany and received a good common school education. After leaving school he learned the trade of a cabinet-maker and followed it for some time in his native city. In 1853 he came to this country and located in New York City. He again took up his trade as a cabinet-maker, and followed it in that city for three years. He next moved to Norwich and remained there until his death, which occurred in 1883. He was an unswerving Republican, and was active in the support of the party. He was united in matrimony to Matilda Weiler, a native of Cologne, Germany and they reared nine children, whose names are as follows: F. Joe, the subject of this personal history; Jacob A.; Matilda, who became the wife of Charles Bruen; Frederick; Maria; Anna; John, deceased; Julia, who became the wife of D.I. Belden; and Josephine , the wife of H. J. Borden, whose sketch appear elsewhere in this volume.

    F. J. Schorn obtained his intellectual training in the public schools of Norwich, after which he learned the trade of a cigarmaker with William Weiler. In 1872, he started to manufacture cigars in Nowich, and has continued in that line of business. In 1892, they erected the Schorn Block on East Main Street, where our subject now conducts his business, in partnership with his brother J. A. Schorn. They are upright, honest, shrews and business-like in all their dealings, and have a large share of the patronage of the village.

    F. Joe Schorn has been twice bound in the holy bonds of wedlock. He first married Charlotte Rock, a daughter of William rock, who was the resident engineer on the O. & W. R. R. and they wee the parents of one daughter, Olive. His second wife was Edith A. Young, a native of Columbus. Mr. Schorn is one of the leading politicians of Norwich and has been chose to represent the people at a number of Republican county conventions. He is a Republican in his views. In 1888, he was made president of the village corporation, and was re-elected in 1889. Socially, he is a Mason, being a member of the Norwich Lodge, No. 302, F & A.M. and for six years acted as secretary of the Hamony Chapter. He is also a member of Commandery No. 46, K. T. He is very popular in Norwich and has a large circle of friends, who bear testimony to his sterling character.

Source: page 445
Transcribed by Ann Hopkins - October 05, 2005

Thomas Emery Searles

    There are many men of prominence in the County of Chenango, among whom none are more favorably known than the subject of this personal history, who is engaged in farming in Bainbridge township. He is a son of Reuben and Ruth (Mead) Searles, and was born July 27, 1840 in the town of Bainbridge, on what is known as Searles Hill.

    His grandfather, Abner Searles, was a native of Dutchess County, NY.; when he came to this county he purchased a tract of land containing 400 acres, which has ever since been known as Seales Hill. His perserverance was remarkable..........He died in 1852. His marriage with Miss Freelove Herrick was productive of seventeen children of whom nine grew to maturity. Mrs. Searles passed away from this live , Feb. 15, 1853.

    Reuben Searles, the father of our subject was born December 23, 1799, in Dutchess County and came to Bainbridge with his parents when whe was ten years of age. He lived on Searles Hill and followed farming all his life. He married Ruth Mead and to them were born five boys and one girl, names as follows: Arvine, a retired farmer, who resides in Bainbridge; George, a mine owner and operator of Tombstone, Arizona;, Abner, a prominent farmer of Bainbridge; Lepha, deceased was the wife of George W. Davis of Bainbridge; Burton M, now a resident of the State of Iowa, who entered the Civil War,Sept. 3, 1864, in the 5th Reg. NY heavy Art, and fought gallantly until the close and Thomas E. Religiously, Reuben Sealres was a member of the Methodist Church. Politicallly , he was originally a Whig, but later joined the ranks of the Repubilcan party.

    Thomas E. Searles received his education in the common schools, and was reared upon the farm. He followed agricultural pursuits all his life, with the exception fo the war period, when he with his brothers willingly discharged his duties in behalf of the Union. He enlisted in the 5th Reb. NY. Heavy Art as a private, and served on guard duty all the time, being ever faitful in the performance of whatever service was requuired of him. March 1, 1894 he moved to the town of Bainbridge and has since lived a private life.

Source: p. 87

Jesse H. Shepard

    JESSE H SHEPARD. As a citizen of Sheburne Village, it affords us pleasure to present a few facts connected with the history of Mr. Shepard's past, before the reading public. Mr. Shepard is a member of the firm of Shepard & Sholes, dealers in drugs and groceries, also a member of the firm, Blanding & Shepard, dealers in hay and produce. The business is carried on methodically, systema6ically, and in a strictly honorable manner. The early patrons of the establishment still continue as his customers, and new ones are constantly being added to the list. The operation of the store for the past few years has firmly grounded the proprietors in the confidence and good will of the community. Our subject was born at Fly Creek, Otsego County, N>Y., February 15, 1849, and is a son of Edwin P. and Ann Eliza (Walker) Shepard and grandson of Pliny and Elizbeth (Bowers) Shepard. Pliny Shepard was born in the town of Otsego, Otsego County, and became one of the leading men of his district. He followed agricultural pursuits, and at the time of his death owned a large estate, the property now owned by his youngest son Willard N. Mr. and Mrs. Shepard were active and consistent members of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

    Edwin P. Shepard was born in Pierston, N.Y. February 24, 1824 and received his education in the district schools of his native town. He then taught school for a number of years, and finally learned the trade of a carpenter and pattern-maker, which occupation he followed in the village of Camden, N.Y., where he lived until he retired to the village Sherburne. He purchased a home there and spent the remaining years of his life in ease. He married Ann Eliza Walker, a daughter of Nicodemus Walker and the daughter of Nicodemus Walker, and the following children were born to them: Frances J., the widow of Seth Phelps, who resides at West Bay, Mich. ; Jesse H., the subject of this biography.; Carrie, the wife of Henry Byam of Collingwood, N.J.; and Lucia deceased. In politics, Mr. Shepard was an ardent Republican and in religious belief was a Methodist. He passed from this life May 2, 1895.

    The Camden Union School and the Hillsdale High School (Michigan) furnished our subject with the essential principles of an education. He started out in life with nothing but strong bands and an abundance of energy and perseverance, as well as with a fixed purpose in life. Leaving home he engaged as clerk in the drug store of E. N. Skinner where he remained until 1872, in which year he came to the village of Sherburne, and her came identified with the leading commercial and business interests of the village. For fifteen years he was the senior member of the firm of Shepard, Walker & Co., having started under the name of Walker & Shepard and selling out to the York & Failing in 1885. After this he bought up bankrupt stocks and held them until opportunities presented themselves, when he disposed of them at a profit. In 1890 he purchased the drug store of Heberd & Amsden and on September 1, 1894, took in Mr. Sholes as a partner, and they still continue under the firm name of Shepard & Sholes. They carry a complete line of drugs, stationery and groceries, having the largest store of the kind in Chenango County. In 1892, he formed a partnership with Mr. Blanding and together they engaged in buying and selling baled hay, straw, potatoes, apples and eggs. They ship some 200 cars of produce to the New England States every year. Mr. Shepard is the owner of several houses in the village, and deals extensively in real estate. He was one of the chief promoters and builders of the Sherburne Water Works, and is president of the present board of water commissioners. He is part owner and manager of the Opera house, which is one of the finest blocks in the village and also owns one-sixth interest in the Sherburne Gas Works

    He chose for his companion Miss H. Amelia Harris, daughter of John and Ardella(Andres) Harris. Mrs. and Mrs. Harris come from the State of Massachusetts, and settled in the town of Norwich, where the former occupied a position of prominence among the early agriculturists as a man of industry and enterprise. They later moved to Sherburne, and made that village their home ever after. Mr. Harris died at the age of fifty-five years, while his wife filled out seventy five years. The following children composed their family: Cornelia; George A.; Irving; and H. Amelia, the wife of our subject. To Mr. and Mrs. Shepard were born two children namely: Frederick I., who was born December 24, 1877. The elder son is a graduate of the Sherburne Union School and the Bordentown Military Academy, and is now clerking in his father's drug store. They younger son, a graduate of the Albany Business College, is the senior member of the firm, Shepard, McKee & Co., gentlemen's outfitters and furnishers of Sherburne, in which establishment the subject of this sketch is also financially interested. Socially, Mr. Shepard is a member of the Sherubrne Lodge, No. 444, F& A.M. and is affiliated with other societies, some purely Fraternal and social, and others benevolent in their character. He is a Republican in his political affiliations, but is not active in his support of the party; in the election of 1896, he voted for William Jennings Bryan, believing that the principles advocated by that candidate were for the best interests of the country. His business relations are of the pleasantest. He has had to labor for all the good he now enjoys, and his present leading position in the lines of business in which he is intimately interested comes as a direct result of the system and care with which he watches every detail. The hold which he has upon the best class of customers is the best commentary upon his business ability and extreme fidelity. Mr. Shepard and family are members of the Congregational Church of Sherburne.

Source: page 247
Transcribed by Ann Hopkins - November 19, 2005

William E. Stover

    William E. Stover, supervisor of the town of Smyrna, and a prominent citizen of his section, is a descendant of one of the first families to settle in the northern part of Chenango County and was born in the town of Smyrna on the farm he now owns and operates. April 4, 1860. He is a son of Richard E. and Philura P. (Keeler) Stover and grandson of William and Betsey (Elwood) Stover. His great grandfather was Adam Stover and his great great-grandfather, Jacob Stover.

    Jacob Stover (or Stauffer) was the first of the family to come to America; he landed on one of the West India Islands, and remained there three months, when he was joined by his brother. He finally settled in Dutchess County, N.Y., while his brother took up his home in Pennsylvania. It is said that the latter had a lartge family of children, but notheing further is known of him, for communication was not to be easily had in the early part of the eighteenth centurly. Jacob Stover had four children: three sons, Phelta, Matinas and Adam; and one daughter whose name is not known. Matinas and his sister whose husband'd name was Emiegh, went to Canada about the time of the Revolutionary War closed, and settled near Kingston, then a wilderness. The government gave the family of each settler an axe and a hoe.. The names of Stover and Emiegh are quite common in those parts, the members of those families being invariable well to do. Phelta settled in New York State, near Lake Champlain. The date of Jacob Stover's death is unknown, but he was laid to rest in the burying grounds of the old Luteran Stone Church, beside the Luteran minister of whose church he was long a member.

    Adam Stover, the youngest son of Jacob Stofver, continued to reside in Dutchess County, and married Mary Woolweaver Koonz, a woman of high intellectual endowments. They had seven Childdren, six sons and one daughter, namely: William; Michael; Frederick; Adam; Peter; John and Mary, who married Peter McLees, and for her second husband Shuble Nichols. Adam Stover presented each of his sons, when they becomae of age, with a wagon made by himself. All his children had large families.

    William Stover, the grandfather of our subject, was born in Ditchess County, N.Y., May 23, 1765 and died in Smyrna, N.Y., November 4, 18941. On October 3, 1789, he married Elizabeth Holnbeck, who was born in 1768 and died in 1806. Their chidlren were: Mary; Adam; Betsy; Asenath; Samuel; Hannah; Jemina; and William. In 1808 he married Betsey Elwood, who gave birth to the following children: lSusan, who married Russell Wilcox; Lydia, the wife of Alfred Seymour; Benjamin; Ruth, who married Jarvis Pike; John A. , Catherine (Mrs Thomas l. Willcox) and Richard Elwood our subjects's father. The father of Betsey (Elwood) Stover was Richard Elwood whose wife was Catherine Bell, and whose children were: Polly (Spencer); Betsey (Stover); Susan (W9ilcox); Catherine (Russell); Margaret (Morse); Dorothy (Goodman); Benjamin R; Daniel; Peter P; John B.; and Isaac R. The last named was a lawyer, and cherk of the New York Senate from 1843 to 1847, inclusive. John B., a physician, resided in Rochester, and was mayor of that city in 1847. Betsey (Elwood) Stover was born in 1778 and died in Smyrna in 1855.

    William Stover, when he came to Chenango County as a young man , purchased a tract of about 400 acres of land in the town of Smyrna, then Shervurne, where he farmed the rest of his life and reared his large family of children. He built himself a house near the present dwellinfg of our subject, the latter structure being erectied about 1814.

    Richard E. Stover, the father of our subject, was ushered into life in the town of Smyrna, January 21, 1822, and took up farming on a valley farm near his father's place. This property he improved in many ways and had the reputation of being a successful as well as hard working farmer. His death which terminated his career in 1873 at the age of fifty-one years, was the result of an accident. He was in the woods giving instructions as to how he wished a tree cut down; the tree came down with a crash, with him well out of the way of its fall, but the jar caused a dead tree back of him to topple over and fall, a knot giving the blow that resulted in death. Mr. Stover married Philura P. Keeler in 1851; she was a daughter of Noarh and Lmindwell(Youngs) Keeler, and granddaughter of nathan and Martha (Gregory) Keeler. Nathan Keeler, a native of Connecticut, moved from that state when his son Noah was a land and died in Otego, Otsego County, N.Y. These children constituted his family: Ebenezer, Nathan, Noah, lBetsy, Estehr, Nancy, Polly and Martha; the last two remained in Connecticut. Nearly all these children reared large families, member of which went to Illinois many years ago. Noar Keeler was born in 1788, and died in Smyrna, N.LY. in 1852. He reared these children: Lucinda, Polly, Nancy, Elxie, Rosana, Rhoda, Philura (Stover) and Devolson. His wife Mindwell, was one of a family of sisteen children. Her ancestors came from England in the latter part of the seventeenth century. He faather, Joeph Youngs, a native of Connect8icut, settled near Amsterdam, N.Lyl, when the surrounding country was a wildrerness. He served in the Revolutionary War, and in after years was never weary of eulogizing Wahington, whom he had seen many times. Joseph Youngs married Elizabeth Peck, and their children had numerous descendants. Elizabth Peck had two brothers in the Revolutionay War, both of whom were killed in battle; they both paerticipated in the battle of Bunker Hill. Their mother, who lived within hearing of the guns, passed the time of the conflict in great anziety. She died in Albany at ninety years of age.

    There were born to our subject's father and his wife two children, anmely: William E. our subject; and Burt W., who married Miss Jessie Nash of Poolville, N.Y. and lives in Norwich, this countym where he is filling the office of deputy county clerk. He was educated at Phillips Academy, Andover, Mass. Richard E. Stover was a Republican of decideed views and well formed opionions. He held several town officies and was railroad commisssioner for many years. The M. E. church was his church home.

    William E. Stover, in whomm the interest of this personal narration centers was given a good, practical education in the district schools, and in a private school of Utrica, Ny and with his brother ran the home farm. In 1890 Mr. Stover, became connected with a drug business, which he continued some little time. Mr. Stover is also interested in the Empire Chemical Co., of Earlville, N. Y. he actively interested in the material progress and welfare of the town of Smyrna and is a staunch Republican in his politcal views. He has been justice of the peace since 1881, served as road commissioner two years, and as supervisor six years, in which capacity he now laboring in behalf of Smyrna.

Source: page 435-437
Transcribed by Ann Hopkins - 1 Jun 2005

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

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