Bio's of people from Berkshire, NY



JAMES DAVIDGE, superintendent of the Berkshire tannery, of the United States Leather Company, was born October 18, 1840, at Liberty, Sullivan county, N. Y. He is a son of the late John and Eunice (Burr) Davidge. James was educated in the Normal In. stitute at Liberty, graduating there in 1858. He entered his father's tannery at Lake Como. Pa., and remained at that place until 1865 when he entered the firm of Davidge, Horton & Co., and purchased the tannery owned by T. C. Bidwell & Co., at Berkshire, N. Y. In 1893 the company was with others merged in the United States Leather Company. Mr. Davidge, a stockholder in this concern, was elected superintendent of the Berkshire tannery. He is vice-president of the Owego National bank and interested in several manufactories. Mr. Davidge is a large holder of wild lands in Wyoming county, Pa., in Braxton county, W. Va., and in the western part of North Carolina. On January 19, 1864, he was married with Rosalia Miller, daughter of John and Sophronia (Gay) Miller, of Uniondale, Pa. Mr. and Mrs. Davidge have three children: Carrie, Bessie G., and John M. In the spring of 1894 Mr. Davidge removed with his family to Binghamton, N. Y., where they now reside.

DR. RALPH D. EASTMAN was born in Cortland county, August 3, 1849. His fa.ther was George W. Eastman, and his mother, Nancy W. Atwater, was a descendant of David Atwater, one of the original planters of.. New Haven, Conn. The mother of George W. Eastman, Sally Webster, was a cousin of Daniel Webster. Dr. Eastman received his preliminary education at Berkshire and Owego, and he taught school nine years, principally in Cheniung county, this state. He was then employed by the state board of regents as an instructor. In the spring of 1878 he came to Berkshire, having just completed the course of study in the medical department of the university of Buffalo, and received his diploma. In June of the same year he married Helen Stark, of Penn Yan, who died exactly one year later. Dr. Eastman was married the second time with Kate S. VanDuzer, of Horseheacis. She is a daughter of the late William Henry and Susan (Sayre) VanDuzer of that town. Dr. Eastman. was appointed United States examining surgeon during Harrison's administration, and is now secretary of the medical society of Tioga county, and has previously served the society as president. He is a member of the Congregational church of Berkshire. Dr. Eastman is a progressive citizen and occupies a handsome home on the principal street in the village.

MARCUS J. FORD was born in the town of Berkshire September 29, 1839. His father Lebbeus Ford came to Berkshire from Massachusetts when he was 16 years old, at that time the present towns of Berkshire, Richford and Newark Valley were all Berkshire. Lebbeus Ford and his brother Marcus were the first blacksmiths in the town. Marcus Ford, son of Lebbeus. was one of four children, two of whom are still living, Mrs. Ira Crawford and William W. Ford who lives on the old homestead. Marcus J. Ford and Sarah E. Townley were married January 17, 1866, at New Providence, N. J., her home, and came to Berkshire to live ; they have 10 children. Floride M., married Everett Winfleld and lives at South Owego. Ford is unmarried and lives away from home. Lebbeus married Edith Harvey and lives on Wilson Creek. Lena married Lee Lockwood and Harriet married Daniel Scudder, Eliza married Ralph W. Leonard, all live in Berkshire, the rest are at home. The family attend the Methodist church. Mr. Ford is a staunch democrat and his wife a strong temperance woman, a member of the W. C. T. U.

JOHN REWEY FORD, whose mother's father was one of the first settlers in Berkshire, is the son of Alfred Hyde and Eunice Rewey Ford, and was born August 25, 1840. He received his education at the Berkshire school. February 8, 1871, he married Margaret Shaff, daughter of Joseph and Ann Haselden Ford. One son was born to them, Alfred Hyde Ford, born October 18, 1875. He married Kate Stewart of Richford, November 18, 1844, and has taken his father's Place on the farm in the town of Berkshire the same as John Ford succeeded his father. The subject of this sketch now lives pleasantly in the village of Berkshire. He was postmaster of that village during President Cleveland's first administration. Mr. Ford though retired from active farm work is still greatly interested in the tilling of the soil and is an active member and director of the Northern Tioga agricultural society. He is a member of the Methodist church, the improved order of Red Men a.nd numerous other societies.

CHARLES JOHNSON DEWEY, Son of Ezekiel and Lucy Johnson Dewey, was born May 10, 1825, in the town of Richford. in L834 the family moved to Lisle, Broome county, where Ezekiel Dewey conducted a hotel for three years. At the end of that period the family returned to Richford and remained there three years, moving then to Berkshire where Mr. Dewey has since resided. He received his education in the schools of Berkshire and Newark Valley, and, on October 22, 1855, he married Mrs. Lucinda C. Cargill, of Lee, Mass. Three children were born to them; Clara, born July 29, 1857, married January 9, 1879 with Eugene Lynch of Berkshire; Flora Lucy, born July 27, 1861, and was married on October 22, 1884 with Alexander Manning of South Owego; Dwight W., born February 25, 1863, and on June 25, 1890 married with Jessie Taylor of Berkshire. Mrs. Dewey's maiden name was Warren. She married John Cargill on November 21, 1852. He died October 9, 1854. Their only child, Olive M., died in her fifth year. Mr. Dewey was a justice of the peace for the town of Berkshire for twelve years and has at different times been town clerk and overseer of the poor. He is a member of the Methodist church, also trustee.

JUNIUS COLLINS was horn June 12, 1826 in Hartford, Cortland county, N. Y. His father, Horatio Collins, was born July 2, 1799, and died June 28, 1867. His wife, Emily (Ball) Collins, was born August 12, 1804, and died May 14, 1873. Horatio Collins moved to Berkshire in 1806, and his soil Junius has lived all of his life in that town except four years when he was employed as a clerk in Canandaigua. His education was acquired in the schools of Berkshire and at select schools at Lenox, Mass., and at the academy at Homer, N. Y. When his education, which .was very liberal for those days, and has since been augmented by careful reading and diligent study, was completed, Mr. Collins came to Berkshire and assisted his father in the management of his large farm. It was at the age of twenty-one that Mr. Collins went to Canandaigua., and, returning from that place, he again took up the work of the farm and remained with his father until the latter's death. Mr. Collins was married on September 20, 1860, at Newark Valley with Helen Augusta, daughter of Lawyer and Savilla (Woodford) Byington. Mrs. Collins was born at Bristol, Hartford county, Conn., October 16, 1827. Her mother, aged 91 years, is now living at Newark Valley. Her father died in 1856. Mr. Collins is a member of and a trustee of the First Congregational church of Berkshire. He is a justice of the peace and has held that office for the past twenty-five years, giving universal satisfaction as a regulator of matters of difference between parties and for the good order of the business interests in the town. Several years ago Mr. Collins relinquished active farming and now occupies a pleasant home in the village of Berkshire.

CHARLES TALCOTT LEONARD is a grandson of Asa Leonard, who was among the first settlers in Berkshire, and son of Louis G. and Hannah (Royce) Leonard. His father, Louis Gigget Leonard, was born in West Stockbridge, Mass., in 1796, and came to Berkshire when a very young lad. He married Hannah Royce in Berkshire on February 28, 1821. She died in New Haven, Conn., April 14, 1889, aged 90. Mr. Leonard died November 1, 1830, aged 36. Their second son, Julius Yale Leonard, born in June, 1827, married in June, 1857, devoted twenty years of his life to services as missionary of the A. B. C. F. M., in Asiatic Turkey. He returned to the United States with greatly impaired health and died at Clifton Springs, N. Y., October 29, 1894. Harriet Sabrina Leonard, a daughter born November 1, 1830, married Ruel P. Cowles, of New Haven, Conn., in September, 1855, and is still living. Charles Talcott Leonard was born January 21, 1825, within half a mile of his present home, just outside the village of Berkshire. December 17, 1874, he married Mrs. Adelia (Miller) Watrous of Berkshire. One son was born to them, Theodore Miller Leonard, born December 22, 1876, now a student of Oberlin university. Mrs. Leonard's daughter, Hattie Watrous, is a teacher at White Plains, N. Y. Mr. Leonard is a member of the Congregational church of Berkshire, in which he is at present a deacon, and in which he was for years a trustee. He has passed his entire life in the town of Berkshire, managing the large farm where he is peacefully passing the latter days of an useful and well-spent life.

FREDERIC WILLIS WITTER, son of Asa and Delia (Torrey) Witter, was born in Richford, October 19, 1861. He was educated in Richford, and, in 1881, moved to Berkshire, where he learned the trade of a tinner, afterward going to South Dakota. He soon returned, and, with his brother, Frank, purchased a hardware store in the village, where he has since been located. February 18, 1884, he married Flora, daughter of Grant W. Barnes, of Richford. They have one daughter, Mildred D., born February 26, 1885, and now living at home. Mr. Witter is a member of Newark Valley lodge, No. 614, F. & A. M. In politics he is a republican and was town clerk of Berkshire for six years.

ROBERT CHARLES BROWN was born September 30, 1841, near his iresent home just outside the village of Berkshire. His father was Charles Brown, who married Eliza M. Ball, of Berkshire. Isaac Brown, a great uncle, and Daniel Ball were the first two settlers in Berkshire. Isaac Brown was the first person buried in the cemetery in Berkshire, his death having occurred in 1797. On the same day, Joseph Waldo and Mr. Brown's grandfather each built a frame house, the first to be etected in the town. Mr. Brown has resided in Berkshire all his life. On January 5, 1865, he married Louise S. Cross, daughter of William Cross, of Richford. Five children were born to them : Josephine Anne, born December 14, 1866; Julia Louise, born March 27, 1870, married Orson E. Rockwell in June, 18893 and has two children (Clara Louise and Edith Lucile); Lucile, born December 25, 1871 ; Charles Henry, October 12, 1874; George, December 29, 1879; all living. Mr. Brown is a member of the Congregational church. He was a few years ago elected tax collector on the democratic ticket (the town being almost unanimously republican) by a large plurality.

IRA CRAWFORD came to Berkshire from Ithaca, N. Y., in 1840. He was born in the latter place March 22, 1821. His entire life, since leaving Ithaca, has been spent in Berkshire. He was the blacksmith in the village until 1859, then engaged in lumbering and in farming. He has conducted the Crawford House since 1870 and also managed a large farm just outside the village. Mr. Crawford has been an industrious man and is now reaping the fruits of his labors. He was married in 1844 with Julia A. Rightmire, who died April 1, 1879. Mr. Crawford was married, the second time, to Harriet H. Ford, on October 22, 1879. Of the eight children of the first marriage four are now living: Eugene, of Freeville; Ira 0. and Mrs. Abbey Gay, of Berkshire, and James H., of Newark, N. J. Mr. Crawford is a member of Newark Valley lodge, No. 614, F. & A. M., and was a prominent member of the Odd Fellows before the local lodge disbanded.

JAMES W. SHERMAN was born in Middlefleld, Otsego county, and came to the town of Berkshire, locating at Wilson creek, thirty-two years ago, and has resided there ever since. He married Elizabeth Hardy, who came from England. Two boys and two girls were born to them: Sarah, married George Lane, of Candor; Anna, who lives at home; Edward, married Elizabeth Clark, and lives in the town of Berkshire, and Hiram, who also lives in the town of Berkshire.

WILLIAM P. RIGHTMIRE, son of Squire and Perciss J. (Raymond) Rightmire, was born in the town of Berkshire, October 9, 1838. He was educated, in the Berkshire school, and February 12, 1862, married Mary L., daughter of Beriah Bishop, of Binghamton, Broorne county. The children born to them were Louise Jeanette, born January 23, 1863, married in 1893, to Homer Spoon, of Binghamton; Marian Avaleen, born June 24. 1864, died May 1, 1885; Eugene S., born March 9, 1867, niarried Julia Monell, of Newark Valley, and has two children (Floyd, aged ten years, and May, aged eight years); Ralph Dewitt, born July 24, 1881; Daisy Elizabeth, born July 2, 1884. Mr. Rightmire has been superintendent of the United States Leather company's tannery at Berkshire for twenty-three years. He is a republican in politics, and, while he has never held office, his influence has always been manifested on election clay. Mr. Rightmire is a member of Newark Valley lodge, 263, F. & A. M., and also of the Congregational church of Berkshire.

CHARLES HENRY DORWIN, was born April 20, 1842, in Cleveland, Ohio. His father, Orrin (Gunson) Dorwin, married Arrilla Betsey Cook (now living), grand-daughter of Ashael Royce, one of the earliest settlers in Berkshire. Mr. Dorwin was educated in the Brookside boarding school at Berkshire, and a private school in Chicago. He enlisted November 21, 1862 at Union Point, Col., in the third Colorado infantry, which was mounted at Benton barracks, Mo., and designated 2d Colorado Cavalry, and at the close of his service, on July 14, 1865, was discharged at Milwaukee, Wis. In 1881 he became cashier and bookkeeper at the Davidge, Horton & Co. tannery in Berkshire, now the United States Leather Co., a position which he still ifils. Mr. Dorwin was married April 23, 1879, with Ellen Merrell of Massachusetts. Three children were born to them: Ralph, June 9, 1880; Amy, January 24, 1883; Philip, October 22, 1885; all now living at home.

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