Genealogy and History
The History of Schuyler County New York
Source: History of Tioga, Chemung, Tompkins and Schuyler Counties, New York; Philadelphia: Everts and Ensign, 1879
Within the limits of the original town of Catharine were effected the earliest settlements in what now constitutes
Schuyler County, and among the earliest in the old county of Tioga. But the earlier settled portion of the town
has been detached, and is now included in the recently organized town of Montour, in the history of which (and
of Havana) can be found much interesting data pertaining thereto. The town received its name from Catharine Montour,
the celebrated half-breed queen of the Senecas, who once resided in this section of country, and whose residence
was near Havana, formerly called "Catharinestown."
The soil is chiefly a gravelly loam intermixed with clay, of a fertile nature, and under the excellent cultivation
it receives is highly productive. Cayuta Lake lies in the northeastern part of the town, and its outlet flows south
into the Susquehanna. Catharine Mills Creek waters the north and west parts of the town. In the territory now included
in Catharine, settlements were made a few years prior to the commencement of the present century. Through the same
energy that characterized the pioneers of the other towns, the forests disappeared and fertile fields and verdant
meadows are now interspersed throughout the town. The experiences of the early settlers were similar to those in
all new countries, and required indomitable enterprise to develop the natural resources the town possessed. That
it was successfully done, is shown by the present prosperity of the town, the productions of which, in some respects,
are without a rival.
At and around the present villages of Catharine and Odessa the pioneers of the town located.
Johnson's Settlement.-John Mitchell, who came in the spring of 1799, was the pioneer of this section of country.
He was soon followed by Josiah Hinman, from Trumbull, Fairfield Co., Conn., purchased his place on lot No. 7, in
1799, and settled thereon that year. His son, Elijah S. Hinman, and father of the present Elijah S. Hinman, came
the same year, and in 1802 settled the eastern half of lot No. 8.
David Beardsley, from the same county in Connecticut as the above, having come West by way of Geneva, and having
settled for a short time on the place where John Jackson now lives, in the town of Montour, finally settled on
lot 1, on the farm now occupied by Lucius Beardsley, his son. He died many years since, at an advanced age. His
son, Lewis Beardsley (1st), still lives in the town at the age of eighty two years, having been born March 4,1796.
One daughter, Lucy M., wife of Benjamin Stribling, of Virginia, Ill., also survives. Ebenezer Mallory settled the
farm now occupied by his grandson, Alexander Mallory, near Alpine, in 1799. The farm has remained in the family
Samuel Winton, from Fairfield Co., Conn., came in 1800, and settled on part of lot 22. His sons were Burr and George,
both deceased, and Samuel. Solomon Booth settled on lot No. 1, in 1800, afterwards known as the Osterhout farm.
Elijah and Isaac Booth, sons of the above, settled on the old Barnabas Miller farm the same year. His sons were
Ransom E., Solomon S., Dr. Winthrop E., and John J. Booth, all deceased. John Coe and Ichabod Meeker, from Fairfield
County, also came in 1800; and Simeon Lovell, who was the first blacksmith in town, and noted as an excellent workman,
the same year.
In 1804, Isaac Lyon came in from Fairfield Co., Conn., and settled on lot No. 9, on the south side of the road,
just east of the Corners. He died April 1, 1821. His sons were Joseph, Jesse, Asa, Walter, Edward, and John, Walter,
father of Jesse Lyon, is still living, at the advanced age of eighty-one years. His residence adjoins that of his
son Jesse, at Catharine. Jesse Lyon is the president of the Schuyler County Agricultural Society, and was for nine
years in succession supervisor of the town, one-third of which time he was chairman of the board. He is the present
Noble Grand of Havana Lodge, No. 56, I. O. of O. F., and a trustee of the Methodist Episcopal Churches "t
Catharine and Odessa. He is essentially one of the solid and influential men of his town and county.
The same year (1804) John Stiles arrived, and soon afterwards died at the house of David Beardsley.
In 1806, Lemuel Shelton came in and settled on lot No. 21. He had eleven children, at one time all residents of
the town; but as they grew up most of them moved West.
One of his sons, Nichols, is the father of D. L. Shelton, the well-known merchant of Havana. The same year Zachariah
Beardsley settled on lot No. 3, about half a mile south of Odessa.
William H. Prince, from Dutchess Co., N.Y., settled on lot No. 22; his sons were Munsen, James N., and Charles;
the last, who alone survives, resides in Havana.
James Osterhout came in 1811, from Ulster Co., N.Y.
Zachary A. Lewis came in 1812 and settled on lot No. 6, about one and a half miles from the Corners. He died in
March, 1852; his sons, Thompson and Frederick died several years since. His son, Francis, occupies the old homestead.
Eli Beardsley settled on lot No. 21, in 1812. His son, Cyrus, is still living in the town.
Eaton Agard came in from Litchfield Co., Conn., in 1813, and settled on the farm now occupied by his son, Eaton
J. Agard. Mr. Agard was justice of the peace from 1837 to 1855; supervisor in 1846-47, and at one time an associate
judge of the county. He died Oct. 7, 1863. Eaton J. Agard was supervisor of the town from 1865 to 1867, inclusive.
Dr. Daniel M. Agard, another son, was born in the town, graduated from the Geneva Medical College, studied with
Dr. Nelson Winton, at Havana, and died April 13, 1870.
Barnabas Miller came in 1814 from East Hampton, L. I., and settled on the place first occupied by Elijah Booth
and afterwards by Poland Downs. He died in February, 1872.
In 1824, Phineas Catlin, Esq., settled on a farm now included in Odessa. He was born in the old town of Catharine,
Jan. 30, 1795, whither his father, Judge Phineas Catlin, had moved from Fairfield Co., Conn., in 1792. Phineas
Catlin, Esq., is the father of the present sheriff of the county, Henry B. Catlin, and was himself three years
supervisor of his town, and several years town clerk.
Rev. J. W. Nevins was ordained a minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1829, and in 1837 was stationed
in this town. In 1844 he was appointed presiding elder, and traveled the Elmira District three years. In 1817
he was appointed presiding elder of the Geneva District, and traveled the same three years. He is one of the oldest
ministers of the gospel in the county.
Dr. Van Veckten arrived at Johnson's Settlement in 1830-31, and practiced medicine there for many years. He was
one of the earliest physicians in that part of the town.
SETTLEMENT IN THE NORTHERN PART
Previous to 1813 the northern part of the present town of Catharine, being about two-thirds of its area, remained
in the hands of non-resident owners. A few small openings had been made, generally by girdling the trees, in the
neighborhood of Cayuta Lake, mostly by men of that migratory class who usually precede permanent settlers, and
who regard agricultural pursuits as subordinate to fishing and hunting. Tradition has handed down the name of
___ Paulding as the earliest of these, and probably the first white man residing within the present limits of the
The earliest settlers at Johnson's Settlement remembered his cabin standing on the point near the subsequent location
of the residence of Joseph Lawrence. About 1800, Isaac Buckalew made a girdling about half a mile southwest from
the lake on lot 44; it is now a part of the George Burge farm. It lay on the line of the Indian trail passing
from the head of the Seneca to the head of Cayuga Lake, which ran on the west side of the lake. The Buckalew clearing
was for many years a well-known landmark in "the seven-mile woods," lying between the north settlement
in Catharine and the Harvey settlement in Hector. Its identity is now effaced by the removal of the surrounding
About 1803, James Smith made an opening on the east side of the lake, near the subsequent place of residence of
Wm. T. Lawrence; he was killed about 1816 by the accidental discharge of his rifle. His two sons, William and
Hooker Smith, long resided near Cayutaville, and left numerous descendants. Smith Valley, in Hector, derives its
name from the sons of James Smith, who were half-brothers of Hooker and William Smith. Garrard Smith also settled
at an early day on the east side of the lake. He was drowned in the lake in 1815, and was buried on the point,
which, in commemoration of him, is still called "Garret's Point". He said that he had visited the lake
in 1779 while acting as a scout for Sullivan's army. About 1812, Sylvanus A. Beeman commenced a clearing on lot
35, near the present location of Daniel Krum's Hotel. His "betterments" were subsequently purchased
by Joseph Lawrence, as they came within the limits of what he intended for his farm.
In 1813, ___ Connor occupied a cabin near the lake, within the present limits of the lawn surrounding the residence
of Abraham Lawrence. In July, 1813, Samuel and Joseph Lawrence, who were sons of Jonathan Lawrence, one of the
partners in the Watkins and Flint Purchase, and who had inherited from the father the principal part of the northeast
section of township No. 3 in that purchase, constituting about half of the present town of Catharine, having determined
to fix their residence on the west side of Cayuta Lake, contracted with the late Samuel Winton, of Johnson's Settlement,
to erect houses for them, to be completed within the following year. In the fulfillment of this contract the late
David Beardsley and Elijah S. Hinman afterwards became partners.
Leaving New York early in October, 1814, they passed from Hoboken north to Montgomery, on the Newbury and Cochocton
turnpike, following it west of the Delaware River, which they crossed at Cochocton, and went thence through the
"beech woods" to Great Bend on the Susquehanna, which they crossed, and followed its north bank to Owego;
thence passing up the Owego, Catatunk, and Cayuta Creeks through the Dutch settlement to Johnson's Settlement,
the journey having occupied about two weeks. Remaining there two weeks (as neither of the houses at the lake was
yet fitted for occupancy), they removed to the house which was intended for the residence of Joseph Lawrence, and
both families occupied it until the following spring, when Samuel removed with his family to the house in which
he resided during the remainder of his life, and which is still the home of those of his family residing in Schuyler
County. During the following years, 1815-16, their houses and outbuildings were completed. Within the same period
they employed Isaac Swartwood to erect a sawmill on the east branch of Catlin's Mill Creek, just north of the present
location of the Magee Fish Ponds, for the purpose of furnishing lumber to complete their buildings and to increase
the building facilities for settlers in the northern part of their tract.
In 1816 a settlement was begun on Oak Hill, situated directly south of the lake; Titus F. Mix having contracted
to buy from Samuel and Joseph the southwest quarter of lot No. 7; his brother Samuel F. Mix, the southeast quarter
of lot No. 14; David Olmstead, Jr., the southeast quarter of lot 7, and northeast quarter of lot 14; his brother
Coleman Olmstead, the northeast quarter of lot 17; Richard Wilcox, the northwest quarter of lot 14; and about the
same time David Olmstead, Sr., the southeast quarter of lot No. 8.
In 1815 settlements were begun about one mile west from the lake, in the valley of the east branch of Catlin's
Mill Creek, extending up that valley to the south line of Hector, and westerly along that line. Elijah and David
Sturdevant contracted to buy lot 49; Jonathan Sturdevant, No. 50; John and Henry Chapman, No. 51; __ Sackett, No.
54; __ Mead, No. 55; Abijah Wakeman, No. 56; and Isaac Ganung, No. 57. In October 1816, Joseph Lawrence, whose
health had become very much impaired, left with his family to pass the winter in Newtown, Queen's Co., where his
wife's family resided. He died at Bloomingburg, Sullivan Co., N.Y., on his return in the following April.
His family never returned to reside on the place in Catharine. His widow is still living at Newtown, Queen's Co.,
N.Y., aged eighty-five years. The death of Joseph Lawrence caused a cessation in the sale of lands held jointly
by him and his brother until 1820, when their interests were divided by the late Judge Phineas Catlin and Elijah
S. Hinman, Esq., who had been appointed by a special act of Legislature commissioners for that purpose. The lands
assigned to the heirs of Joseph Lawrence (excepting such as had been already contracted) remained unsold until
1838, when his younges son became of age. Those of Samuel Lawrence continued to be sold.
Judge Wm. T. Lawrence, younger brother of Samuel and Joseph Lawrence, came in 1825, and settled on the farm now
owned by his heirs, on the east side of the lake. His widow occupied the old homestead until her decease, in 1877.
Judge Lawrence died in 1859.
Cayuta Lake is a very beautiful sheet of water, containing about 350 acres, located on the original Lawrence Tract,
and now owned by Hon. Abraham Lawrence, and others whose property surrounds it. The lake abounds in various kinds
of fish and affords both sport and recreation to those residing in its vicinity.
The first birth in the town was that of Charles, son of John Mitchell, in 1801.
The first marriage was that in which the high contracting parties were Samuel Winton and Alice Hinman.
The first death was that of Abel Peet, in 1800. Lewis Beardsley was killed by the falling of a tree, in 1802.
The first store was kept by Elijah Booth, in the old red house, on the farm subsequently owned and occupied by
Barnabas Miller, in 1800.
The first school was taught by Abraham Garry, near where Joseph Lyon now lives, probably about 1803.
The first church society organized was the Methodist Episcopal in 1805. This was the first in the county.
The first sawmill was erected by Isaac Swartwood for Robert C. Johnson, in 1799 at Odessa.
The first gristmill was built by David Beardsley, John Coe and Robert C. Johnson in 1801; also locted at Odessa.
The first road was laid out June 1, 1799 from George Mills' to Phineas Catlin's; the record being signed by John
W. Watkins and Phineas Catlin, Overseers of Highways.
By a statute passed May 15, A.D. 1798, the northern half of townships Nos 1 and 4, and the whole townships Nos.
2 and 3, of John W. Watkins' patent, were incorporated into a town by the name of Catharinestown. This town then
contained twenty-six families and 89, 407 acres. It was originally a part of Newtown (now Elmira, Chemung Co.)
Catlin and Veteran (Chemung County) were taken off, April 16, 1823; a part of Newfield (Tompkins County) was annexed
June 4, 1853 and a part was annexed to Cayuta, April 17, 1854. Finally Montour was taken off and organized into
a separate and distinct town, March 3, 1860.
The town officers appointed the first year, 1798, were as follows, viz.: Phineas Catlin, Supervisor; Joshua Ferris,
Town Clerk; David Culver, James Bowers and Selah Saterley, Assessors; George Mills Jr., Collector; John W. Watkins
and Phineas Catlin, Overseers of the Poor; James Brodrick, Commissioner of Highways; George Mills Jr, Abraham Coryell,
David Culver Jr., Constables; David Culver, Selah Saterley and Isaac Tewilliger, Overseers of Highways; John W.
Watkins, Phineas Catlin and James Brodrick, School Commissioners.
The town meeting for 1799 was held at the house of David Culver and that for 1800 at the residence of Thomas McClure.
At the town meeting in 1799, it was
"Voted that a good and sufficient fence four feet four inches high shall be a lawful fence against all kinds
of cattle, horses, sheep and hogs."
"May 3, 1799, the inspectors of the annual election returned 19 votes for Vincent Mathews for State Senator,
and 13 votes for Joseph White for the same position; 33 votes for John Miller for member of Assembly, and 1 for
Matthew Carpenter ditto."
Supervisors from 1798 to 1878 (inclusive), Phineas Catlin (13 years), Elijah S. Hinman (3 years), Elijah Y. Barnes,
Elijah S. Hinman, Samuel Lawrence (2 years), Amos Bonney, Elijah S. Hinman (3 years), Samuel Lawrence, Joseph L.
Darling (11 years), John G. Henry (4 years), Phineas Catlin (3 years), Eli Co. Frost (5 years), Eaton Agard (2
years), Marcus Crawford (2 years), Herman Van Vectan (2 years), Adam G. Campbell (2 years), Phineas Catlin (3 years),
Abraham Lawrence, H. Downs, Charles Cook (2 years), Alanson J. Cleveland, John McCarty, Abraham Lawrence (2 years),
Eaton J. Agard (3 years), Jesse Lyon (9 years), Martin D. Hall (2 years), present incumbent.
Town Clerks, Joshua Ferris (2 years), John W. Watkins (3 years), George Mills, Jr. (5 years), Uriel Bennett, Phineas
Catlin, Elijah S. Hinman, Phineas Catlin (2 years), Eli Y. Barnes, Samuel Winton (12 years), Phineas Catlin, Phineas,
Jr. (2 years), Phineas Catlin (10 years), Francis Lewis, Reuben K. Eastman, Nathan Coryell, Adam G. Campbell (4
years), Marcus Crawford (3 years), John Campbell (2 years), John W. Harvard, Archibald Campbell, John J. Lawrence,
David L. Shelton (2 years), Barr Shelton, John H. Hall, Marvin Bulkley, A. J. Cleveland, Alpheus Keyser, John H.
Hall, Henry B. Catlin (3 years), Jesse Lyon (3 years), Charles Shelton (5 years), Rosalvo Bulkley, Stearns J. Catlin,
Charles Shelton, present incumbent (4 years).
Justices of the Peace from 1830 to 1878 (inclusive), Samuel Winton, Thomas Mills, John Foot, Joseph L. Darling,
Samuel Winton, Thomas Mills, William T. Jackson, Eaton Agard, Samuel Winton, Josiah C. Robinson, Almon Bucher,
Eaton Agard, William P. Jackson (vacancy), Thomas L. Fanton, John G. Henry (vacancy), William P. Jackson, John
G. Henry, Samuel G. Crawford (vacancy), Eaton Agard, Thomas L. Fanton, Erastus P. Hart, John G. Henry, Eaton Agard,
Sydney S. Decker (vacancy), Levi B. Hazen, Minor T. Broderick, John G. Henry, William Morgan, John McCarty, Elam
Beardsley, Rufus W. Swan, Nathaniel Tracy (vacancy), Joseph L. Darling, Charles Broas (vacancy), J. W. Nevin, Minor
T. Broderick, Charles J. Broad, Henry T. Ward, J. W. Nevin, Eli S. Dickens, Andrew Stroughton, Thomas Couch, John
W. Nevin, Nathaniel Tracy, Henry T. Ward (vacancy), Robert B. Swan, John II. Hall, Henry B. Catlin, Albert Beebe
(vacancy), Austin B. Rumsey, Henry B. Catlin, Albert Beebe, John D. Wager, John H. Hall, George W. Paine.
The present town officers other than those contained in the above list, are Thomas J. Dove, Abel S. Dewitt, and
Peter Cooper, Assessors; Nelson Bradley, Overseer of the Poor; Abel Prince, Commissioner of Highways; Henry Lyon
and Scipio C. Beardsley, Auditors; William F. Henry, Martin V. Thompson, and John L. Halpin, Inspectors of Election;
Lewis Wait, Collector; David Thompson, Lewis Wait, James Benson, David Shappee, and Tillinghurst Brow, Constables;
William J. Mitchell, Game Constable.
ODESSA. This village is pleasantly situated on Catharine's Mills Creek, in the western part of the town. It was
laid out by Phineas Catlin, Esq., and surveyed by John Foster, about the year 1827. The name was suggested by the
last named gentleman and adopted by the proprietor of the site, as shown in the original draft of the plat now
in his possession. Among the early settlers were Phineas Catlin, John Foster, Coleman Olmstead, George Shelton,
The first store was erected by John Foster, and kept by him about 1838.
The first tavern was also kept by him about two years earlier. The " Odessa House" occupies the same
site, and a part of the old frame was included in the construction of the present building.
The first saw-mill was erected in 1799, by Isaac Swartwood for Robert Charles Johnson; and the first grist-mill
in 1801, by Messrs. David Beardsley, John Coe, and Robert C. Johnson, and conducted under the firm-name of Johnson,
Coe & Beardsley.
The first school-house was erected about 1825, and the first church edifice, that built by the Free-Will Baptists,
The place now contains one general, one grocery, and one drug-store, one millinery establishment, two blacksmithies,
one wagon-shop, one grist-mill, and three sawmills (at the place or close by), one planing-mill, a hotel, three
churches,-one each of the Methodist Episcopal, Free-Will Baptist, and Wesleyan Methodist denominations, -a public
school, two resident physicians, three ministers of the gospel, and one justice of the peace. Its population is
reasonably estimated at 300.
Odessa Flouring Mill. - The original grist-mill was erected as above mentioned, in 1801. It has been erroneously
stated that the first mill was built in 1798, but we have seen documents that prove that it was not commenced until
the spring of 1801. It had but one run of stone, and was quite a primitive affair. R. C. Johnson, the original
proprietor, sold the mill and privilege to Phineas Catlin, who operated it until, time-worn and decayed, he tore
it down and erected another mill on the site of the old one in 1836. This had three runs of stone, and was quite
an extensive mill for those days. This was destroyed by fire about 1850. The present mill was erected, still on
the same site, by Cornelius Misner, who conducted the business until 1870, when he sold to R. B. Lockhart, and
he to his son, Richard, the present proprietor. It has three runs of stone, grinds about 20,000 bushels of custom
work per annum, and is valued at about $15,000.
The Odessa Saw-Mill was first erected, as before stated, in 1799, and not in 1796, as some suppose. It passed through
several hands, and finally rotted down. The present mill was built about 1844, by Daniel Owens for Phineas Catlin;
was originally propelled by a flutter-wheel, and had an upright saw; at present by an overshot-wheel, and has a
circular saw. The proprietors are Messrs. Wood & Fowler saw about 250,000 feet per annum; water-power excellent.
These were the first mills erected within the present limits of Schuyler County.
ALPINE is located in the south part of the town, and up to 1875 was partly in the town of Cayuta. In the legislative
session of 1875-76, a bill was passed annexing the north half of lot No. 1, and lots Nos. 89 and 88, and the north
part of lot No. 87 of Cayuta, to the town of Catharine, thus locating all of Alpine in the latter town. Among the
early settlers of the place were Aaron E. and William P. Mallory, Caleb Robinson, Robert Lockesby, John H. Rumsey,
and others. The post-office was established about 1852-53, and Samuel C. Mix was appointed postmaster.
The place now contains two general stores, one grocery store, a hotel, two meat markets, three blacksmithies, two
wagon-shops, a cabinet-shop, a pump-manufactory, two shoe-shops, one tin-shop, one grist-mill, one saw-mill, one
planing-mill, one Baptist church and a Methodist Episcopal Society, a public school, two resident physicians, one
undertaker, and a resident minister of the gospel. The population is estimated at 300.
Alpine Flouring Mills were erected by Sylvester and Samuel Mix, in 1851. The latter subsequently retired from the
business, and his interest is now owned by Miller Hall. Has three runs of stone, and grinds about 15,000 bushels
of custom work per annum.
The saw-mill was originally erected by Messrs. Mallory & Mix, on the site of the present mill, which was built
in 1868 by Mix & Company, by whom it is still operated. Saws about 250,000 feet a year.
CATHARINE is situated about two miles southeast of Odessa, and is the oldest settled spot in the town. It is the
centre of the old Johnson's Settlement, and the names of the pioneers of that location are given elsewhere in the
history of this town. Here were erected the first church edifices in the county, that of the Methodist Episcopal
Society, in 1809, and that by the Protestant Episcopalians, about 1810. Both of these old landmarks are still standing.
The place now has a good general store, two blacksmith-shops, two wagon shops, one tannery, two churches,-one Methodist
Episcopal and one Protestant Episcopal,-a public school, and about two hundred inhabitants. The post-office was
established here about 1816. The first postmaster appointed was Chester W. Lord. The present incumbent is W. H.
Very soon after the pioneer settlement of the town, religious services were inaugurated, as usual in olden times,
held in dwellings, barns, and school-houses. Probably the first religious organization within the present limits
of Schuyler County was effected in this town at what was called "Johnson's Settlement," now Catharine
post-office. We find that
THE METHODIST EPISCOPAL SOCIETY OF CATHARINE was organized in 1805, and meetings were held in private houses until
1809, when a church building was erected. This old meeting-house is still standing on the premises of Jesse Lyon,
and is used by him for storing agricultural implements. Its antiquity is greater than that of any public building
now standing in the county, and few, if any, private houses antedate it. Its venerable age entitles it to preservation
until the inevitable ravages of "Father Time" shall crumble it to dust. The present house of worship
was erected in 1834. The first trustees were Samuel Agard, Jesse Lyon, Sewall Pike, Levi Mallett, and Simeon Lovell.
The present pastor is Rev. U. S. Hall; membership, 84; number of teachers and scholars in Sunday-school, 126; Superintendent,
Jesse Lyon; present trustees, Samuel A. Beardsley (President), Jesse Lyon (Secretary), David Dayton, S. C. Beardsley,
Daniel Millspaugh, Hamilton Keyser, Arthur Brown, James M. Cure, and David Crane.
THE METHODIST EPISCOPAL SOCIETY OF ALPINE was formed March 19, 1874, and the church edifice completed by them and
dedicated in July of the same year. The first pastor was Rev. G. S. Watson. The church building was commenced by
the "First Presbyterian Society," which was organized June 1, 1870. In March, 1872, an order was issued
by Judge G. Freer, of the county court, to take effect on the first of February following, whereby the society
was changed to a Free-Will Baptist organization, and work on the house of worship was continued by them. In March,
1874, the Methodists purchased the uncompleted building and finished it as above stated. It will comfortably seat
500 persons, and is valued at 155000. The present trustees are Jesse Lyon, S. C. Beardsley, Charles Howard, S.
C. Bolyen, Jacob Fitzgerald, Alonzo Graham, John D. Wager, and L. T. White; present pastor, Rev. U. S. Hall; membership,
35 ; number of teachers and scholars in Sunday-school, about 100; Superintendent, Mrs. Ellen Smith.
THE FIRST METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH OF ODESSA was organized Oct. 19, 1877, by Rev. U. S. Hall, with 62 members.
A class had been formed in 1870 with about 20 members. The church edifice was erected in the summer of 1877, and
dedicated Feb. 13, 1878, by Rev. B. S. Ives, assisted by Presiding Elder M. S. Hard, of Ithaca. The building will
seat 350 persons, and is valued at $2500. The present trustees are Stephen Beardsley, James Beardsley, Sewall Beardsley,
Warren Fowler, R. B. Lockhart, the latter is also class-leader; present pastor, Rev. U. S. Hall; membership, 62;
teachers and scholars in Sunday school, 60; Superintendent, Stephen Beardsley.
THE FIRST WESLEYAN METHODIST CHURCH OF ODESSA is a consolidation of the societies of the Foote's Hill and East
Hollow Societies, of that denomination, and was organized in 1856 by Rev. P. S. Lawson, with about 25 members.
The house of worship was built in 1856, and dedicated in the fall of that year by Rev. Luther Lee. It will seat
300 persons, and is valued at 82000. First trustees, John A. Reed, John Rumsey, Daniel Adams, and Lorenzo Brown;
membership, 45; number of teachers and scholars in Sunday-school, 58; Superintendent, Timothy Couch; present pastor,
Rev. C. H. Harris; Trustees, William Dolph, William Henry, Gilbert Woodward, Charles Howard, and L. J. Robinson.
St. John's Protestant Episcopal Church Of Catharine was organized in 1809, and soon thereafter a church building
was erected, which is still standing, and like the old Methodist house, stands on the premises of Jesse Lyon, and
is by him used as an out-house. It is a shingled building, and the shingles on the north side of the roof are apparently
as sound as ever they were. It enjoys a venerable antiquity, and is, therefore, deserving of preservation, as one
of the few existing landmarks of "ye olden time." The present church edifice was erected in 1835. The
first church wardens were William H. Prince and Isaac Lyon. The present number of communicants is 98; number of
teachers and scholars in Sunday-school, 41; Superintendent, Rev. Noble Palmer; Assistant Superintendent, Austin
J. Bradley; Wardens, L. W. Frost and Joel M. Couch; Vestrymen, Peter Cooper, George S. Hitchcock, Van Rensselaer
Brown, Austin G. Bradley, John H. Hall, Herman Cushing, and Charles Stone; Rector, Rev. Noble Palmer.
As time rolls on the circle of pioneers lessens, and very soon none will remain to recount the story of their early
toil and labor, and to repeat the history of the early settlements. Among the limited number of the very early
settlers of the old town of Catharine none occupy a more oxalted position than Walter Lyon and his estimable wife.
For nearly three-quarters of a century has he resided within a few rods of where we find him to-day, and where
doubtless the final summons will reach him in God's good time. Here on the old homestead he has experienced many
joys, and also many sorrows. Amid the humble scenes of the home where he has spent all, save seven years, of his
long and busy life, he cherished a fond desire to close all earthly toil and care, and when he passes hence he
will leave those behind to fill his place, for "Generations in their course decay, So flourish these when
those have passed away."
Walter Lyon was born in Fairfield Co., Conn., Oct. 2, 1797. In 1804 his parents, Isaac and Rachel (Edwards) Lyon,
removed from Fairfield County to what is now Catharine, Schuyler Co., N. Y., and located with their family of ten
children upon the lands subsequently owned and occupied by Walter Lyon, and now by his son Jesse. Isaac Lyon died
April 1, 1821, aged seventy-six years, his wife having preceded him to the grave, nearly six years, dying Sept.
24, 1815, in the fifty-eighth year of her age. A few years after the death of his father, Walter Lyon married Miss
Nancy Coe, with whom he has lived for nearly fifty-five years. On the event of their golden wedding, May 1, 1874,
a large number of relatives and friends assembled to do honor to the worthy couple, who together had passed through
a half century of toil and care in wedlock; and many substantial proofs of affectionate regard were bestowed upon
them. They have three children,-Jesse, Lucy, and Mary. Jesse resides on the old homestead; Lucy married A. J. Cleveland,
and resides at Peoria, Illinois; and Mary married David Turner, Jr., and resides in Chemung County. It is a somewhat
remarkable fact connected with this family that for more than fifty years there has not been a single death, either
among the parent stock or the children. The old couple enjoy excellent health, and retain all of their faculties.
During the past summer they visited their married daughter residing in Illinois, and suffered no apparent inconvenience
from that extended trip. They remain as old landmarks of the past, and may they yet tarry with us many years is
our earnest wish.
Residing on the old Lyon homestead, as before stated, is Jesse, son of Walter and Nancy (Coe) Lyon. He was born
within a few rods of where he now lives, March 20, 1825. He had the advantages of a common school only until he
attained his eighteenth year, when he entered the Ithaca Academy, where he completed his education. He subsequently
engaged in teaching during the winter, working on his father's farm during the summer months. At the age of twenty-five
he commenced a course of study at Lima Seminary, and spent a number of terms in connection with that institution
and Genesee College. In 1856 he was married to Miss Elizabeth Gaylord, of Penn Yan, since which time he has been
engaged in agricultural pursuits; and also in trade a part of the time. He held the position of postmaster at Catharine
a number of years; served four years as superintendent of schools in the old town of Catharine, and has held various
official positions, among others representing his town in the County Board of Supervisors for nine consecutive
years, four of which he was chairman of the board.
In 1872, Mr. Lyon was placed in nomination by the Republican party of Schuyler County as a candidate for member
of Assembly, but was defeated by a small majority by Hon. Jeremiah McGuire.
Mr. and Mrs. Lyon have two sons and three daughters, all of whom reside at home. Upon the premises of Mr. Lyon
are still standing the original edifices of the Methodist Episcopal and Protestant Episcopal Societies, the former
having been erected in 1809, and the latter in 1810. The old dwelling-house built by his grandfather is also standing,
and is occupied as a tenant-house. It was one of the first frame structures erected in this section, and required,
when raised, the assistance of the adult male inhabitants of what now constitutes five towns.
Mr. Lyon has been actively and officially connected with the Schuyler County Agricultural Society for some years,
and for the last two years has been its president. He is also State Deputy of the State Grange of Patrons of Husbandry.
In the many responsible positions Mr. Lyon has been called upon to occupy, he has always faithfully discharged
the duties thereof, and has acquired a reputation for honesty and personal worth of which ho may well be proud.
An illustration of his beautiful residence and surroundings, together with portraits of his venerable parents,
can be found elsewhere in this volume.
Near the dawn of the present century a representative family among the pioneers of the old town of Catharine came
in. It consisted of David Beardsley, wife, and children; among the latter he whose name heads this sketch, then
a child of almost four years. David Beardsley settled on the farm now occupied by his son, Lucius C, arriving there
on the 14th of February, in the year 1800. He was a native of Connecticut, and a man of indomitable energy, and
of remarkable enterprise. He was identified with many of the most important material improvements of the then thinly
settled town, among which was the erection of the original Odessa grist-mill. In agricultural matters he was largely
engaged, and as a good, practical farmer perhaps he was best known. Lewis Beardsley, the elder son of David Beardsley,
was born in Fairfield Co., Conn., March 4, 1796. He received what little of education he had time to acquire in
the district schools of the town to which his parents removed as above stated, and [by application and self-study
possessed himself of enough useful knowledge, so as to become in after-life a successful farmer, and a good business
man generally. On the 11th of March, 1821, he married Nancy, daughter of Zachary A. Lewis, a pioneer of Catharine,
and as such mentioned in the history of that town elsewhere in this volume. This worthy woman and exemplary housewife
lived with her husband until death took her hence, June 19, 1867, after a married life of nearly forty-six years.
They raised a family of six children, all of whom survive. Their names and the dates of their birth are as follows:
Sherman, born Jan. 13, 1823; Francis Schuyler, born May 14, 1825; Maria Louisa, born Dec. 2, 1827; Lucy Ann, born
July 28, 1829; David Curtis, born Oct. 10, 1832; Jonathan Lawrence, born Aug. 28, 1837. For his second wife, Mr.
Beardsley married Mrs. Elizabeth B. Lyon, who died on the 12th of February, 1873. Since this bereavement he has
lived with his son, Francis S., who is married, and purposes to spend his declining years with them. He bears the
weight of his fourscore and three years remarkably well, and presents an admirable specimen of a well-preserved
and vigorous manhood. He never aspired to political preferment of any kind, and could not be induced to accept
any office, except occasionally that of highway commissioner in his district, where his duty was to see that the
roads were kept in good repair, which he did faithfully and well. He served in the Light Horse Company of the State
Militia, and was always actuated by feelings of true patriotism at all times when the honor of the nation required
an expression of opinion. In politics he is a Republican, having witnessed the organization alike of that and of
the old Whig party. In religious matters he entertains liberal views, and never affiliated with any sectarian denomination.
It was, doubtless, an example of a life and character similar to that of Mr. Beardsley's that the poet had in his
mind's eye when he wrote,
"To live in hearts we leave behind Is not to die."
For surely he will live in the hearts of those who know him best long after his body shall have mouldered to dust,
THE FIRST FREE-WILL BAPTIST SOCIETY OF ODESSA was formed July 2, 1841, at the house of John Foster. There were
13 constituent members, most of whom were dismissed from the parent church of Veteran (Chemung County), for the
purpose of organizing a branch society. July 1, 1854, it became an independent church, the first pastor of which
was Elder Francis A. Wildman. The edifice was erected in 185G, and dedicated in the fall of that year, the Rev.
David Waterman officiating. The society was incorporated according to law, Feb. 12, 1855, as recorded in the office
of the county clerk at Watkins. The first trustees were Eaton Agard, Sylvester Mix, John Mitchell, Lorenzo Brown,
and Phineas Catlin. The present pastor is Elder Jeremiah Cooper; membership, 42. Sunday-school Superintendent,
Charles Rundell; Trustees, Eaton J. Agard, John Charles, Perry Babcock, and Myron Hewitt; Deacons, Sylvester Mix
and E. J. Agard.
THE FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH OF ALPINE was originally a branch of the Havana Church, and was formed by Rev. J. Hendricks,
as a separate society, July 11, 1874, with 15 constituent members. The society has no church edifice, but worships
in the Methodist meetinghouse. The present pastor is Rev. Charles Berry; Trustees, M. D. Hall, George Dewey, L.
R. Rosebrook, Burr Swartwood, A. H. Rarrick, A. S. Brown, J. M. Clark, William P. Mallory, and Alexander Lawhead;
membership, M. Sunday-school during the winter mouths in connection with the Methodists.
Highland Grange, No. 22, of Catharine, organized Nov. 4, 1873, with 13 charter members. The first officers were
Jesse Lyon, Master; Milo Hitchcock, Overseer; George N. Wager, Sec.; George Winter, Treas.; Mrs. Ellen Hitchcock,
Ceres; Cynthia Cushing, Pomona; Sarah E. Hall, Flora. The present officers are Jesse Lyon, M.; George Hitchcock,
O.; David Crane, Sec.; Isaac Estabrook, Treas.; Mrs. Cora Crane, Ceres; Mrs. Nellie Estabrook, Pomona; Miss Belle
Lyon, Flora. Present membership, 44.
Alpine Grange, No. 229, P. of H., was organized August 24, 1874, with Jacob Fitzgerald as Master; A. S. Brown,
Overseer; S. C. Bolgen, Treas.; J. B. Farr, Sec.; Mrs. S. C. Bolgen, Ceres; Miss Rhoda Cure, Pomona; Mrs. Mary
Van Low, Flora. The present chief officers are Jacob Fitzgerald, Master; Alexander Mallory, Overseer; George Carpenter,
Treas.; J. B. Farr, Sec.; Eda Mallory, Ceres; Jesse Farrington, Pomona ; Violet Van Low, Flora. Present membership
The" Catharine Library Association" was formed under the act of the Legislature of April 1, 1817.
The subscription for the shares in it bears date of Jan. 13, 1817. The names of forty subscribers are on the paper,
most of whom, with one or two exceptions, took a share each. The first meeting of the stockholders was held at
Catharine, where the library was kept until its discontinuance on the 13th of May, 1817. The next meeting was held
in 1818, and the third in 1819. In 1820 no record is left of there being any held, nor in 1832; with these exceptions
a regular annual meeting was held on the first Tuesday of each year.
The following is a list of its first officers: Trustees, Samuel Agard, Wm. H. Prince, Uriah Parsons, Enoch Marchant,
Geo. Hibbard, Chester W. Lord, and Elijah S. Hinman. Wm. H. Prince was the first treasurer, and Chester W. Lord,
the originator of the library, was the first librarian. The number of books in the catalogue in 1853 was 446, including
many old and rare volumes. These, as near as could be arrived at from the old bills, cost about 8500, which was
derived from the sale of shares and yearly dues. In the society library of "The Brothers of Unity," at
Yale College, New Haven, there hangs a catalogue of that library which was written over a hundred years ago. Nothing
within its walls attracts more attention than that old relic. None are now alive of the forty subscribers. Though
silent is the lesson which the old subscription list tells of the past, yet the dim old writing, "we the subscribers,"
speaks eloquently and effectively.
THE ALPINE GREENBACK CLUB was organized Oct. 11, 1877, with J. D. Wager as Chairman, and Henry Lyon Secretary.
The same day a "Greenback Pole," said to be the first in the county, was raised. The present membership
of the club is 105.
THE MAGEE TROUT PONDS were established by John Magee, Jr., and fixed up at a cost of several thousand dollars.
The grounds proper contain 18 acres, and there are about 57 acres more that go with the property. In the spring
of 1877, C. L. Kellogg purchased the place. There are now nine ponds and one hatchery, containing beautiful salmon,
California speckled (brook) trout, from pin fish to glorious old five-pounders.
This beautiful sheet of water contains about 350 acres, and is a part of the Lawrence tract, and is still in possession
of members of the Lawrence family, as in selling lots on its borders they always reserved the right to the lake.
It abounds in fish, and affords fine sport to the owners and their friends, and to those residing in its immediate
vicinity, having permission to fish therein.
EDUCATIONAL AND GENERAL.
The primitive log school-house of three-quarters of a century ago has been succeeded by more commodious houses;
and in proportion to this material development, the system of teaching has also progressed. From a few children,
clad in homespun garments, and trudging miles to attend school, dozens now attend, and the houses are located at
convenient distances, as easily accessible as is the knowledge disseminated therein. Soon after the commencement
of the present century, schools were taught at Odessa and Johnson's Settlement (Catharine). To trace the development
of the system, and the organization of the various districts, would be an interesting task, but one requiring much
more space than we have at command. As showing the present status of educational matters in the town, we subjoin
the following statistics from the last annual report of the School Commissioner, Charles T. Andrews:
State appropriation, $1386.20; raised by tax, $1005.79; other sources, total, $2524.31; number of districts, 14;
number of school-houses, 12; teachers, 27 (11 males and 16 females); children of school age in district, 507; scholars,
474 ; weeks taught, 363 1/2.
From the compilations of the State census from 1845 to 1875, inclusive, we find the population of the town to have
been, for each lustrum, as follows: In 1845, 2611; in 1850, 3096; in 1855, 3517; in 1860, 3688; in 1865, 1622;*
in 1870, 1629; in 1875, 1551.
* In 1860 Montour erected from Catharine.
The largest accession to the population of the town, made at any one time in the natural way, was on the 22d of
July, 1855, when the wife of Mr. Foster Ervay presented him with four children at one birth, three girls and one
boy. They were named Ida A., Irvin A., Ada A., and Joy O. The boy and one girl were living at last accounts.
The information contained in the above history of the town of Catharine was obtained chiefly from the following
persons and authorities, namely: Hull Fanton, EST, Phineas Catlin, Esq., Jesse Lyon, A. J. Agard, Hon. Abraham
Lawrence, Lewis Beardsley (1st), R. B. Lockhart, E. S. Hinman, Mrs. Sarah Lockerley, J. D. Wager, the pastors of
the various churches, Charles F. Andrews, "Centennial History," French's and Hough's State Gazetteers,
and Hamilton Childs' Historical Directory, etc.
The total amount of money paid by the town of Catharine (previous to the last call for troops in 1865) for bounties,
exclusive of amounts paid for county bounties, was $12,857. The following bounties were paid to volunteers at the
periods named: in 1802, from $25 to $100; 1863, $300; 1864, $200.
In the year 1864, in addition to the bounty above mentioned, a county bounty of $600 each was paid to volunteers.
The subjoined list of the soldiers of Catharine who served in the war of the Rebellion is procured by the united
assistance of Hon. Abraham Lawrence and Eaton J. Agard, who were prominently identified with military affairs during
the period of 1861-65. The list is not as complete as we desired, but as no records are on file, either in the
town clerk's office or in the Adjutant-General's Department at Albany, the names and data here given are procured
by actual research, principally by the gentlemen above named, and also Captain H. L. Couch, of Havana, to whom
we acknowledge ourselves indebted for the information furnished.
(*Note: Poor print in original text. Please check other sources for accuracy)
John W. Adams, 50th R-gt, Co. G; enl. Sept. 2, 1861; discli. Dec. 1883; reenlisted.
William Allen, 50th Regt., Co. G; enl. July 2, 1862. Edwin F. Amos, 161st Regt.; enl. Oct 15, 1862.
Orson Bowlby, 3d Regt., Co. K; enl. April, 1861; served full term and re-enl. in 14th N. Y. Art.
William H. Brown, 3d Regt, Co. K; enl. April 25, 1861; served full term and re-enl.
John W. Beardsley, 89th Regt., Co. B; enl. Sept. 1861; disch. on account or sickness.
Chauncey B. Button, enl. Aug. 1861.
Eli I. Beardsley, With Regt, Co. G; enl. Aug. 1862; died at Washington.
Washington L. Beck with, 141st Regt., Co. B; enl. Aug. 1862.
Nelson Bacon, 141st Regt., Co. A; enl. July 4, 1862.
Nehemiah Beardsley, 50th Regt., Co. G; enl. July 2,1862.
Theodore S. Brown, 107th Regt.; enl. July, 1862; disch. for disability.
Joseph Bishop, 161st Regt; enl. Sept. 1862; disch. for disability.
Albert Beckwith, private, 3d Regt, Co. K; enl. April 25,1861 ; disch.
Myron G. Couch, 107th Regt, Co. II; enl. Aug. 2, 1862; killed at battle of Dallas.
Charles H. Cooper, 38th Regt, Co. I; enl. April, 1861 ; supposed killed at Bull Run.
Michael Connolly, leader of band, 48th Regt.
Jefferson J. Cooper, 141st Inf.; disch.; re-enl.
Abram Chapman, 161st Regt ; enl. Sept. 1802: died in Pennsylvania.
Walter D. Cooper, 141st Regt., Co. B; enl. Aug. 1802.
William A. Cooley, 141st Regt, Co. A ; enl. Aug. 1802.
Andrew J. Charles, 161st Regt.; enl. Sept. 1802.
John E. Culver, 141st Regt, Co. A; enl. Aug. 1802.
Charles A. Cotton, 161st Regt; cut Aug. 1802.
Joseph Cornell, 141st Regt, Co. B; enl. Aug. 1802.
Riker De Bond.
Jeremiah R. De Baun, enl. Aug. 1802.
Irving Dean, 161st Regt; enl. Aug. 1862; died in Louisiana.
Chauncey Denning, 141st Regt., Co. B; enl. Aug. 1802.
Elijah Drake, private, 100th Regt, Co. G; enl. Dec. 28, 1861 ; discli.
Jason J. Emmons, private, 107th Regt, Co. H; enl. July 22,1802; died at Washville, Aug. 8, 1864.
John Evans, 141st Regt; enl. Aug. 20,1862.
Martin L. Frost, private, 3d Regt, Co. K; enl. April 25,1861; disch. May 21, 1863.
Joseph Fish, 76th Regt; enl. 1861.
Reuben Francisco, 89th Regt., Co. A: enl. Aug. 1861; killed at Antietam.
William Francisco, 141st Regt, Co. B; enl. Aug. 1862.
David V. Fish, lllst Regt, Co. B; enl. Aug. 1862.
William H. Gray, private, 50th Regt, Co. G; enl. Aug. 1862; re-enl. in Co. D, 14th N. Y. Art.
Oscar C. Griffin, private, 141st Regt, Co. A; enl. Aug. 1862; killed at Chicks manga.
Henry B. Griffin, private, 141st Regt, Co. A; enl. Aug. 1862; killed at Chick- mauga.
Robert S. Ganung, private, 107th Regt.; enl. July, 1862.
Alonzo Graham, 1st N. Y. Yet. We., Co. G.
Jerome Graham, 1st N. Y. Yet. Cav., Co. G.
Lewis Hewitt, private, 3d Regt, Co. K; enl. April 25,1861; disch. May 25, 1863.
Elijah Hendrickson, private, 3d Regt, Co. K; enl. April 25,1861.
James Hedgeland, private, 64th Regt; enl. July, 1862.
Oliver L. Hogencamp, private, 89th Regt, Co. A; enl. June, 1861; disch. For disability in 1862.
James E. Hunt, 161st Regt.; enl. Sept. 2, 1862.
Augustus Hill, 107th Regt. ; enl. Aug. 1862.
Albert Ham, 107th Regt; enl. Aug. 1862.
Lyman Hall, 141st Regt.; out Aug. 1862.
Oliver H. Ingersoll, private, 3d Regt, Co. II; enl. April 25, 1861; disch. May 21, 1863; re-enlisted.
William Jones, enl. July, 1862. George W. Johnson, 141st Regt.; enl. Sept 1862.
Henry J. Lyon, 107th Regt., Co. H ; enl. July 29, 1862; disch. June 26,1863.
Hobart Lyon, 5th Cav.,Co. C; enl. May, 1862; disch. June 2d, 1865.
G. W. PRATT.
This gentleman, now one of the most enterprising farmers of the town of Catharine, was born at Scabrook, Conn.,
May 80, 1820. His chances for the acquisition of knowledge were limited, and all of education he received was by
a few years' attendance at the public schools. On the Fourth of July, 1840, he married Johanna Sherman, by whom
he has one surviving child, Jeannette, now the wife of Jay Tidd, of Minnesota. His first wife died in 1857, and
on the 20th of December, 1858, he married his present wife, who was at that time Mrs. Olive Baldwin. This union
has resulted in a family of four children, namely,-Frederick, Johanna, Judd, and Cora Belle, all of whom reside
at home with their parents.
In early life Mr. Pratt learned the trade of a boat-builder, at which he worked ten years. He was afterwards made
State superintendent of the Chemung Canal, and subsequently for ten years superintendent of the department of contracts
on the same canal. The last public work in which he was engaged was as chief of the department of contracts in
the State Reformatory at Elmira. In 1874 he purchased the beautiful farm in Catharine upon which he now resides.
Since coming into his possession he has improved it considerably, and added the fine barn and outbuildings which
are shown in the illustration of his premises elsewhere in this volume. His barn is considered the best constructed
one in Schuyler County. He made the specifications from which it was built, and personally superintended its erection.
His farm has been, by proper drainage and careful cultivation, made one of the most productive in the town, and
in 1877 he raised an average of 45 bushels of wheat to the acre.
The Catlin family is one that enjoys a venerable antiquity and a conspicuous place in the history of the Old World.
From an ancient document belonging to the family we quote, "The family of Catlin has been seated at Newington,
near Rochester, in the county of Kent, England, ever since the Norman Conquest. Reginald de Catlyne, who was one
of the followers of William the Conqueror, is mentioned in 'Doomsday Book' as possessing two knight's fees of laud
at the time of his successor, in the county of Kent."
From the same genealogy of the family above referred to we subjoin the following from a long and interesting record,
since the arrival of the first of the Catlins in America, in 1643:
Theodore Catlin, son of John, born Nov. 12, 1758; married Mary Goodwin. Issue-Phineas, born Oct. 22, 1760; settled
in Tioga County. Israel, born Sept. 15, 1762; settled in Seneca County. Margaret, born Nov. 16, 1764; died young.
Theodore, born Sept. 19, 1770. Abel, born March 2, 1776. Loi. Clarissa, born in 1778; married William Cunningham;
married, second time, George Coryell. Anna, married E. S. Hinman. Horace, died in Canada. Mary, married Gurdon
Phineas Catlin, son of Theodore, born Oct. 22, 1760; married Sally Ross. Issue-Brant, born April 24, 1789; married
Margaret Bennett; died 1819. Phineas, born Jan. 30, 1795; married Hannah Lee; married, second time, Deborah Kimble.
Theodorus, born Dec. 12, 1796; married Nancy Haring; married, second time, Laura Hating. Sarah, born July 12, 1800;
married Dr. Jones; died in 1825. Mary (living), born Dec. 14, 1803; married John Crawford. Lucy (living), born
Dec. 14, 1807; married Hiram W. Jackson.
Phineas Catlin, son of Phineas, born Jan. 30, 1795; married Hannah Lee; married, second time, Mrs. Deborah Kimble.
Issue-Ralph Lee, born Jan. 7, 1815. Caroline S., born March 26, 1816; married John Mitchell, Jr.; married, second
time, Barnabas Miller. Ursula, born Feb. 25, 1823; married A. G. Campbell. Cornelia B., born July 9, 1828; deceased.
Lucy Louisa, born Feb. 26, 1833; married Thomas B. Campbell. Frances M., born April 24, 1835; died young. Henry
B., born Oct. 5, 1837; married Carrie C. Close.
Judge Phineas Catlin, the father of the gentleman whose name heads this biography, was one of the pioneers of the
old town of Catharine, having settled in that part of the town now included in Montour, in 1792. He was the first
supervisor of Catharine, having been elected to that office at the first town-meeting, in 1798, and for eleven
years consecutively thereafter. He was also several years clerk of the town, and for a long period one of its justices
of the peace. Prior to the organization of Chemung County, he was elected first judge of old Tioga, and served
in that, as in all other positions, with eminent success, and to the entire satisfaction of all concerned. At the
age of sixteen years be enlisted in the Revolutionary army, and served seven years. He died Jan. 30, 1827, in the
sixty-seventh year of his age, and was very sincerely lamented as a useful citizen, a good neighbor, and a true
As will be seen by reference to the genealogy of the family, as above given, Phineas Catlin, son of he whom we
have just noticed, was born Jan. 30, 1795, and is consequently now in his eighty-third year. He was brought up
amid the scenes incident to pioneer life, having been born on the old homestead in what is now Montour. He attended
the district school taught by Anthony Brodrick, where he acquired all of book knowledge he possesses, to which
he has added by a long and successful business career. For several years he was town clerk of Catharine, and also
for some time supervisor. In 1824 he moved to his present home at Odessa, and has since resided there.
On the 3d of February, 1814, he married Hannah, daughter of Israel Lee, with whom he lived until her death, March
2, 1867, a period of fifty-three years. They raised a very worthy family, who, like their progenitors for many
generations back, by their lives and characters are doing honor to their exalted ancestry.
Prominent among the sons of Phineas Catlin is Henry B., now sheriff of this county, who, with his father, has the
finest representation in this volume which it is possible to have, and which they both richly merit. In the days
of our trouble with Great Britain, in 1812-14, Mr. Catlin belonged to a regiment of horse in the State militia,
raised at Elmira, and at the burning of Buffalo his regiment was called to arms. The enemy evacuated the city of
the lake before the valiant Elmira regiment could get farther than Danville.
November 17, 1875, Mr. Catlin-evidently realizing the truth of the Scriptural injunction, "It is not good
for man to be alone"-married Deborah, widow of Henry Kimble, with whom he has since lived happily. Mrs. Kimble
is the daughter of John Kimble, a pioneer and prominent citizen of the town of Catlin, in Chemung Co., whose venerable
portrait adorns the pages of the history of that town.
In a general summary of the character of Mr. Catlin, dispensing with all of an eulogistic nature, we can say that
he has done as much as anyone living man for the material improvement of the town of which he is an honored citizen;
that in his life and labors he has evinced a desire to accomplish what he could for the general welfare of the
community at large; that all of his dealings with his fellow-men have been honorable and just; that in his domestic
relations he has been the fond and affectionate husband and parent; and in his public life an eminently successful
and useful member of society.
HENRY B. CATLIN
The public life of Mr. Catlin offers many interesting traits of character, and shows how a young man, by energy
and enterprise, can acquire a good reputation and achieve a responsible and prominent position. He has successively
been clerk of his town, justice of the peace, and sheriff of his native county, which presents a record rarely
secured by one of Mr. Catlin's age.
Henry B. Catlin, youngest son of Phineas Catlin, was born at Odessa, in the town of Catharine, Oct. 5, 1837. His
education was acquired mainly at the public schools of his native town, including one term at a private educational
establishment in Elmira. His business has been principally confined to agricultural pursuits, and the necessary
work of the offices to which he has been elected, and which he filled to the general satisfaction of his constituents
and the people at large. He has been almost continuously in public office since he attained his majority, which
speaks well for the faithful discharge of the duties incumbent upon him in the positions he has filled.
In 1877 he received the Republican nomination for the office of sheriff of Schuyler County, and was elected by
a handsome majority. He succeeded H. L. Estabrook, who was appointed by Governor Tilden to fill the vacancy caused
by the death of Sheriff John Wood.
On the 13th of June, 1860, Mr. Catlin married Miss Carrie C. Close, a native of Tioga Co., Pa.
In the above brief sketch we have endeavored to give an outline of the history of Mr. Catlin, so that those to
whom he is not personally known may appreciate as thoroughly as those who know him best the sterling qualities
of the man who, by enterprise and individual integrity, has won his present enviable position in public life.
HON. ABRAHAM LAWRENCE
Prominently identified with the early settlement of the town of Catharine was the Lawrence family, of which the
gentleman whose name heads this sketch is a representative member. We find, by reference to our history of the
town of Catharine, that in July, 1813, Samuel and Joseph Lawrence, who were sons of Jonathan Lawrence, one of the
partners in the Watkins and Flint purchase, who had inherited from their father the major part of the northeast
section of township No. 3 in that purchase, constituting about one-half of the present town of Catharine, having
determined to fix their residence on the west side of Cayuga Lake, contracted with the late Samuel Winton, of Johnson's
Settlement, to erect houses for them, to be completed the following year. Leaving New York early in October, 1814,
they passed from Hoboken north to Montgomery, on the Newburg and Cochocton turnpike, following it west to the Delaware
River, which they crossed at Cochocton, and went thence through the " Beech Woods" to Great Bend, on
the Susquehanna, which they crossed, and followed its north bank to Owego, thence passing up the Owego, Catatunk,
and Cayuta Creeks through the Dutch Settlement to Johnson's Settlement, the journey occupying about two weeks.
Remaining at the latter place about two weeks (as neither of the houses at the lake had been yet fitted for occupancy),
they moved into the house intended for the residence of Joseph Lawrence, and both families occupied it until the
following spring, when Samuel removed with his family to the house in which he continued to reside the remainder
of his life, and which is still the home of those of his family residing in Schuyler County, namely, Abraham Lawrence
and his sister, the widow of the late Adam G. Campbell, formerly quite a prominent merchant of Havana. During the
following years, 1815-16, their houses and outbuildings were completed. Within the same period they employed Isaac
Swartwood to erect a saw-mill on the east branch of Catlin's Mill Creek, just north of the present location of
the Magee fish-ponds, for the purpose of furnishing lumber to complete their buildings, and to increase the building
facilities for settlers in the northern part of their tract.
Abraham Lawrence, son of Samuel Lawrence, was born in the old homestead June 1, 1818. He received his elementary
education at the Ithaca Academy, and subsequently entered Geneva College (now Hobart College), from which institution
he was graduated with honors. On the death of his father, Samuel Lawrence, in October, 1837, he inherited, in connection
with his sister, Mrs. Jane G. Campbell, the homestead property, including a part of Cayuta Lake, which has remained
in the family since the original purchase of the Lawrence tract. In 1857-58 he was elected supervisor of the town
of Catharine, and also again in 1863-64, during which latter years he served as chairman of the board. His father
held the office of supervisor for several years. From July, 1864, to July, 1868, he was president of the Second
National Bank of Havana (now the Havana National Bank), during which time his brother-in-law, Adam G. Campbell,
held the position of cashier of the same institution. In 1867 he was a member of the Constitutional Convention
that met at Albany. In 1866 he was a candidate for Congress before the Republican convention, and again in 1870,
at which time he would have received the nomination had it not been for political trickery. Hon. Milo Goodrich,
of Dryden, was the successful nominee, and was elected. Mr. Lawrence has always been a stanch Republican, believing
that the perpetuity of our institutions was best assured by that party. He was never married, but lives comfortably
at his beautiful home on Cayuta Lake, where he dispenses hospitality with a generosity only equaled by the magnificent
surroundings of his house. He is an intelligent gentleman of the old school, polite and affable in his address,
courteous and polite in his manners, and neighborly in his disposition. A portrait of this gentleman, as the only
male representative of his family now residing within the scope of our work, is inserted, as complying with the
wishes of the numerous friends of himself and family. An illustration of his home and grounds, with the lake in
the background, also adorns our pages.
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