Short Biographical Sketches Published in 1918 for Malone

Submitted by Lisa Slaski

Source: "Historical Sketches of Franklin County And Its Several Towns With Many Short Biographies," by Frederick J. Seaver Malone, New York, Albany, J. B. Lyon Company Printers, Copyright 1918

These short biographical sketches are from the section of the book for the town of Malone only. They were mostly alphabetical within the book, but have been strictly posted alphabetically herein in 2 groups.

MALONE (biographical sketches only)


Cone Andrus (spelled originally Andrews) came from Corn well, Vt., though I think that he had lived earlier in Connecticut. He died here in 1821. He was the father of William, Leonard, Lucius, Albert and George, was a farmer, resided on Elm street, and built the first hotel (except Oliver Brewster's log house) that the town ever had - the one that stood just at the present railroad crossing, where Elm street begins. He was conspicuous in the public life of the town, was a member of the committee that had charge of building the court house, and held minor offices many times. During the war of 1812 he served as a cavalry lieutenant, and before the war he deeded to the State land for an arsenal and afterward, for one shilling, the Arsenal Green, worth a good many thousand dollars to-day, for a public green and parade ground.

John Barnes, not active in public affairs except to hold a town office occasionally, was a soldier in 1812, an upright citizen and a deacon in the church. He was the grandfather of 0. J. Barnes, the seedsman.

Jehiel and Ebenezer Berry, whose descendants are numerous in Malone, were men of high character. The former, who located on the North Bangor road on what became the Bicknell place, kept a tavern for a year or two. He was a soldier in the war of 1812. Ebeuezer was on the farm next east. Both served the town as commissioner of highways.

Nathaniel Blanchard was also a man of substance and influence, as is seen from the fact that he was the town's second supervisor, and later was assessor and held a number of other offices.

Oliver Brewster had intended when he started from Vermont to fix his habitation farther west, but found the roads beyond Malone impassable. The farm at the top of Brewster hill, just west of the village, being for sale, he bought it, and until he moved into the village, locating on the site of the Methodist church, made his home there in a log house and kept the place as a tavern. It was on his farm that a detachment of General Wilkinson's army was encamped in 1813-14. When James Constable passed through Malone September 23, 1805, reaching Brewster's between eight and nine o'clock in the morning, he found a dance party just breaking up, with discontent at having to quit so early, but with no alternative, as the violinist's instrument was reduced to a single string. Evidently dancing was no less popular then than now, for the party numbered forty, or probably from a quarter to a third of all the adult people living in what is the present town. Mr. Brewster and Cone Andrus were for a long time overseers of the poor, and in some years had as much as two hundred dollars to expend. Mr. Brewster was the brother of David, who came a little later. The latter was a tailor, with a shop where the Methodist church stands, and afterward at the west end of the Main street bridge. He was one of the influential Democratic politicians of his day, and was postmaster under President Jackson, with the officein his shop, where the Democratic " slates " for the county used to be made. Henry S. Brewster was the son of David, and became county clerk in 1847.

Ebenezer Brownson resided first on the Elias Dewey farm in the southern part of the town, and then on Webster street, where his home became the rendezvous for the lawyers of the time. Whether he was a lawyer himself, or if he had any occupation at all except that of office holding, there is nothing to show. He was for two terms first judge of the court of common pleas, and was surrogate, county clerk and member of Assembly. He also held his share of the town offices, and was Hanson's first supervisor. He was a soldier in the war of 1812.

Lemuel Chapman was sheriff in 1812, having had training for the office as a town constable.

Jesse Chipman had been a revolutionary soldier, serving a number of enlistments in Vermont commands - among which was one in the " Green Mountain Boys " before Quebec in 1776, and two terms in Colonel Ira Allen's regiment. He was private, corporal and sergeant. In Malone he served one term as assessor.

Noel Conger, one of the Beeman surveying party, used to be said to have taken two hundred acres of land, facing Main and Fort Covington streets, in the western part of the village, in payment for his surveying services. He was said also to have been the first man to cross Salmon river at the chasm where the stone bridge now is - making the crossing on a hemlock log which he felled for the purpose. He remained for about twenty years, and then removed to St. Lawrence county.

Stephen Dunning lived just west of the poorhouse, and Mrs. Pepper, the daughter of Noah Lee, who lived first in Burke, and then just across the road from Jehiel Berry's until he moved into Bangor, told thirty-odd years ago that the first religious service in Malone was held at the Dunning house - Mrs. Dunning holding a candle for the clergyman while he read his sermon. The clergyman was a Mr. Cannon from Connecticut, but Mrs. Pepper neglected to state the date of the occasion. Her account conflicts with the understanding generally prevalent a generation ago, which made the place of the first religious service by a Mr. Ransom back of the John Mazuzan house on the corner of Main and Rockland streets, and the time July 4, 1801. Mrs. Pepper's father came in 1803, and her brother, Benjamin, was the first male child of American parentage born in the town.

Stephen D. Hickok was a captain of a militia company in the war of 1812, and led his command on the alarm of the battle of Plattsburgh, though not reaching there in time to participate in the engagement. He became afterward a lieutenant-colonel in the militia.

Harry S. House, of sound judgment and quiet life, one of the early supervisors and also many times assessor, was the father of the banker of later years who bore the same name.

Apollos Lathrop was at one time a partner of Jacob Wead in the distillery at "whiskey hollow," and later a merchant on Main street. He was the father of Loyal C. Lathrop, who was elected sheriff in 1842 and the greatgrandfather of Frank D. and Frederick L. Allen, successful attorneys in New York city, and also of William L. Allen of Malone.

William Mason was a farmer, and in a paper thirty-odd years ago reciting incidents of early times and men Vice-President Wheeler classified him as " a man of grand native intellectual strength, resembling in his mental conformation Silas Wright." According to Mr. Wheeler, Mr. Mason delighted in philosophical monologue, and discussed moral and political questions with fine analysis and great thoughtfulness. Mr. Mason served at two periods in the war of 1812.

Noah Moody is said to have had the first dwelling house within the village limits. It stood about where the courthouse now is. Mr. Moody built the latter structure. He became a considerable land owner, and was a good deal of a factor in town affairs. He kept the first drug store and the first book store in Malone, and was afterward a surveyor.

Reeve and Samuel Pack, originally farmers, built the first tannery on the east side of the river. Reeve was a sergeant in the war of 1812, and was elected sheriff in 1822.

Lemuel Parlin, a farmer, also served in the war of 1812. He was the father of Martin L., who was surrogate in 1843, and was elected to the Assembly in 1859.

Benjamin Smith, also an 1812 soldier for two periods, was a farmer. He was the brother-in-law of Benjamin Clark, who was at one time the principal merchant of the town. It was through this relationship that Smith came to be so commonly a given name in the Clark family.

David Sperry has no descendants here. A son, David P., of geniality and always bearing Malone in affectionate remembrance, removed to Illinois soon after the close of the Civil War, and engaged at Batavia in the foundry business and manufacture of farming implements, acquiring a handsome property. He was one of the earliest advocates of highway building on intelligent and enduring lines. He died December 30, 1896. Lyman Sperry, twice a soldier in the war of 1812, was the grandfather of Lieutenant Lyman B. and Harlan P. of Malone and of Dennis S. The last named has lived in the West for many years, and is interested in a large and prosperous stationery and blank book business in St. Paul.

Dr. Paul Thorndike, whose office stood on the Baptist church corner until he removed to the old Thorndike homestead on Webster street, was the father of General S. C. F. Thorndike, who was elected county clerk by two majority in 1819, was afterward for many years in the railroad offices at Malone, and served as provost marshal during the drafts for the Civil War.

Asa Wheeler (not a relative of Vice-President Wheeler) was supervisor and assessor in the early life of the town, and was appointed county clerk in 1811 and again in 1815.

Roswell Wilcox was a tanner and currier as well as a farmer, and had a small tannery and shop at the brook two miles west of the village.

Luther Winslow served two terms in the war of 1812, and was known as "Captain." He was the father of the first girl born in the town, who was named Malone. She married and removed to Ohio. Russell J. Cunningham is a grandson of Captain Winslow.

Enos, Nathan and John Wood, the first settlers, located: Enos on what has since been known as the D. Hardy farm; Nathan on the Fort Covington road, near Barnard's bridge; and John at the corner of Elm and Park streets. All three had been revolutionary soldiers, and though then hardly more than boys were with their father and two other brothers as minute men in the battles of Bennington and Saratoga. Enos was known as "Major" and John as "Captain." Joseph Safford, father-in-law of John, had been a captain in the continental army, and was always called " Colonel." He came here at an unknown date, and died in 1808. Enos served through two enlistments in the war of 1812, in one of which he was a lieutenant, and his son, Adin, was an ensign in Captain Tilden's company at Fort Covington. The sons of Enos were Adin, Arunah and Enos, Jr. The younger Enos became a Presbyterian minister, and died at Potsdam in 1896 at the age of eighty-six years. Arunah was a cabinet maker, with a shop where Mrs. John Lincoln now lives. The only descendants of this line now living in Malone are Herbert J.(deceased since this was written) and Enos (sons of Henry J.) and their children, living near the old Adin Wood homestead on the Whippleville road - which Adin is understood to have taken in payment for work for Mr. Harison. Nelson and George H. were sons of Arunah, and neither left male children. Nelson was one of Malone's principal builders, and wherever a house here has heavy portico pillars two stories in height, particularly on Park street, the structure was of Mr. Wood's fashioning, or copied from the pattern that he set. George was at one time principal of Franklin Academy, and afterward became a lawyer, though not aggressive or persistent in the practice. He lived in the West for a number of years, but passed his old age in Malone. A daughter of Nathan married Frederick Barnard (father of Nathan W. and of Mrs. Harry P. Orcutt), and another was the wife of Asa Stickney, father of Charles J. It was from Frederic Barnard that the overhead railroad bridge north of the village took its name. Junia ("aunt" to everybody) was the daughter of John, and, a spinster, was for long years one of the best known and best loved women who ever lived in Malone. In her later life she was without means or a home of her own, but in every family there was always an eager welcome to her and insistence that she continue a member as long as she would. Her mission was to help and serve, and wherever there was sickness or need in any way for her sunny, cheerful presence and deft care she managed in some way to learn the fact, and always responded.

All of the foregoing were here at least as early as 1805, and a number of them two or three years previously.

Joel Amsden, known as "Major" and in fact a captain of a local militia company in the war of 1812, came in 1806, in which year he was assessed as owning with Captain Warren Powers $350 of real estate and $525 of personalty. He became a merchant in a small way, with a store on West Main street at about where the late P. Clark lived for many years, and also had a hotel adjacent, and later built another hotel near the site of the Knapp or Commercial (now Paddock) Block. During the war of 1812, upon an alarm one night of the approach of the British he proceeded with a stub of pipe between his teeth and a lighted candle in his hand to distribute powder from a keg to members of his company, when the candle dropped into the powder. Fortunately it struck butt end down, and was snatched out in time to avert an explosion. The major was the father of Lauriston, who was county clerk in 1834, and the grandfather of James Sumner and Floyd.

Samuel Andrus bought 14 acres from Cone Andrus in 1807, "beginning at the old well, so-called," and extending easterly along Elm street. The old well was out in the street somewhere in front of the dwelling house built by Howard E. King (now owned by Mrs. Scott Boyce), and within my recollection a pump stood there. Samuel was the father of Cone Andrus. One of his daughters became the wife of Harry S. House, and another married John Porter.

William Cleveland came at an unknown date between 1808 and 1812, and kept a hotel on Webster street, on the lot next north of Franklin street. He was also part owner of a distillery. He removed to Fort Covington, where he had a tavern, and at one time was a partner of Meigs & Wead in one of their many business enterprises.

Leonard Conant, a pillar in the church and a high-class man in all respects, came earlier than 1812, and was a soldier in the war of that period. He was followed by two brothers, one of whom was Ophir, a physician. Jeremiah, another brother, was a drummer in the war of 1812. Leonard was a brother-in-law of Dr. Roswell Bates of Fort Covington, and an uncle by marriage of Dr. Sidney P. Bates of Malone. Marshall, lawyer and railroad official, who removed to La Crosse, Wis., forty-odd years ago, was a son of Leonard.

Zerubabel Curtis came in 1806, and owned two hundred acres in that part of the village which we call the Flat and to the east of it. He was the first settler in that vicinity, which was known as " the road to Hatch's " - meaning to the tavern in Burke that was kept by James Hatch. He was appointed sheriff in 1814, and had been a cavalry sergeant in the war of 1812.

Appleton Foote located originally in 1803 in Moira, where he built a saw mill, and after a year or two removed to Malone. Here he built the house and immense barns that formerly stood on the site of the armory, and ran the place as a hotel until the autumn of 1813. Mr. Foote was the contractor for building the center arch of the stone bridge on Main street in 1817, for which he was paid $2,000. Richard G. Foote, a prominent lawyer in his time, was a son of Appleton.

John L. Fuller came about 1808. He was the son-in-law of the Elder Hiram Horton, and father-in-law of Samuel C. Wead. He acted as the agent of Mr. Harison in selling lands to settlers, and lived at one time back of where the Thompson hardware is, at another on the corner of Webster and Jane streets, and at still another on the Clark place, corner of Academy and Duane streets, where he erected a storehouse and office, which was used nearly thirty years later for school purposes while the academy was being rebuilt. He also made a clearing at the Foster Atwood (now Charles Wilcox) farm, but I do not know that he ever lived there. He had a store on Main street, and was one of the big men of his time.

John Hawley (spelled Holley on the assessment roll) lived three or four miles east of the village, on the north road to Chateaugay. The fine spring which is known by his name was on his farm. He was the grandfather of Harry H.

Zenas Heath was the father of Francis T., who was editor and proprietor of the Palladium for a dozen years, and also for a long time the leading druggist of the town. Besides pursuing the business of farming, Zenas engaged in teaching, and then in operating the Whippleville grist mill. He arrived in 1808, and served in the war of 1812. His sister married Major Dimick, the abolitionist and underground railroad operator.

The date of the arrival of Lemuel Holmes is unknown. He was called "Colonel," and was a great joker - always making the best of adverse conditions and minimizing disappointments and misfortunes. He had an interest in a saw mill in the paper mill district, but moved after a time into the southern part of the town, the first settler south of Whippleville. L. W. Whipple is his grandson.

Hiram Horton the elder located about 1807, and purchased from John Wood the saw mill and grist mill which the latter had begun, together with fifty-two acres of land, which included a few acres where the passenger depot is and also everything south of Main street between the river and Willow street except a parcel along the street just east of the bridge. The price paid was $1,950. A year later he bought twenty acres on the west side of the river, between Duane street and the Salmon, extending east to the Branch stream, for $500. Mr. Horton finished the saw mill and grist mill, sold off lots from time to time, and became prominent in many ways. His home was where the Rutland passenger station is. He was early supervisor, and became first judge of the court of common pleas. His son, Hiram, succeeded after a few years to his interests, and for half a century was one of the foremost men in the town. No man did more than the latter (perhaps no one as much) to secure the building of the old Northern Railroad. Among his other services for it he indorsed the company's notes to the amount of half a million dollars. He was member of Assembly in 1844 and Presidential elector in 1864.

Obadiah T. Hosford was here in 1812 - possibly still earlier - and lived on the Frederick P. Allen (now John W. Fay) lot on Elm street. He came on horseback from Connecticut, and his grandson, William, says that the horse which he rode was the second horse owned in Malone. Mr. Hosford was best known and is best remembered, however, as landlord for thirty years or more at the Hosford House, which was just south of the present railroad crossing at the beginning of Elm street. For a good many years during the period when there was so great a scarcity of currency he was about the only man in Malone who always had money.

John Mazuzan must have been one of the very earliest settlers, though I find no reference to him in any record until 1810, when he was elected assessor. His first residence was at or near the corner of Rockland and Main streets, and it was told by early residents that the first religious service held in the town, in 1804, was appointed to be held in his house, but that the attendance was so large that adjournment had to be taken to the field, where the congregation found seats on stumps and logs. Mr. Mazuzan moved later to the Andrew r S. Keeler (now John Kelley) lot on the north side of the street. He was a farmer and also a merchant, and held the office of town clerk for fifteen or twenty years.

Joseph W. Moulton apparently came in 1812, and was a lawyer. His office was on Webster street. Beyond that I am unable to learn anything about him except that he paid $40 for his office lot, and sold it two years later to Dr. Horatio Powell for $1,150.

Elisha Nichols and Captain John Wood married sisters in Vermont, and not improbably came to Malone together. Mr. Nichols preceded Jonathan Stearns as a merchant on the corner of Main and Academy streets.

Isaac Parker arrived in 1808 or earlier, and Isaac Parker, Jr., a little later. The latter had at his death one of the largest farms in the town, and was the third man to engage here in growing hops for commercial purposes. Samuel Hyde, who was a cabinet maker, with a shop on Webster street next south of the old Baptist church, was the second, and Rev. Stephen Paddock the first. Isaac, Jr., served in the war of 1812.

John Porter's name appears first on the assessment roll in 1808. He was the ancestor of the late Hiram H. Porter, and also of Nelson W., now one of the stirring business men of our village.

Captain Warren Powers (date of arrival unknown) was a leading business man - a merchant, part owner of a distillery, and I think interested with Major Amsden in the first Amsden hotel. His store was near the present Baptist church.

John H. Russell dates at least as early as 1807, as he was town clerk in that year, and in 1808 and for five succeeding years clerk of the board of supervisors - for services in which latter capacity in 1808 he was paid $14. He was a lawyer, and became postmaster. That his duties as postmaster could not have been onerous is evident from the fact that at that time mail came from the east only once a week, and the quantity could not have been large, as the entire lot for all of the country between Plattsburgh and Ogdensburg was carried by a man on his back, who covered the route on foot. John H. was the father of John L. and the grandfather of Judge Leslie W. Eussell of Canton.

Benjamin Seeley, a first settler in Moira, and then a resident of Bangor for a year or two, came in 1809 or earlier, buying the hotel which stood at the railroad crossing, and also the lot on which the county buildings were erected, and which latter premises he conveyed to the county in 1814 - two or three years after the county had begun building thereon. Manifestly such transactions were not then as carefully negotiated and concluded as at present, for there is no record here or in the Clinton county clerk's office that either Mr. Seeley or Mr. Moody (from whom Seeley must have bought) ever had title to it.

Noah Smith, father of the genial and popular Wade, and grandfather of Warren T. and of Mrs. E. E. Hogle, bought 100 acres in 1805 for $250. The story is current in the family that Mr. Smith and five others came together, and had only a single piece of salt pork between them, which they passed back and forth to boil with vegetables merely enough to flavor the latter, until one of the group, forgetting what was due to the others, ate the pork. Mr. Smith was an ensign in the war of 1812.

Joseph Spencer located on the Fort Covington road, probably about 1810, and just south of the Westville line. He was a soldier in the war of 1812. Of his six sons, only Mason, Newell and William were sufficiently identified with the town to be factors in its affairs, and to be particularly well remembered. They were sturdy men, and William, locating in Bangor, was a soldier in the Civil War. Byron M. and Harmon W. are grandsons of Joseph, and a considerable number of other descendants of a younger generation are residents of Malone. With the Sperrys and the Berrys the Spencers at one time made up a large part of the population of the northwest quarter of the town, and a better neighborhood was not to be found in the county.

Henry S. Waterhouse was here before 1807, and was a brilliant surgeon. He remained for more than twenty years, practicing his profession, and always had a few medical students in training under him. His garden on Webster street was one of the burial places for the soldiers who died here in 1814, at which time Deacon Jehiel Berry, a mere boy, was making his home with him. Mr. Berry told in the Palladium thirty-odd years ago that at that time he uncovered a soldier's body in the haymow, which undoubtedly went into the dissecting room; and Hon. Ashbel B. Parmelee remembered that the doctor's own neighbors were always in anxiety after the death of a loved one because of a prevalent belief that the doctor robbed graves in order to obtain subjects for use in instructing his students. Dr. Waterhouse's first wife and six children lie in the "Webster street cemetery, with their graves untended and unvisited by any relative for more than three-quarters of a century. After a second marriage the doctor went to Burlington to take a professorship in the University of Vermont, and removed from there to Key West, Fla., where Mrs. Waterhouse joined him in 1829, and died a few days after her arrival in circumstances that cast suspicion upon the husband. Within a short time thereafter the doctor and his only surviving child were drowned while sailing on the ocean.

Oliver Wescott (written Waistcott on the assessment roll) arrived about 1808, and was a farmer. He was commissioner of highways, and held other town offices. Mr. Wheeler wrote concerning him that he " was possessed of rare perception and sound judgment," and " would, with preparation, have stood in the front rank of jurists and legislators."

Almon Wheeler, father of Vice-President Wheeler, located about 1812, and was a lawyer, with office just east of where Putnam's Block now stands, and residence on the site of the Elks' clubhouse. He became postmaster, and was rated an able practitioner. But his gains were less than nothing, and he left to his widow and children only a good name and a heritage of debt.

Abel Willson, who came about 1812, was the grandfather of Malone's waterworks superintendent, George A. Willson. He was a merchant, became supervisor, and was elected county clerk in 1829.

In checking up some of these names with the earliest town records the reflection comes spontaneously that the men of that day recognized and obeyed the obligation of service. Tbere may have been, as now, anxiety for responsible and remunerative official place, but there must have been also praiseworthy readiness to accept petty and irksome duties, as the busiest, most prominent and most dignified residents appear to have undertaken to serve as poormasters, constables, pound-keepers, overseers of highways, and even as sextons of the town cemeteries. Thus Cone Andrus, Lemuel Parlin and Oliver Brewster were poormasters year after year; Cone Andrus, Oliver Brewster, Jonathan Lawrence, John Wood and Jonathan Stearns pound-keepers; Hiram Horton, Appleton Foote, Harry S. House, William Mason, John H. Russell, Benjamin Seeley, Oliver Wescott and others overseers of highways; and Francis L. Harison (son of the owner of the township) sexton of the Webster street cemetery, and Jesse Chipman of the Dimick cemetery. If the foremost men of Malone to-day would accept similar trusts our taxes would be lighter.