The following 13 biographical sketches were extracted from the Geographical gazetteer of Jefferson county, N.Y., 1685-1890.
William H. Nickelson
William H. Nickelson, son of Charles and Martha (Smith) Nickelson, was born in Lowville, Lewis County, in 1858. He was educated at Canton Union School, and the degree of A. M. was conferred upon him at St. Lawrence University. He studied medicine with Drs. Hoag and Cole, of Canton, St. Lawrence County, and graduated from the Hahnemann Medical College of Chicago, Illinois, in 1881, and commenced practice in Adams in the spring of the same year. He married Lizzie B., daughter of C. K. and Susan (Phillips) Stone, and they have a daughter, Mary Elizabeth, born August 28, 1884.
James E. Bentley
James E. Bentley removed from Johnstown, N. Y., to Antwerp early in the present century. He married Prudence Coats, by whom he had four sons and five daughters. David, son of James E., was born in 1828 and was reared upon a farm. He married Caroline, daughter of Turner E. and Amanda (Cleveland) Howard, who bore him two sons and one daughter, viz.: W. Gordon, Mary, who died young, and George A., of Rutland. David Bentley died in 1883. W. Gordon Bentley, born in 1853, graduated from Adams Collegiate Institute in 1883, and has been engaged in teaching in the institute since the fall of 1882.
Captain Pardon Payne
Captain Pardon Payne, born in Rhode Island in 1788, was a captain in the War of 1812, and commanded at Sackets Harbor. He was a farmer and about 1806 located in Gouverneur, N. Y. He married Betsey, daughter of Kendall and Betsey (Hale) Boutwell, in 1826, who bore him eight sons and four daughters, of whom Isaac W. Payne was born in 1838. He was reared upon a farm, and learned the coopers’, carpenters’, and plumbers’ trades. He married Ethelaide V., daughter of Henry and Maria (Mitchel) Miles, in 1860, by whom he has a daughter, Amy M., and a son, Seymour H. Mr. Payne located in Adams in 1883, and is now superintendent of Adams water works.
John Monroe, son of Archibald and Mary (Whitten) Munroe [sic], was born in Whitestown, Oneida County, N. Y., August 2, 1829. He worked in the cotton-mills a number of years and learned the machinists’ trade. He married Cornelia, daughter of Stephen and Fanny (Miller) Renne, of East Durham, N. Y., May 7, 1855, who bore him two sons and two daughters. The only one living, Julia Antoinette, was born July 18, 1863. She graduated from Adams Collegiate Institute in the class of ’86. Mr. Monroe located in Ellisburgh in 1867, and engaged in farming, and in 1883 came to Adams village, where he is a machinist.
Michael Schrodt, a native of Germany, married Mary Eckert and came to America about 1835. He had born to him children as follows: John, who resides in Brownville; Philip, who died at the age of 18 years; Mary (Mrs. Walter Scott), of Sanford’s Corners; Martin, of Brownville; Michael, Jr., of Adams Center; George, of Rutland; and Hattie, who died at the age of 13 years. Michael, Jr., was born in 1854, and at the age of 16 years was apprenticed to the blacksmiths’ trade. In 1884 he located at Adams Center, where he works at his trade. He married Adelaide, daughter of Joseph and Jennie (Cross) Lehan, of Watertown, and they have a son, Herman H., born August 2, 1886.
Rev. William Cooke
Rev. William Cooke, son of Joseph and Elizabeth (Davies) Cooke, was born in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, Eng., in 1853, and was educated in the free grammar schools. He came to America in 1870, studied theology at St. Andrew’s Divinity School, at Syracuse, N. Y., and began ministerial work as rector of the Protestant Episcopal Church at Oriskany Falls, N. Y., in 1880, where he remained till 1886, when he located in Adams and became a rector of Emanuel Church, which position he still retains. In 1881 he married Mary Alice, daughter of Charles and Nancy (Dickenson) Wicks, of Paris, Oneida County, by whom he has a son and two daughters, viz.: William W., Mary Elizabeth, and Bessie Lincoln.
Rev. Thomas Simpkins
Rev. Thomas Simpkins was born in Bedfordshire, Eng., March 14, 1843, and was educated and entered the ministry in his native country. August 12, 1867, he united in marriage with Susan Whitfield, of Bedfordshire, and in 1870 came to this country with his wife and two children — George W. and Charles W. In August of the same year he became pastor of the Baptist Church at Mount Bethel, N. J., and has held pastorates in Liberty and Great Bend, Pa., and Worcester and Johnstown, N. Y., and in January, 1886, became pastor of the Baptist Church in Adams. He has had born to him four children, viz.: George W., at Sandy, Bedfordshire, Eng., May 11, 1868; Edith R., who was born in Worcester, N. Y., July 28, 1878; Henry L., born July 19, 1880; and Charles W., who was drowned in Cayadutta Creek, Johnstown, N. Y., July 10, 1882, aged 12 years. Mr. Simpkins is pastor of the Baptist Church in Adams.
William Gussman, son of Frederick, was born in Hesse-Darmstadt, Germany, in 1849, and in 1853 emigrated to America and located at Britton, Conn. He was educated in New Haven, Conn., at Yale Theological Seminary, and began ministerial work at the age of 19 years. November 13, 1873, he was ordained pastor of Essex Baptist Church, where he remained three years, and afterwards did missionary work in Michigan. In 1878 be became pastor of North Haven Baptist Church, and subsequently was located in Ticonderoga, N. Y., Essex, Vt., and Brooklyn, Conn., until 1887, when he became pastor of the First Baptist Church in Adams Center. In 1876 he married Florence N., daughter of A. J. and Mary (Frisbie) Hayward, of Essex, N. Y., by whom he has a son and two daughters, viz.: Mary Hayward, born in 1877; E. Dryden, born in 1882; and Grace Florence, born in 1885. Mr. Gussman resides on road 36, in this town.
Alfred Lord, son of Truman and Betsey (Randall) Lord, was born in Hounsfield in 1828, and was reared upon a farm. He married Emma Jane, daughter of Harry and Amanda (Ives) White, of Watertown, in 1856, and their children are Seth J., born in 1859; Fred H., born in 1865; Minnie Adel; and Fanny Emma. Mr. Lord is proprietor of the hotel and livery at the depot, in Adams Center, where he located in 1887.
Rev. Junius J. Cowles
Rev. Junius J. Cowles, son of Junius A. and Elizabeth (Gardner) Cowles, was born in Florence, Oneida County, N. Y., in 1851, and was educated in Rome High school and Whitestown Seminary, graduating from the latter school in 1871, and in 1875 from Hamilton College. In 1879 he graduated from the Union Theological Seminary, and in the fall of the same year located in Huntington Valley, Pa. In 1884 he located in Fair Haven, N. Y., and in 1886 came to Adams, where he is now pastor of the Presbyterian Church. He married Mary Elmina, daughter of Almon and Frances E. (Wetmore) Wellman, in 1878, and they have three sons and two daughters, viz.: J. Atwood, born July 10, 1880; E. Haviland, born April 21, 1882; Francis W., born March 15, 1884; Pansy Elizabeth Gardner, born July 1, 1885; and Mary Marguerite, born April 8, 1887.
John S. Archer
John S. Archer, son of Daniel and Elizabeth (Snyder) Archer, was born in Ulster County, N. Y., in 1813, and learned the carpenters’ trade. He married Harriet E. Baylis, in 1835, resided in New York city for a time, and in 1852 located in Jefferson County. Of his five children, John H. and William M. reside in this town. John H. Archer was born September 9, 1843. In 1862 he enlisted in Co. H, 94th N. Y. Inf., and participated in the battles of second Bull Run, Antietam, and others. In 1864 he re-enlisted in Co. L, 18th Cav., and served to the close of the war. After the war he was employed in mills and as a clerk in stores, kept hotel in Delta, Oneida County, and the Frontier House at Sackets Harbor. In the spring of 1888 he purchased the hotel at Adams. He married Libby, daughter of George W. and Catharine (Miller) Neiss, September 6, 1868, by whom he has had four children, viz.: Charles R., who died in infancy; George B., born March 27, 1871; Nellie May, born March 31, 1873; and Flora I., who died in 1881. Mr. Archer is owner and proprietor of the Archer House, at Adams.
Richard A. Dennis
Richard A. Dennis, son of Thomas Z. and Harriet (Phillips) Dennis, was born in Cicero, Onondaga County, in 1868. He learned the barbers’ trade, and in 1888 located in Adams, where in 1889, he bought the Horth block, on South Main street, where his business is located. January 29, 1889, he married Mary Lucinda, daughter of George L. and Lucinda (Potter) Carpenter, and they reside on Spring street.
Sylvester J. Taylor
Sylvester J. Taylor, son of Jeremiah and Amanda (Presley) Taylor, was a native of Sandy Creek. He married Eliza, daughter of Hiram and Anna (Ouderkirk) Moore, by whom he had one son and two daughters, namely: Monford H., of Adams; Ida (Mrs. James Martin), of Oswego; and Leona S., of Albion. Mr. Taylor served in the late war as second lieutenant of Co. E, 147th Regt. Vol. Inf., and was killed in the battle of Gettysburg. Monford H. Taylor was born in Sandy Creek, October 8, 1858. He married Nellie, daughter of John and Dora C. (Vaughn) Hitter, April 8, 1888, and is now engaged in the marble and granite business with Isaac G. Puffer, at Adams.
Source: Child, Hamilton. Geographical gazetteer of Jefferson county, N.Y., 1685-1890, part one, p. 244-246. Syracuse, N.Y.: The Syracuse journal company, printers and binders. 1890.