The following 10 biographical sketches were extracted from the Geographical gazetteer of Jefferson county, N.Y., 1685-1890.
Aquilla Moffatt, a native of Plainfield, N. Y., came to Brownville among the early settlers and here remained until his death. He married a Miss Pattie, who bore him nine children, of whom David, born in this town, married Rachel, daughter of Samuel and Atha Knapp, and they had children as follows: Frances, Jay, Wells, Ida, John, Austin, Ella, Willie, Kate, Mary and Edwin. The latter married Alice, daughter of Thomas and Martha (Hamblin) Collins, of Orleans, and their children were Horace, Sadie, Susie, and David.
Jonathan Elmer came to Jefferson County about 1819 or 20, at that time being 16 or 17 years of age. He worked out among the farmers until his marriage with Cynthia Carpenter, when he located at Sackets Harbor, a few years later removing to Pillar Point, in the town of Brownville, where he engaged in boat building and carpentering. He subsequently engaged in farming, and died in this town in January, 1885. His wife died in 1887. They had 13 children, viz.: Silas M., Manerva, William M., Malissa, Washington R., Wellington H. , Roxanna, Adelaide, Arvilla, Elvira, Ruth, Alice, and Edward B. Twelve of these attained maturity.
William Penn Massey
William Penn Massey, son of Solon and Mary Esther (Boalt) Massey, and grandson of Hart Massey was born on his father’s farm, two and one-half miles from Watertown on the Sackets Harbor road in 1824. He died at Brownville in 1885, aged 60 years. He was educated at the select schools of Brownville and the Black River Institute at Watertown. In 1846-47 and 1847-48 he attended medical lectures at a university in New York city, where he graduated in the latter year, after which he practiced his profession in Brownville with remarkable success until his death. Politically he was a staunch Republican. He and his amiable wife were prominent members of the Presbyterian Church. He married Adaline A., daughter of Charles and Adda (Macumber) Smith, of Utica, N. Y. May 8, 1848 and his wife survives him, aged 64 years. They had two children, Charles F. and Francis W. H. The latter attended the Michigan University of Ann Arbor in 1876 and graduated from the medical college at New York city in the spring of 1884 and is now practicing his profession in Brownville. He married Nellie Torrey, of Batchellerville, Saratoga County, and they have three children, Mary A., Jennie E., and S. Torrey. Charles F. Massey married Lizzie E. Protzman of Osborn, Ohio and they have three children, William P., Edith, and Carl F. He is a merchant in Rochester, Minn.
Cyrus W. Giles
Cyrus W. Giles, son of Samuel, was born in Brownville where he now resides. He married Jane Moffatt of Limerick and they have had children as follows: Frank P., Adelia, Elizabeth (deceased), William, and Edwin N. The latter married Viola A., daughter of George and Isabelle (Montgomery) Campbell of this town and they have one daughter, Minnie M. Edwin N. Giles is foreman of the Black River Paper Co., mills.
Charles Welch, a native of New Hampshire, came to Brownville in the early days when there were but two log homes in Watertown. He died here, aged 86 years. He married Eunice Cole and they reared a number of children, one of whom, Nathan, still resides in this town where he was born. Nathan married, first, Susan Anderson of Clayton by whom he had seven children, viz.: Lyman M., Eliza, James S., Olive, Anderson C., Oren E., and John H. His second marriage was with Jane Delong of De Kalb, St. Lawrence County, and their children were Susan, Ida, Charles and Lewis. John H. Welch married Nancy, daughter of John and Hannah Gunn of Herkimer, and their children are Stella, Maggie M., Arthur J., Clark N., and Mabel E. He served in the late war in Co. I, 10th N.Y.H.A. three years and was honorably discharged at the close of the war.
Frederick Avery, a native of Vermont, came to Brownville at an early day and was the first settler on a farm on road 7, now known as the Avery farm. He served as major in the War of 1812 and lived in this town until his death in 1853 aged 73 years. He married Celia Emerson who died in 1854, aged 62 years, having reared four children, of whom Sterling, born in this town, married Sarah, daughter of Joseph and Mary (White) Harrison, who survives him, he having died in 1886, aged 56 years. Their children were John W., Brayton E., Charles E., and Celia E. Charles E., who resides on the homestead farm with his mother, married Cora, daughter of Edwin and Adelaide Johnson of Clayton and they have one daughter, Blanche.
Nathaniel Peck, who served at Sackets Harbor in the War of 1812, was born at Danbury, Conn., in 1782. His father, Elphalet Peck, also a native of Danbury, served with three brothers in the Revolutionary war, and was taken prisoner at New York city by the British. Nathaniel married Abigail, daughter of Samuel Starr, of Brownville, and they had eight children. Their eldest son, Samuel Starr Peck, married Eliza, daughter of John E. and Nancy McCollum, and they had children as follows: Sarah, Ann Eliza, Spencer S. B., Nancy L., Henry C., Myron R. C., and Samuel S. Spencer S. B. Peck married Harriet, daughter of Jenks and Eliza (Smith) Gillingham, and they have one son, Henry Roy. Spencer S. B. served in Co. B. 177th N. Y. Vols., from Albany, under General Banks, in the Port Hudson campaign. He resides in this town on road 14, on the homestead farm of his grandfather, Samuel Starr, and adjoining the farm once occupied by his grandfather, Nathaniel Peck.
Ebenezer Allison, a native of New Hampshire, came to Brownville while young and first worked at the carpenters’ trade, finally locating upon a farm on road 28, where he died at the advanced age of 83 years. He took part in the battle of Sackets Harbor in the War of 1812. He married Phebe Phelps of Brownville and their children were Sally, Polly, Esther, Julia, Henry W., Jane, Hannah, Lovina, Simeon, and Harlow. The latter married Sarah A., daughter of William and Catharine (McCormick) Allen, of this town, and they have two children, Wayne and Edward. He resides in this town on the homestead farm where he has lived 18 years.
Robert Gates was born in Frankfort, Herkimer County, and now resides in Holmesville, Chenango County. He married Theresa Parrish of Pulaski and their children were Elisha, Merrills, Sewel, Betsey, Emma, Julia, Lucia, Sarah, and Robert F. The latter graduated from the State Normal School at Brockport, and later from the Cleveland (O.) Homeopathic College. He located in this town in 1885, where he is engaged in the practice of his profession. He married Ida Beebee of New Haven, N. Y., daughter of Rev. Charles E. and Clarissa (Vincent) Beebee, and they have one son, Carleton.
Conkey Moffatt was a native of North Adams, Mass., whence he removed to Otsego County, N. Y., and in 1818 to Brownville, where he was the first settler on a farm on road 36. He died in this town in 1841, aged about 70 years. He married Olive Hinman, who bore him nine children, viz.: Aquilla, Persis, Jonathan, Hosea, Olivia, Orlando, Ann, Alexander C., and Reuben H. Hosea Moffatt married Julia, daughter of Benjamin and Julia (Taylor) Prior, of this town, and they have two children, James A. and Bruce. James S. married Nancy, daughter of Richard and Mary (Avery) Buckminster and their children are Charles E. and Gertrude C. They have lived on their present farm since 1865.
Source: Child, Hamilton. Geographical gazetteer of Jefferson county, N.Y., 1685-1890, part second, p. 282-293. Syracuse, N.Y.: The Syracuse journal company, printers and binders. 1890.