The following 10 biographical sketches were extracted from the Geographical gazetteer of Jefferson county, N.Y., 1685-1890.
James Cowan, a Scotchman, emigrated to Antrim, Ireland, where he died in 1836, aged 80 years. He was married three times and reared eight children among whom was John, who emigrated to Amsterdam, N. Y. in 1823, and in 1830 came to this town, where he died in 1872, aged 82 years. John married Elizabeth McKinley, and their children were David, James, Elizabeth, and John M. The latter was born in this town in the house where he now lives and he owns the homestead farm of his maternal grandfather, John McKinley. Mr. McKinley, also a Scotchman, came to Amsterdam in 1824, and finally located in Brownville, where he died in 1835, aged 93 years.
Francis Williams, from Dutchess County, removed to LeRay, in this county, where he died. Of his four children, Jacob married Catharine Smith, and their children were Eliza, Hiram, Henry, Mary A., John, Norman, Grover B., and Morgan. The latter, a native of Fairfield, Herkimer County, removed to Pillar Point in 1830, where he now resides. He married Calista A., daughter of Samuel and Sally (Sherman) Reed, and their children are Alambert G., Eugene E., Ida, Germain, and Edgar D. The latter married Ida E., daughter of James and Margaret (Sills) Drury, of Pillar Point, and they have one son, Harry M., and reside on road 80. Alambert G. Williams, now a resident of Chicago, served in Co. H., 10th N.Y.H.A. as a private and was promoted to a second lieutenancy in a colored regiment at Vicksburg, Miss. Germain Williams married Mary, daughter of Nathaniel Walrath of Brownville and they have two children, Grace G. and Eddie G.
Terrance Farmer, a native of Ireland, emigrated to Brownville in 1832 whence he removed to Hounsfield, where he died in 1883, aged 79 years. He married Catharine Corrigan, who bore him four children, viz.: James, Ellen, Dennis and Peter. The latter married Ann Hunt, and their children were John, James, Alice and Frank. Frank Farmer married Annie, daughter of Michael Doran, and they have two children, Annie and Charles and reside in this town.
John Adams was a son of Moses, who served in the French and Indian war. He was born in New Hampshire and about 1815 emigrated to Rodman where he died. He married Mary Rollins, and their children were Hepsibah, Abigail, Mary, John, Henry, James Moses, Joseph, Jesse, and Seth. His son, Henry, who served in the War of 1812, was born in New Hampshire and located at Pillar Point in this town in 1832 on a farm on road 56, where he remained until his death in 1870, aged 88 years. He married Hannah, daughter of Deacon Solomon Ingles, of New Hampshire, and their children were Solomon I., John, Doddridge, Mary, Philip D., James R., Maria, Charlotte, and Henry. The latter was born in the town of Nelson, N. H., and in 1834 located at Pillar Point in this town. He married, first, Eliza Spicer of Hounsfield, by whom he has one child, Alexander S. By his second wife, Mrs. Emily Ackerman, daughter of John C. Dickinson, he has had children as follows: Jane C. (Mrs. Alfred Ackerman) of Kenosha County, Wis., and Edwin R., who married Hattie, daughter of John and Mary (Ackerman) Crandall of Watertown, and their children are Brayton C., Charles B., Henry W., and Myrtle.
John Adams, son of Henry, was born in Rodman, and in 1834 located at Pillar Point in this town where he now resides. He married Eunice Farewell of Denmark, Lewis County, who died in 1888, aged 78 years. She was a daughter of Solomon and Sabina (Burlingame) Farewell, and their children were Seth O., Cordelia S., Edwin, Laura L., Cynthia H., Kendrick S., Dianthia V., Levi D., and Milo J. The latter married Laverne E., daughter of James R. and Margaret (Satchwell) Adams of Pillar Point and now resides in this town. James R. Adams was born in Rodman and in 1832 located at Pillar Point with his father where he still resides. He married, first, Margaret, daughter of Josiah and Catharine (Billinger) Satchwell, and their children were Mary C., Albert, Charlotte and Laverne. He married for his second wife, Mrs. Susan Lepper, daughter of Henry and Mary (Keith) Lepper, and now resides at Pillar Point at the age of 71 years. His daughter, Mary, married Charles D. Emerson and they have three children, Rollins A., Sterling, and Myra L., and reside at Kearney, Nebraska.
Hiram Steele, a native of Vermont died in Windsor in that state, aged about 80 years. His son, Eliakim, was born in Windsor, and in 1834 located in this town where he died in 1853, aged 67 years. Eliakim married Betsey, daughter of Col. Cummings of West Windsor, Vt., and their children were George H., Fanny C., Ellen M., Gracie A., and Charles C. The latter married, first, Elizabeth, daughter of Samuel and Mary Guard of Brownville, in 1859, who bore him two children, Charles H. and George C. His second marriage was with Frances E., daughter of Alfred and Eliza (Cobb) Kilborn of this town. Mr. Steele has been a general merchant in Brownville for 12 years, deputy postmaster 10 years, and justice of the peace, one term. He has also been proprietor of a grist and flouring mill for 10 years.
Christian Walrath, a native of St. Johnsville, N. Y., came to Brownville in 1835, and was the first permanent settler on a farm on road 16, now known as the Walrath farm, where he remained until his death, aged 85 years. He married Catharine Hillagas, of St. Johnsville, N. Y., and their children were Jonas, Nathaniel, Reuben, Magdelaine, Mary, and Margaret. Reuben Walrath married Lura A., daughter of Angevine and Phebe (Locke) Lawrence of LeRay, and their children are David H., Esther J., Mary A. and Ruby A. David H. married Jennie, daughter of Simeon Cocagne of Cape Vincent, by whom he has one daughter, Rosie, and resides on the homestead farm.
William P. Smith
William P. Smith, a native of this town, married, first, Clara Lounsbury, of Niagara County, who bore him one son and died in 1878, aged 42 years. In 1880 he married Mrs. Belle Kilborn of Clayton, daughter of Lewis and Helen (Cramer) Lawton, and is now a farmer at Perch River in this town. He commenced life as a poor boy and for many years lived with John Prior. By industry and frugality he has become quite successful in his chosen occupation. He served in Co. A, 35th N.Y. Artillery, in the late war and was honorably discharged. Hezekiah Lawton, grandfather of Mrs. Smith, participated in the battle of Sackets Harbor in the War of 1812.
Joseph Underwood, son of Joseph who served in the Revolutionary war, was born in Vermont, whence he emigrated to Rutland, this county, in 1800, and was one of the first settlers of that town, where he lived 35 years, when he removed to this town and died here in 1843, aged 72 years. He married Rebecca Hayes who bore him seven children, viz.: William, Elizabeth, Sarah, Clarissa, Joseph, Huldah, and Warren. Joseph, a native of Rutland, came to Brownville in 1835, where he now resides, aged 78 years. He married Louisa, daughter of Jeremiah and Sally (Bush) Scott, and his children are Charles, Morrell, and William H. The latter married Genevieve, daughter of I. Alanson and Susan (Dwelly) Roseboom, and they have had two children, May (deceased) and Maude. Mr. Underwood is proprietor of the popular Underwood Hotel in the village of Dexter, of which village he is president. He enlisted in Co. I, 10th N. Y. H. A., in 1862, was promoted to corporal in 1863, and served until the close of the war, receiving his discharge May 28, 1865. He was in the battles of the Wilderness and Petersburg, was at the front in the defense of the National capital, and was present at Lee’s surrender. Joseph Underwood married for his second wife, Julia, daughter of Daniel and Arvilla (Marsh) Whitney, of Brownville.
William Mackey, whose father was killed in the Revolutionary war, was of Scotch descent. He was born in Montgomery County, N. Y., and died in Indiana at the advanced age of 99 years. He served in the War of 1812 and was taken prisoner. He wedded with Catharine Sight, of Montgomery County, and their children were Benjamin, John, Abram, Hiram, James, Nancy, Mariah, Sally, Lida, and William. The latter married Catharine, daughter of John Lent, of Montgomery County, and their children are Nathan, Harvey, William, Jerome, and Laura. He has resided in Brownville for 51 years.
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.