Greene County, New York
THE BREWER FAMILY
Addison P. Brewer and Sarah Graves Brewer, his wife and devoted helpmate for fifty-five years of married life, are the central figures around which this narrative of human events is woven. He was born at Hunter, Green County, New York, December 30, 1826, and was the eldest of nine children, all of whom survived their parents. The father was Peter Brewer, born in Dutches County, New York, June 8, 1791. In 1824 he married Miss Mary Turnes, the daughter of John Turnes. She was born in the north of Ireland, April 16, 1804, and at the age of three years came to America with her parents who settled in Green County, New York.
Looking backward still another generation in this sturdy family, we find that the father of Peter Brewer, who bore the same name, was born in Holland, April 1, 1740. When twenty-one years of age he came to America, landing at New Amsterdam, now the City of New York, where he remained until 1767. In that year he married Miss Elizabeth Stone, and soon after settled in Westchester County, New York, where he followed the occupation of farming. At the beginning of the Revolutionary War he entered the Colonial Army to aid in sustaining the independence which had been proclaimed by the patriot fathers, and continued in the struggle for liberty until its close. He then removed with his family to Green County, New York, where he died in 1804.
In the Fall of 1833 Peter Brewer and his wife, Mary, with their little family, set out from their home in the Catskills in search of a new home in the then almost unbroken wilderness of Michigan. They were a true type of pioneers who came to this territory in the early days, and laid the foundations of the material prosperity and intellectual progress that is enjoyed today. Active, brave, intelligent, honest and self-reliant, they passed the sunset side of life, reminding us of the toils and hardships of the early days and teaching a lesson of industry and perseverance that brings substantial reward and the respect of all who knew them.
Addison was then nearly seven years of age, and the incidents of the long journey westward made an indelible impression upon his youthful mind. The voyage by the slow, primitive means of locomotion of the time required eighteen days, and began in a sloop on the Hudson River, which took the party to Albany. From thence they took a canal-boat on the new Erie Canal. Early in the first morning out from Albany they were at Schenectady, and were called from the cabin to see a curious train of cars, consisting of a quaint little engine and two coaches, on the only railroad in New York State. In seven days they arrived at Buffalo, the western terminal of the canal, and embarked on a steamer for Detroit. The following day the boat ran on a bar off Erie, where it remained for three days before lightering off. Proceeding to Cleveland the vessel was declared unsafe, and the passengers and cargo were transferred to the steamboat Superior, a famous old ship of the early days of steam navigation on the lakes, which in due time landed them safely at Detroit. To reach their destination in the Michigan wilderness, there was still further travel of two and a half days by ox team and cart to the home of an uncle in Washington Township, Macomb County, about twenty-eight miles from Detroit. In October, 1833, the family finally moved upon a piece of wild land in what was later known as Addison Township, Oakland County, land that they eventually converted into a fine farm, and which is still in possession of a member of the family. The country was but sparsely settled, their nearest neighbors being a mile and a half away through the woods; and there were no churches or schools. The winding trails of the Indians were their only roads, by which they went to the nearest flouring mill and store, ten miles distant, or to a small water-power saw mill, two miles away. Wolves and bears, deer and other wild animals abounded in the forest, and fish filled the lakes and streams.
Such were the conditions of life in the new country, in which Addison was reared to manhood. He was the eldest of four children and much of the hard work of making a home in the wilderness devolved upon him. Before he was eight years old he drove an ox team to do the harrowing of the ground, while the other children did such work as they could. The lands surrounding the original eighty acres which comprised his father's farm, were still comparatively cheap, and two lots of forty acres each, adjoining the farm, were purchased at about three dollars per acre. With this acquisition of land the struggles of the family seemed also to increase, until about 1852 when, several of the children having grown up and contributing to the common interests, the family became comparatively prosperous and the beloved parents were relieved of their great cares.
The opportunities of acquiring an education in those days were limited, the district school from six to eight months in the year teaching the rudimentary branches only, being the only facilities. But young Brewer managed to obtain a sound knowledge of fundamental subjects, and when he was twenty-one years of age he attended the high schools at Rochester and Romeo, fitting himself for the position of teacher. He began teaching school in the Winter of 1845-46 and followed it for seven Winters.
In the Spring of 1848 occurred an event that decided the course of his life and that led him from the farm to a wider business life. A deputy United States surveyor named William Burt, son of the inventor of the solar compass, had a contract for surveying several townships of land in the upper peninsula of Michigan, and he induced Mr. Brewer to accompany him. Their work lay in the wilds near Lake Gogebic, and the young man worked as chainman at twenty dollars a month. But he studied the instruments so diligently, and succeeded so well in mastering their use that he was advanced to the position of compass man. He soon became so proficient in the use and adjustment of the solar compass that his employer advised him to take up surveying as his life work. This he decided to do, and in 1849 was put at the head of a party which worked around L'Anse. From 1853 to 1858 he, with others, was chosen to select lands for the Sault Ste. Marie Ship Canal Company, and here he acquired his knowledge of selecting and estimating pine lands, the company's selection being wholly of that nature.
In the Winter of 1859 Mr. Brewer was appointed by Governor Moses Wisner to act as one of the State swamp road commissioners, to locate and establish a road from East Saginaw to the Ausable River. This brought him to the spot which was to be his future home, and where he made a name that will ever be permanent and honored.
After locating in East Saginaw Mr. Brewer devoted his energies and talents to the work of locating, surveying and estimating pine lands. In 1863 he formed a co-partnership with his brother and P. C. Killam, and for two years they lumbered on Saganing Creek, near Saginaw Bay. He then purchased the interests of his partners, and began lumbering with Sage & McGraw, on the Cedar River, the management of which he continued for several years. In 1870 he became associated with John McGraw & Company in building their first mill at Portsmouth. Two years later he purchased a large tract of pine land in Wisconsin, which he soon sold and entered into partnership with John G. Owen in the purchase of the McLean saw mill. In 1875 he purchased the interest of Mr. Owen, and continued sole owner of the plant until its destruction by fire, involving a loss of eighty-five thousand dollars.
From that time, in connection with his sons, he dealt largely in pine lands in Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota and in Southern and Western States. He also invested heavily in Saginaw realty, and with a firm belief in the continued prosperity of this city he erected a number of business blocks on Washington Avenue and Franklin Street.
On October 24, 1850, Mr. Brewer was united in marriage with Miss Sarah S. Graves, a young lady whom he had known from childhood, whose home was at Washington, Macomb County, Michigan. She was the daughter of early pioneers from New York State, and one of a large family which lived on a farm near that on which he grew to manhood. They made their home at Romeo until 1859, when they removed to East Saginaw, the journey by wagon over the rough roads through the forest requiring two days. For several years they lived in a cottage (which is still standing) on the east side of Washington Street, near Hayden Street. On April 1, 1864, they removed to the house at 1244 South Washington Avenue, where they ever after resided. Six children were born to them: Eva S., wife of Frank S. Janes, of Kelso, Washington; Frank A. Brewer, of Duluth, Minnesota; M. Edla, wife of E. H. Pearson, of Chicago; Fred P. Brewer, of Pasadena, California; William A. Brewer, of Saginaw, and Cora B., wife of Fred C. Knapp, of Portland, Oregon.
Seldom does it fall to the lot of a married couple to enjoy so long and happy a marital life, such as did Mr. and Mrs. Brewer. Material success crowned honest endeavor, and warm friendships gave a glow of pleasure to their lives. In no place did Mr. Brewer more truly display his character than as husband and father in his own home. On Wednesday, October 24, 1900, they celebrated the golden anniversary of their wedding, surrounded by children, grand-children, relatives and friends. On this occasion he paid a fine tribute to the devoted wife and mother of his children.
Mr. Brewer came of a prolific and long-lived family. There were nine children in his father's family, five boys and four girls, namely: Addison P., Ann E., Peter W., John A., Abram N., Mark S., Mary L., Lydia M. and Sarah E. Brewer, all of whom lived to cherish the memory of kind and indulgent parents. Both the father and mother died on the same day.
During his long career in Saginaw Mr. Brewer was always prominently identified with the growth and progress of this city. He participated in the rise and development of the lumber industry, and was eminently successful in his business enterprises, in which his judgment was sound and his actions conservative. Mr. Brewer died May 5, 1905, in his seventy-ninth year.
Sarah Salinda Graves Brewer, for more than fifty years a resident of Saginaw, was born in Washington Township, Macomb County, October 20, 1832, the daughter of Amos and Betsy Graves. Her childhood was passed in her native town, and she was married to Mr. Brewer in Pontiac, in 1850. After residing in Romeo for several years, they removed to East Saginaw where they lived the remainder of their lives.
Mrs. Brewer was devoted to her home and family, and was an active worker in the Baptist Church. She was one of the best known of the pioneer residents of Saginaw, where she died on May 26, 1914, in her eighty-second year. [Source: History of Saginaw County Michigan, Vol 2, Publ. 1918. Transcribed by Joan Lottner]
George W. Cone
CONE, GEO. W., house, sign and ornamental painter, Marion; born in Bertram Tp., Linn Co., Iowa, April 12,1839; he is a son of Morris and Ann Cone, and was the first white child born in Linn Co.; Linn Co. has always been his home. He married Sarah E. Vosburg in Nov., 1862; she was born in Coxsackie, N. Y., April 25, 1844; they have had two children—one daughter, Estella May, died Nov. 2, 1877, aged 8 years; one son, now living, John Sigel, born Jan. 1, 1863. Mr. Cone is a member of the City Council, representing the Second Ward. Mr. and Mrs. Cone are members of the M. E. Church. [Source: The history of Linn County Iowa; Western Historical Company; 1878; transcribed by Andaleen Whitney]
Amos B. Eaton
Eaton, Amos B., major-general, was born in Catskill, N. Y., May 12, 1806, and was graduated in the United States military academy in 1826. He took part in the Seminole war in Florida and Alabama, in 1827-28, and was a captain in Gen. Taylor's army of occupation in the war with Mexico, winning a brevet as major for "gallant and meritorious conduct" at Buena Vista. He served in the Civil war as purchasing commissary in New York City, 1861-64, and as commissary-general of subsistence, at Washington, 1864-65. He was promoted lieutenant-colonel, colonel and brigadier-general, U. S. A., and on March 13, 1865, was given the brevet rank of major-general for efficient services in the commissary department during the Civil war. Gen. Eaton was retired in 1874, and died in New Haven, Conn., Feb. 21, 1877. (Source: The Union Army, Volume VIII, Biographical, Federal Publishing Co., 1908. Transcribed for Genealogy Trails by Linda Rodriguez)
HAWLEY, Watson, sales manager Atlas Engine works, Detroit; born; New Baltimore, N.Y., 1854; son of James P and Elizabeth (Bedell) Hawley; educated in public schools; married at Maumee, O., 1882, Florence H. Sherwood, Engaged in merchant milling and Archibald, O., for ten years; retired from business, 1896 on account of ill health, and later became connected with Record Boiler Engine Works, Toledo, O.; came to Detroit, 1904, as manager for Atlas Engine Works, of Indianapolis, Ind. Republican. Club: Commercial. Recreation: Fond of horses. Office 430 Penobscot Bldg. Residence: 290 Merrick Av. [Source: "The Book of Detroiters". Edited by Albert Nelson Marquis, 1908 - Submitted by Christine Walters]
Rufus James Palen
How much of its financial stability New Mexico, during the past quarter of a century, owed to Major Rufus James Palen, the late president of the First National Bank of Santa Fe, it would be difficult to estimate, but it is certain that the group of financiers of whom Major Palen was one and that by no means the least, exerted a tremendous influence in restoring the credit of the commonwealth, in supporting new enterprises, and in making available the latent resources of the State. His death, therefore, early on the morning of March 15, 1916, at the age of seventy-three years, elicited many expressions of regret and at the same time appreciation of his sterling qualities in every part of the Southwest.
Major Palen came from a family distinguished in the annals of New York and in whose honor Palenville, near Hudson, in that State, was named. It was at Hudson that he was born on January 13, 1843, the son of Joseph Gilbert Palen and Ann Little Palen. He attended the public schools and later the Hudson Academy. From Hudson he went to Romeo, Michigan, there entering Dickinson Academy and in 1861 matriculating in the college of law of the University of Michigan. But in 1862, like so many of his classmates, he volunteered to serve in the Union army. He went to the front as second lieutenant in Company G, One Hundred and Twenty-eighth New York Volunteers, and was promoted for gallantry. When he left the army, although only twenty-two years of age, he held the rank of major in the Seventy-eighth New York Infantry. Even after the war, he was for a time an officer in the New York National Guard and always took a keen interest in military affairs.
In 1869, President Grant appointed the father of Major Palen chief justice of the New Mexico Supreme Court. Judge Palen served as such until his death, December 21, 1875. He appointed his son clerk of the court for the First Judicial District with headquarters in Santa Fe, in 1872. Major Palen also became clerk of the Supreme Court and served in both capacities until 1877.
In 1878, Major Palen went east to bring with him
to Santa Fe, a bride. He married Ellen Seeger Webbe, daughter of Bishop
Webbe. It was in that year too, that young Palen entered upon his
banking career, in the humble position of assistant cashier, but
associated with such men as Stephen B. Elkins and W. W. Griffin. Five
years later, on June 11, 1883, he was promoted to the cashiership, and
in 1894 became president, succeeding the late delegate to Congress,
Of the forty-four years he lived in Santa Fe, Major Palen gave
thirty-eight to service in the bank, which for many years stood at the
head of financial institutions of the Southwest in the amount of
business it transacted, and to this day is emblematic of financial
strength and soundness. He took great pride in the new building just
erected on the east side of the Plaza, architecturally and in interior
fittings the most beautiful banking structure in New Mexico. As a
banker, Major Palen earned the reputation
of being conservative, and yet scores of business men can testify that
he went the limit to tide them over periods of stress. During the recent
panic, when practically every bank suspended specie payment, he
continued to meet obligations with cash, and his attitude carried Santa
Fe through the period of stringency unscathed. Very often, when Major
Palen thought that the banking laws and rules would not permit him to
make a loan on the slender security offered, he came to the rescue with
his personal funds. Many
a poor farmer or stockman, or even politician, when at the end of his
resources, would make his way to Major Palen's home and there lay his
case before the financier. Seldom, if ever, was he refused financial
help if the plea was sincere, and the record clear. The faith in Major
Palen's integrity, manifested by the Spanish-American people, was
remarkable. In the early days it would happen that some rich sheepman or
landowner would bring to Santa Fe large sums in gold, and arriving
after banking hours would take
the money to the Palen residence, there to keep it over night. Major
Palen knew how to take risks and how to bear losses, but he was also
uniformly successful, and under his careful management the bank
accumulated a big surplus in addition to paying handsome dividends
regularly to the stockholders. Major Palen was a staunch Republican. He
was actively interested in political movements and represented his party
in various conventions and on different boards. From 1891 to 1895 he
was Territorial treasurer and again
in 1911. He was a member of the Capitol Rebuilding and Extension Board
which built the present State capitol. This was done for a comparatively
small sum and it is a matter of pride to the commonwealth that at no
time during the building or after, was there the least intimation of
favoritism in awarding contracts or of the payment of excessive prices.
The building was completed and the board found itself with a surplus on
hand from the meager appropriation. Similarly, Major Palen was a trustee
of the State School
for the Deaf and Dumb at Santa Fe, when it built its fine administration
building. He held other positions in town and State. With him, public
office was not a mere perfunctory honor but involved duties to which he
generously gave thought and time.
Major Palen was scholarly in his ideals. He was an omnivorous reader of scientific literature. He made a study not only of finance but also of social science. He was a member for many years of the American Academy of Political and Social Science and of the American Economic Association. He was a charter member and treasurer of the Santa Fe Society of the Archaeological Institute of America, a life member of the State Museum and a member of the Archaeological Society of Mexico. He had been president of the New Mexico Bankers' Association and belonged to the Sigma Phi Greek letter fraternity. For many years, he annually presented to the Women's Board of Trade library books and magazines worth while and in large quantity. He was a member of the Chamber of Commerce and for years was an officer of the Santa Fe Board of Trade. He contributed regularly and frequently to every worthy civic cause.
Major Palen delighted in the company of a circle of close friends. It was a circle which death has decimated in late years, for in it were included men like the late Edward L. Bartlett, Judge H. L. Waldo, and the late Abraham Staab. His home was a most hospitable one, and he was often seen at public entertainments and was a beloved guest at social functions. The subject of this sketch was a charter member, president and later treasurer of the Santa Fe Club. Steadfast as a member of the Protestant Episcopal Church, he took an active interest in diocesan as well as parish affairs, serving as vestryman and treasurer for many years. Sunday forenoon found him quite regularly in his pew and he seldom was absent from church gatherings at other times.
The great sorrow came to Major Palen, only a few years ago, when death called hence the only daughter, Mrs. Caryl Palen Moulton. Since then there were signs of failing strength and evidence of advancing years. Still he followed his exacting round of duties until a week before his death. A severe cold developed into pneumonia and while the latter yielded to medical treatment, the heart could not stand the strain, and shortly after midnight on the morning of March 15th, with the sorrowing wife at the bedside, he was gathered to his fathers.
Not since the funeral of the late Archbishop J. B. Lamy, has Santa Fe witnessed so general and heartfelt a demonstration of sorrow as on the sunny, balmy March afternoon when the mortal remains of Major Palen were borne to their last resting place. The Episcopal ritual for the dead was read by Rev. Leonidas Smith in the Church of the Holy Faith which was too small to hold all those who had come to pay their tribute of respect. The altar recess was carpeted with blossoms and the casket was buried beneath white lilies and other flowers. The vested choir sang “In the Hour of Trial,” “Lord Let Me Know My End,” “Abide with Me,” and “When the Weary Seeking Rest.” Interment was in Fairview Cemetery, in the plot where Major Palen's daughter had been laid to rest. The active pall-bearers were employees of the First National Bank: James B. Read, Stuart C. McCrimmon, Juan Shoemaker, F. L. Wardlaw, C. J. Eckert, G. E. Moore, V. S. Odebraski, and Leonard Murphy. Directors of the bank, vestrymen of the Church of the Holy Faith, and old friends were the honorary pall-bearers: Dr. W. S. Harroun, Bronson M. Cutting, Julius H. Gerdes, H. H. Dorman, Arthur Seligman, James L. Seligman, Frank W. Clancy, Aloys B. Renchan, Dr. James A. Massie, L. Bradford Prince, Miguel A. Otero, Solomon Spitz, Austin C. Brady, and J. G. Schumann. [Source: Old Santa Fe, April 1916, Vol. III No. 10, pages 173-177; transcribed by Richard Ramos]
ALEXANDER TROTTER, born in Edinburgh, Scotland, Sept. 5, 1810. Entered Oberlin as a special in 1835 and graduated from the classical course in college in 1838; was in the theologcal (theological) seminary in 1838-9. Married Phoebe Day, of Morristown, N. J., in 1843, and on July 11 of the same year was ordained at Albion Mich. Preached at Battle Creek, Mich., 1843-46; was agent of the American Protestant Soc., New York, 1846 50; preached at Hunter, N. Y., 1850-55; Centerville, 1855-58; Livingstonvile, 1858-63; Vassar, Mich., 1863-66. In 1869 he became editor of a local newspaper in Vassar, Mich., and continued in charge of it until 1885, when poor health compelled him to retire. He died at Vassar, Mich., July 7, 1897. [Source: Necrology Oberlin College For The Year 1897-8. Transcribed by: Helen Coughlin]
Robert O. Tyler
Tyler, Robert O., brigadier-general was born in Greene county, N. Y., Dec. 22, 1831. He was taken to Hartford, Conn,, in 1839 and was graduated at West Point in 1853. As a lieutenant of artillery he was sent to the Pacific coast in 1854; took part in the Yakima and Spokane expeditions and in several battles with the Indians; saw the bombardment of Fort Sumter; opened a way for the troops through Baltimore; was made captain and depot quartermaster at Alexandria; and on Aug. 29, 1861, was commissioned colonel of the 4th Conn, volunteers, which became an artillery regiment in Jan., 1862, after he had reorganized it. In the Peninsular campaign he served at Yorktown, Hanover Court House, Gaines mill and Malvern hill. He was commissioned brigadier-general of volunteers on Nov. 29, 1862; had command of the artillery of Sumner's division at Fredericksburg; of the artillery reserve, Army of the Potomac, at Chancellorsville and Gettysburg. and in the subsequent operations until Jan., 1864, when he was assigned a division of the 22nd corps, covering Washington and the lines of communication. In May he went through the battle of the Wilderness with a division of the 2nd corps, his men acting as infantry, and at Spottsylvania repelled an attack of Ewell on the right, earning thereby the thanks of Gen. Meade. At Cold Harbor he received a wound which incapacitated him for further active duty and left its effects on his system for life. For gallantry in these battles and abundant good service he received a sword from his old neighbors at Hartford, Conn., the thanks of his adopted state, and all the brevets from major to major-general in the regular army, besides that of major-general of volunteers. He had command of several departments from Dec, 1864, to June, 1866, became lieutenant-colonel and deputy quartermaster general in July 1866, and served in that capacity at Charleston, Louisville, San Francisco, New York and Boston, until his death at Boston Dec. 1, 1874. (Source: The Union Army, Volume VIII, Biographical, Federal Publishing Co., 1908. Transcribed for Genealogy Trails by Linda Rodriguez)