The Agens family of Lewis county, New York, were planted in the United States in 1827, by the grandfather of the present generation. The family was originally of Scotland, although James Agens, the founder, was born in Ireland. By trade he was a weaver. In 1827, with his uncles John and Robert Reid, he came to the United States. The uncles located on Long Island, where they engaged in mercantile life and became wealthy. James, however, came northward with his wife and children, finally settling in Denmark, Lewis county. He leased and improved a farm on which he lived until, late if life, he removed to the town of Harrisburg, where he died.
He married, in Ireland, Jane Ried. Their first two children were born in Ireland.
Children: John, Eliza, Isabel, Thomas, William, see forward, and Robert.
(II) William, son of James and Jane (Ried) Agens, was born in Harrisburg, N.Y., Sept. 14, 1845, died Oct. 4, 1909. He was reared on the farm, and educated in the public schools. He remained with his parents until, arriving at legal age, he began farming for himself on a farm in Castorland, where he remained unil 1868. In that year he purchased a farm in Lowville, which he cultivated, and operated as a dairy farm for forty-one years. In 1891 he sold his farm and moved to see village of Lowville, where he practiced asa veterinarian.
He married (first), in 1865, Harriet A., daughter of Calvin Wakefield, of Lewis county, granddaughter of Peter, and great-granddaughter of Thomas Wakefield, born in New Hampshire in 1751; he served in the Revolutionary war; married Elizabeth Hardy, born 1750; came to Lewis county, N.Y. about 1800, and settled in what is now  Pinckney, then a wilderness, where he cleared a farm; had six sons and four daughters, all born in N.H. Peter, son of Thomas Wakefield, was a farmer, and in winter taught school. He married Esther, born Oct. 8, 1786, daughter of Ephraim Whitcomb, a Revolutionary soldier. Peter and Esther (Whitcomb) Wakefield were parents of fourteen children; thirteen lived to maturity, of whom Calvin was fifth. Peter Wakefield died July 13, 1855; Esther, his wife, Oct. 1867. Calvin, son of Peter Wakefield, was born in Pinckney, Lewis county, May 29, 1816; settled on a farm near Mill creek, Lowville, and devoted his acres to hop culture, becoming one of the largest hop growers in Lewis county.
He married Roxy, daughter of Oren Fenton, and had two children: Rowland, who met his death by drowning, and Harriet A., wife of William Agens. She died in 1873, leaving one son, Ernest A. Agens; see forward.
William Agens married (second), March 16, 1875, Emma M., daughter of John and Wealthy (Clark) Williams, formerly of Oneida county, N.Y.
(III) Ernest A., only child of William and Harriet A. (Wakefield) Agens, was born Feb. 20, 1868. He was educated in the public school and at Lowville Academy. His choice was for a mercantile life, and the first two yeas after leaving school worked as a clerk. He passed the next six years as a clerk of the money order department of the Lowville post office. In 1899 he purchased the jewelry store located at State and Dayan streets, Lowville, and has since been engaged in that business. This was a well-considered investment, and has proved eminently satisfactory. He is owner of a large farm in the Lowville Milk and Cream Company. He is a Lodge and Chapter Free Mason, belonging to both the Lowville bodies of the Masonic order. Politically he is a Democrat.
He married, April 24, 1900, Mary Rebecca, daughter of Dr. M. P. and Eliza Crosby, of Lowville.
Children: Helen A., born May 27, 1902; Maynard Crosby, Jan. 10. 1909.
The Agens family was founded in Lewis county, New York, by James Agens, who settled at comparatively an early day in the present town of Denmark. He was born in Ireland Jan. 9, 1797. He married, in Ireland, Jane Reed, born there Jan. 7, 1804, and together they sought a new home in the United States. They were both young and full of hope and determination to win success in their new surroundings. James secured a tract of wild and wooded land in Denmark, and began at once to clear and build. Aided and encouraged by his faithful wife, the home was founded, and together they enjoyed what to a son of Ireland is the sum total of all earthly happiness - ownership of land and home. He was a man of most untiring energy, strict integrity, and rugged, uncompromising honesty. These qualties endeared him to his neighbors, who held both James and his wife in the highest esteem.
1. John R., born April 22, 1826, died March 8, 1904; married Almira Campbell.
2. Eliza J., Dec. 1, 1829, died Dec. 29, 1903.
3. Isabella, May 18, 1831.
4. Thomas, Aug. 15, 1833; died Oct 19, 1856; married Caroline Seymour.
5. William R., Sept. 8, 1842, died Oct. 4, 1909; married (first) Hattie A., Wakefield, and had a son, Ernest A; married (second) Emma Williams.
6. Robert, see forward.
(II) Robert, youngest child of James and Jane (Reed) Agens, was born in the town of Denmark, Lewis county, N.Y. May 10, 1844. He received a common school education, and grew up on the farm, where he was his father's faithful helper. When he reached the age for decision as to his own career, he decided to continue a farmer. In 1864 he had so far succeeded in his chosen vocation as to have the means to purchase a farm of his own. He chose a highly productive farm in Denmark, purchased it, and has since devoted all his energy to its development and operation, making a specialty of dairy faming and high-grade stock breeding. He is best known through northern New York as a breeder if fine horses and an expert horseman. He has raised and sold some of the best thoroughbred colts that ever went out of Lewis county. He has a well-known faculty for matching horses to be used as gentleman's fancy riad and driving teams that has brought him the friendship and partronage of horsemen near and far. His farm is well kept and attractive in appearance, while his methods are modern and show his progressive spirit.
He is a supporter of Democratic principles and condidates.
He married, Dec. 21, 1869, Lois, born June 4, 1848, daughter of Harlow and Lavina (Talcott) White.
1. Nora L., born Sept. 13, 1871; married E. B. Jones of Boonville, New York, who died June 10, 1907; children: Robert Henely, born Feb. 18, 1906; Algina, June 3, 1907, died July 22, 1907.
2. Burdette H. J., Nov. 5, 1875, died March 1, 1878.
3. John T., June, 1877, died Nov. 7, 1901; married Romeyn J. Spalding; children: Emily Lois, born Feb. 5, 1898; Leona Belle, July 8, 1901.
4. Hattie A., May 19, 1879; married R. Bruce Hoyet; children: Harold Bruce, born Aug. 16, 1904; Lyle Agens, Sept. 19, 1906.
5. Delbert F., May 12, 1883.
6. Lizzie B., Oct. 20, 1885.
7. Victoria C., Sept. 17, 1888.
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