NORTHERN NEW YORK
Genealogical and family history of northern New York: a record of the achievements of her people
in the making of a commonwealth and the founding of a nation.
New York: Lewis Historical Pub. Co. 1910.
Transcribed by Coralynn Brown
This is one of the oldest families in America, dating back positively to within a score of years of the Pilgrim landing in Massachusetts, and is of Scottish descent. The name has been changed from the original spelling, Eager, and there are probably other families who descend from William Eager, of Malden, 1631, who are lost through a change of spelling. The Eager, Auger, Eger, Agar and Ager families are all probably from the same descent. Some occupations, like professions, seem inherent in the blood of families. In this family papermaking has been a branch of manufacturing industry that has appealed to each generation and has been followed for over a century by sometimes all the sons of a generation. Joel Wheeler Ager erected a mill and made the first paper ever made in Lewis county, New York, now (1910) the seat of a great papermaking industry. The present generation of his descendants were also in the business.
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(I) William Eager was of Malden, Massachusetts, where he was made a freeman in 1631. He moved to Marlborough, Mass. previous to 1682.
(II) William (2), son of William (1) Eager, was of Marlborough, Mass., 1682, died April 4, 1690. He was one of the original proprietors of the Ockoo Kagausett plantation, purchased from the Indians, 1684. He married, 1659, Ruth Hill.
(III) Zachariah, son of William (2) and Ruth (Hill) Eager, died July 5, 1742. He married Elizabeth Newton, who died Jan. 18, 1756.
(IV) Aaron, son of Zachariah and Elizabeth (Newton) Eager, was born in Marlborough, Mass., Feb. 1, 1713, died there Nov. 2, 1756. He married Mary Morey, who died Nov. 2, 1756.
Solomon, born Jan. 29, 1735, mentioned below.
Mary, July 17, 1736.
Lucy, Feb. 7, 1738.
William, Sept. 23, 1739.
Bailey, Feb. 7, 1741.
Aaron, March 28, 1743.
Joseph, May 28, 1744.
George, May 31, 1746.
Catherine, Nov. 1, 1748.
(V) Solomon, son of Aaron and Mary (Morey) Eager, was born in Marlborough, Mass., Jan. 29, 1735, died in Boylston, Mass., 1810. He married, Oct. 26, 1756, Dinah Goodnow, born July 17, 1736.
1. William, born Jan 20, 1765, died May 14, 1856; married Lydia Woods, born Jan. 25, 1767, died April 13, 1857.
2. James, married Anna Goodale.
3. John, mentioned below.
5. Betsey, married Nathan Clark.
7. Molly, married Samuel Griffin.
8. Dinah, married Joseph Ems.
Solomon Eager married (second) Mrs. Ems, of Boylston, Mass.
(VI) John, son of Solomon and Dinah (Goodnow) Eager, was born in Marlborough, Mass., Feb. 29, 1770, died in Boylston, Mass., Nov. 10, 1814. He married Betsey Marble, born June 27, 1771, died Jan. 27, 1841.
1. John, born in Cambridge, N.Y. May 22, 1794, died March 1796.
2. Asa, born in Arlington, Vermont, Aug. 4, 1798, died Nov. 15, 1875; married May 5, 1830, Lois Johnson, of Orange, Mass.; she died when forty-four years of age.
3. Eliphaz, mentioned below.
4. Martha, born Feb. 5, 1803.
5. Uriah, born Dec. 12, 1804.
6. Bethiah, born in Floyd, Oneida county, N.Y., Sept. 27, 1806.
7. John (2), born in Warwick, Mass., Oct. 11, 1808.
The spelling of the name was changed by the children of John, and henceforth this branch of the family has been Ager. With the sons of John, papermaking was introduced into the family and became almost a family industry. Uriah Ager, son of John, was one of the pioneer paper workers in New Hampshire, and a later generation introduced the industry into Lewis county, N.Y.
(VII) Eliphaz Ager, son of John and Betsey (Marble) Eager, was born in Arlington, Vermont, March 7, 1800, died in Lyonsdale, N.Y., Nov. 19, 1870. He received a good education, and when a youth was appointed to the Kimball Paper Manufacturing Company, of Athol, Mass., remaining in their employ until after his second marriage. He removed from Warner to Franklin, New Hampshire, and was connected with the paper manufacturing company of Peabody, Daniels & Company, of that town.
He married (first) Esther Wheeler (of English descent through her grandmother, Fannie Burnham), born at Dunbarton, New Hampshire, Aug. 15, 1800. She died Aug. 28, 1828, leaving one son:
1. Joel Wheeler Ager, see forward.
He married (second), at Sutton, New Hampshire, Susan Bean, born March 19, 1796, died about 1867-68. Children: 1. Esther, born at Warner, New Hampshire, June 6, 1824; married Joseph Pillsbury; children: Henrietta, born Oct. 29, 1846; Ella M., March 14, 1852; Amaryllis, March 14, 1854.
2. Nathaniel Bean, born March 15, 1826; married (first) Harriet Shaw; (second) Ellen Johnson; (third) Mathilda Wilson.
3. John E., born Sept. 13, 1828; married (first) Louise Backus, and had one child, Henry Llewellyn; (second) Sarah Brawn, and had one son, Charles.
4. Susan Jane, born June 9, 1831; married John W. Brown; children: Lillavenne Susan; Genevieve Ellen; Hermogene Balcom John; Amaryllis Helene Lucretia; Herbert Hadley.
5. Hannah Bean, born March 15, 1833; married Sylvester Stimson; children: Helen Celia, Jennie Adele, Myrtella Frances, Ella May.
6. Bainbridge H., born June 15, 1835; married (first) Lucretia Ellinwood; who died in 1863; (second) Abby Oldaker, who died May 24, 1891; (third) Emma ____.
Eliphaz Ager was deacon in the Christian church of Franklin, New Hampshire.
(VIII) Joel Wheeler, son of Eliphaz and Esther (Wheeler) Ager, was born at Warner, New Hampshire, Aug. 20, 1820, died Jan. 10, 1892. He was educated in the common schools and at Franklin Academy. When he was ten years of age his parents removed to Franklin, New Hampshire. After completing his studies at the academy he taught the trade of papermaking with the firm of Peabody, Daniels & Company, with whom his father was associated.
In 1840 he went to Springfield, Mass., where for a year he had charge of a department of the paper mill of the Springfield Paper Company. From there he went to Fitchburg, Mass., where he was engaged in setting up paper mill machinery and starting new mills for Rice, Goddard & Company, of Worcester, Mass. He remained with them three years. He next went to Louisville, Kentucky, where he superintended the erection of a paper mill for Kellogg, Messinger & Company, remaining there two years. This was the first paper mill west of the Alleghany mountains. In 1848, in company with David Lane, he took an extensive tour through the western states seeking an available site for a paper mill. Mr. Lane, when a boy, had lived in Lewis county, N.Y., and remembering its streams of clear, swift-flowing water, suggested a visit there. A favorable site was chosen at Lyonsdale, Lewis county, and thirty acres of land purchased, with water privileges, from A. G. Dayan. The region was then a virgin wilderness, but roads were cut, land cleared, and the paper mill erected. The enterprise was successful, although the paper had to be transported with teams from forty to eighty miles to a market. The first paper manufactured was sold to Cyrus W. Field, the famous builder of the first cable under the Atlantic ocean. The paper mill was the first one ever operated in Lewis county.
About 1871 he engaged extensively in lumbering and built in that year a saw mill with a daikly capacity of six thousand feet.
Joel W. Ager married (first) Celia A. Johnson, of Bellows Falls, by whom he had one son:
Leonard Joel, who died in infancy.
Married (second) Oct. 25, 1864, Julia Frances Williams, at Martinsburg, born at Ogdensburg, N.Y. Aug. 22, 1839, died Nov. 15, 1901.
Childrfen by second wife:
1. Josephine E. W., born May 27, 1866, at Martinsburg, N.Y.; married Burton H. Loucks, of Washington, D.C. Sept. 13, 1899, at Lyonsdale, N.Y.; children: Burton Henry Jr., born Jan. 7, 1901, at Lyonsdale; Francis Agerf, Jan. 28, 1903, at Washington, D.C.; Julia Frances, Aug. 20, 1905, at Lyonsdale.
2. Charles Leonard Joel, born Aug. 29, 1869, mentioned below.
3. J. A. Florence, born July 28, 1871; married at Washington, D.C., Theodore B. Basselin, of Croghan. N.Y. Aug. 6, 1903; died Feb. 9, 1906, at Croghan.
4. Frances Pet Williams, born July 16, 1874, died there Oct. 22, 1895.
(IX) Charles Leonard Joel, son of Joel Wheeler, and Julia Frances (Williams) Ager, was born at Lyonsdale, N.Y., Aug. 20, 1869. He was educated in the public schools of Lyonsdale and entered Lowville Academy, from which he was graduated in the class of 1891. Upon the death of his father he assumed the management of the paper manufacturing and lumber business established by his father. At the end of one year he discontinued the paper manufacturing branch, and has since devoted his entire time to the lumber business.
Politically he is a Republican, and is a member of Port Leyden Lodge, No. 669, Free and Accepted Masons.
Mr. Ager married at Lyonsdale, N.Y., Jan. 17, 1900, Cora A. Smithling, born June 3, 1874, daughter of John Francis and Mary Anna (MacHale) Smithling. Mr. Smithling was a merchant, farmer and cheese manufacturer. He was a veteran of the civil war, enlisting at Turin in 1862, in Company K, Fifth Regiment, Heavy Artillery, New York Volunteers, and served until the close of the war. Children of Mr. and Mrs. Smithling: Ambrose, Francis, Cora A., Charles Giles and John Miles Smithling.
Children of Mr. & Mrs. Ager:
Charles Leonard Joel (2), born Nov. 12, 1900.
Joel Wheeler, April 10, 1904.
Julia Anna Florence, Oct. 21, 1904.
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