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
Among the earliest names in New England this has borne an honorable part in the development of that section, as well as of other state in the Union, and played an important part in the settlement and development of northern New York. While not so universally represented as some others, it has carried its full share in the spread of civilization. The name is supposed to be of German origin, and is found with many forms of spelling in the early records of England and the United States.
William Buck was born in 1585, in England, and died in Cambridge, Mass., Dec. 24, 1658. He came to New England in the bark "Increase" in 1635, being then fifty years old, accompanied by his son Roger, a young man of eighteen. He was a manufacuter or plows and set up his shop of the "West Field," Cambridge, on the former highway to the great swamp, now (1910) called Raymond street. No mention appears in the records of his wife or other children, and he may have been a widower or may have preceded his family to the new world, anticipating their subsequent arrival. It is possible that Emanuel Buck, who came about the time of the great movement to the Connecticut river colony at Hartford, was his son.
(I) Emanuel Buck was in Wethersfield, Conn., as early as 1645, and died there intestate about 1700. He was born about 1623, probably in Norfolk county, England, where the name had been long known. A miller by trade, he engaged in farming, and later operated a mill. It seems that he was possessed of a hot temper, for he was before the court in 1647, but the next year he was employed to burn the woods at "the other end of the town." In the same year he was granted a home lot of two acres, on which he built his house, but the deed was not received until Nov. 27, 1654. He was made a freeman of the colony at Hartford, May 21, 1657, and became a large landowner. March 12, 1659 he purchased two and one-half acres, and the next year, in company with Michael Griswold, he bought thirteen acres of swamp and meadow. In 1667 he acquired the Henry Palmer homesead by puchase, and in 1669 three and one-half acres adjoining his home lot. In 1680 he was granted thirty acres adjoining his own lands for the purpose of building a saw mill at West Farms (now Newington). This was in exchange for one-half acre required for roadway. Again in 1683-84, with two others, he received a grant of thirty acres for saw mill purposes. These outlying lands were probably valued at much less than those of the older settlement.
In 1661-62 and 1675 Emanuel Buck served as juror, and later was grand juror; was constable in 1668, selectman in 1669 and for several years after. In many places in Wethersfield records appear after his name, "or Enoch."
He married (first) about 1648, Sarah ____; (second) April 17, 1658, Mary, daughter of John Kirby, of Hartford, born 1637, died Jan. 12, 1712, surviving him about twelve years.
Ezekiel (mentioned below), John, Jonathan, Mary, David, Sarah, Hannah, Elizabeth, Thomas and Abigail.
(II) Ezekiel, eldest child of Emanuel and Sarah Buck, was born Jan. 15, 1650, in Wethersfield, and died there March 3, 1713. Long in the military service, he was a farmer and came into possession of most of his father's lands. In 1698 he was one of the original purchasers of the Durham grant, and with his sons and others petitioned for a separate parish in 1712. This was granted under the name of Newington. His estate was inventoried at 308 pounds, 15 shilling, 9 d.
He married, March 18, 1675, Rachel, born 1652, daughter of John Andrews, a pioneer of Fatmington.
Ezekiel, Rachel, Jonathan (mentioned below), Stephen, Mary, Enoch, Sarah, Hannah, Abigail, Comfort and Ebenezer.
(III) Jonathan, second son of Ezekiel and Rachel (Andrews) Buck, was born July 23, 1679, in Wethersfield, and removed thence in 1715 to New Milford, Conn., where he purchased land rights on both sides of the Housatonic river. He built his house on the east side, on what is now (1910) Poplar street, and later sold it to his brother and built on a ten-acre tract adjoining. A successful farmer, he was active in promoting the interests of the town, especially in the support of schools.
He joined the New Milford church in 1718, and his wife three years later. In 1735 he was suspended and restored to membership.
He married, March 4, 1700, Mary Andrews, probably his cousin.
Ebenezer, Ruth, Lydia, Sarah, Jonathan, Moses, Mary, Joseph (mentioned below), Comfort, Aaron, Thankful, Martin and Timothy.
(IV) Joseph, fourth son of Jonathan and Mary (Andrews) Buck, was born about 1705 in what is now Newington, and died in New Milford in 1770.
He married, June 5, 1728, Annis Gould, of New Milford, baptized there in March, 1719, daughter of William and Abigail Gould (see Gould, I). A descendants of her brother, Job Gould, in the sixth generation, became the wife of her descendant in the fourth remove, as shown below.
Joseph Buck and wife joined the New Milford church in 1735.
Isaac (mentioned below), Lemuel, Abel, David and Lucy.
(V) Isaac, eldest child of Joseph and Ann (Gould) Buck, was born March 19, 1729, in New Milford, and settled in Pittsford, Vermont in the spring of 1770, being the eighth to settle with a family in that town. He was a sergeant in the first Revolutionary company raised in that town, a member of Arnold's unfortunate expedition against Quebec in the winter of 1775-76, and died there Dec. 19, 1775, of smallpox, which raged among those captured by the British.
He married, Feb. 10, 1758, Elizabeth Waters.
Eunice, Elizabeth, Isaac (mentioned below), Samuel and Alfred.
(VI) Isaac (2), eldest son of Isaac (1) and Elizabeth (Waters) Buck, was born May 23, 1763, in New Milford, and settled at Addison, Vermont, whence he removed in 1803-04, to the town of Potsdam, St. Lawrence county, N.Y., being a pioneer in that section. He built a bridge across the Grass river, in the northwesterly corner of the town, and the place has since been known as Buck's Bridge, where a small hamlet grew up. In 1809 he built a saw mill and about the same time opened a store. He became an extensive landholder, and on retirement in Canton, where he died Oct. 27, 1841. He was a soldier under Ethan Allen, and participated in the capture of Fort Ticonderoga, May 10, 1775.
He married Sarah Hall, and their children were:
Oren, Lemuel (mentioned below), Mina and Ezra.
(VII) Lemuel, second son of Isaac (2) and Sarah (Hall) Buck, was born Oct. 9, 1792, in Addison, and died Aug. 16, 1869, in Canton, N.Y. A member of the New York militia, he served in the war of 1812, and was an intimate friend of Silas Wright, and was elected shiriff of St. Lawrence county, in 1831. A friend of education, he was among the founders of Canton Academy, mortgaging his home to raise funds for the purpose.
He married, in 1822, at Madrid, N.Y., Elizabeth Baldridge.
Edwin, Adelaide Olive, Cordelia Victoria (mentioned below), and Cornelia Angelica (twins), De Azro, Harriet Richards, Leffert Lefferts (mentioned below), Elizabeth Palmer and Eugenia Charlotte.
The eldest daughter, Adalaide Olive, became the wife of Rev. Frederick Humphrey, D.D., B.A., Hamilton, 1852, rector of Grace Church, Havre de Grace, Maryland. Cornelia Angelica married Charles Frederick Brainard, of Washington, D.C.; all the younger daughters died unmarried.
(VIII) Cordelia Victoria, second daughter of Lemuel and Elizabeth (Baldridge) Buck, was born Jan. 19, 1829, in Canton, N.Y. and became the wife of George K. Robinson, of that town (see Robinson VI).
(VIII) Leffert Lefferts, third son of Lemuel and Elizabeth (Baldridge) Buck, was born Feb. 5, 1837, in Canton, and died at Hastings-on-Hudson, N.Y. July 17, 1909. As a boy he was studious and ambitious, and all through life his effort was to excel, to overcome difficulties; and obstacles only whetted his determination to overcome. If other boys could perform a given feat such as lifting a certain weight, at the age of sixteen years, he determined to accomplish it at fourteen, and did. He was early a student of the academy which his father founded, and later served an apprenticeship in a machine shop. He entered the first class in the college, which was the forerunnier of St. Lawrence University, the other members of the class being Pardon C. Williams, afterward a justice of the supreme court, and Elraida Simmons.
Soon after the civil war began he determined to go to the support of the national government, and enlisted in July, 1861, as a private in Company A, Sixtieth New York Infantry. His service extended, be re-enlistment, to July 17, 1865, when he was mustered out, having earned successive promotions to corporal, sergeant, first lieutenant and captain. His arduous service included participation in the battles of Antietam, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Lookout Mountain, Ringgold, Resaca, Kenesaw Mountain, Peachtree Creek and Atlanta, and Sherman's March to the Sea. At Antietam he was shot through both thighs and received another wound at Resaca. At Lookout Mountain, in the battle above the clouds, after two color-bearers had fallen in the attempt to place the flag on the summit, Sergeant Buck seized it and accomplished the feat, thought by the enemy to be impossible. While convalescing from typhoid fever he heard that an important engagement was imminent. His uniform has been taken from him, partly to prevent his leaving the hospital before recovery, but he was determined to participate in the next engagement and, though scarely able to stand, he buckled on his belt over the hospital clothing and sailed forth. This was but one ebullition of his indomitable spirit, which ever led him where hardships and difficulties were thickest.
As soon as the war closed he entered Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, at Troy, in the second-year class, and was graduated in 1868 with the degree of Civil Engineer. St. Lawrence University conferred upon him the degrees of Bachelor and Master of Science, munc pro tunc, in 1885. His perserverance and industry in conquering engineering obstacles made him one of the greatest engineers of his time, and his services were sought in many and remote regions.
Following his graduation, for three years he was assistant engineer in the Croton Aqueduct department of New York City, and the next two years were spent in Peru, South America, where he built the Verrugas viaduct, at that time the highest bridge in the world. This was destroyed by flood some years afterward, and he designed and erected its successor, which is still (1910) in use.
On his return to the United States, he was employed on the Louisiana bridge, one of the first large bridges across the Mississippi river, at Louisiana, Missouri. Between 1877 and 1885 he reconstructed the wire suspention bridge at Niagara Falls. He was first called to examine it in 1877, and was chosen by the owners to design and execute repairs. By means of additional anchor plates and chains, the bridge, which had been twenty-two years in use, was made safe. Next, the wooden trusses were replaced by iron and steel. In 1885 he decided to replace the stone towers by towers of steel, which was accomplished without interruption of traffic, and nothing was left of the original bridge except the cables. Another eminent engineer said: "Mr. Buck's work in repairing, strengthening and finally rebuilding the Niagara railway suspension bridge was a series of remarkable achievements in engineering science and practice, which forms a glorious chapter in the annals of our profession and placed him in ts foremost ranks."
While carrying on the work above mentioned he was employed on various other gigantic enterprises in various parts of the country. Among these were bridges on the Northern Pacific railroad, including the combination wood and iron bridge across the Columbia river at Pasco, Washington. His first large steel arch was the Driving Park Avenue bridge at Rochester, N.Y., and he also built the Platt steel bridge in that city, and marine piers in the islands of Oruba, [Aruba?] Danish West Indies, and Trinidad, South America, about the same time.
In 1897 he replaced the Niagara railway suspension bridge with a magnificent steel arch, on the same site, and again without delaying traffic. Of all his great works this was his favorite. He had previously widened the highway suspension bridge below Niagara Falls, and in 1889 replaced it with another bridge of the same design. In 1898 he built on the same site a steel bridge with span of eight hundred and forty feet, the largest arch as yet erected.
His long experience fitted him for greater undertakings, and in 1895 he was chosen chief engineer of the Williamsburg bridge across East river, in Greater New York. This was finished in 1904, but he continued as consulting engineer on other East river bridges until May 1, 1909. During this period he made a design for a memorial bridge across the Potomac river at Washington, which may some day be built. His works as an engineer will long remain as a monument to his ability, skill and industry. After others said it was impossible to construct the Peruvian railroad, he performed the task. He led where others hesitated, and his judgment was always justified, his ability acknowledged.
In the Intercontinental Railway Commission, which planned a series of railroads to connect the continents of America, he represented Peru and Equador, and the plans then made seem likely to fulfillment in the comparatively near future.
Mr. Buck was a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, which conferred upon him the Norman medal for his paper on the renewal of the Niagara railroad suspension bridge. The English Institute of Civil Engineers, of which he was a member, awarded him a Tefford premium for his paper on the Niagara Falls and Clifton bridge.
He was a member of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States, the Century Association, the Engineer's Club, the Army and Navy Club, and the St. Lawrence Society in New York.
The necrologist of St. Lawrence University said of him: "He was simple, modest, loyal, and concientious in character, a genius of high order, a man of a type which is the glory of colleges to educate."
He married, at Peducah, Kentucky, June 4, 1902, Mira Rebecca Gould, born March 16, 1863, [at Paducah, descendant of William Gould,] whose daughter, Ann or Annis Gould, married Joseph Buck, ancestor of her husband.
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