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 names in English history and one of the most numerous and distinguished in American history. It is claimed by many genealogists that the name was originally spelled Louis, and was known in France as early as the eighth century, when that country was a part of the Roman Empire. Genealogists also attempt to establish the fact that all of the Lewis name in American is descended from one common stock of Huguenot refugees, who fled from France on the revocation of the "Edict of Nantes" in 1685; but the records show that in many counties of England there were many of the name to be found centuries before that event, and indeed there were manyof them in Virginia previous to 1685. The name of Louis in continental Europe and Lewis in England, is too old and too numerous to be traced to a common origin. The name doubtless had a common origin, but it would be worse than useless to attempt to tract it. Indeed, the name Lewis is too numerous in America, too widely dispersed, and traceable to too many different sources to admit of any "common origin" theory even here. It is asserted that General Robert Lewis was the first of the name in America known to history or genealogy. He was a native of Brecon, Wales, and came here in 1635, with his wife Elizabeth, sailing from Gravesend, England, in April of that year, and settling in Gloucester county, Virginia. These facts are all denied and even his existence is doubted. But the proofs are substantial, and he may be accepted as fact.
The records of Massachusetts Bay colony name Humphrey Lewis in May, 1629.
William Lewis and his wife and only son, William, came to Boston in 1632, in the ship "Lion." The family is exceedingly numerous in New York, there being several Lewis Associations and a periodical published called The Lewis Letter. In the Mohawk valley David Lewes kept an inn near Schenectady, in 1713. Lewis county, New York is named in honor of Major-General Morgan Lewis of French ancestry, son of Frances Lewis, a signer of the Declaration of Independence. He was a famous general of the Revolutionary and 1812 wars with Great Britain, and governor of New York 1804-07, defeating Aaron Burr.
(I) Joseph Lewis was born Oct. 26, 1766; died at Northville, N.Y. Oct. 21, 1842. He resided at Hoosic, N.Y. for a time, then settled in Northville. He married Hannah Gifford, died at Northville March 1, 1838, and had issue.
(II) Hiram, son of Joseph and Hannah (Gifford) Lewis, was born at Northampton, N.Y., Jan. 22, 1804; died Dec. 22, 1857. He began life as a farmer, and later operated a large tannery at Beaver Falls, N.Y., but after several years the tanning business undermined his health, compelling him to return to the farm. His remaining days were passed on the same farm where he began his business life. During his years in Beaver Falls, he had kept it under his control, and now he returned there to end his days.
In religious conviction and preference he was a Baptist, and in politics a Democrat.
At various times he held offices of supervisor, highway commissioner and oversser of the poor. He was a charter member of Golden Rule Lodge, No. 384, F. and A.M. He was interested in the local military company, a part of the State National Guard, and rose through the various ranks of service to the captaincy. His life was a busy one, well spent, and much successful endeavor was crowded into his fifty-three years.
He married (first) Minerva Ressequie, and had three children:
1. Mariah B., born Oct. 10, 1832.
2. Celestia, Sept. 22, 1835.
3. Hannah, born in Northville, N.Y.
He married (second) Margaret Doige, born Dec. 15, 1817; ded Jan. 23, 1889. She was born in East Greenwich, Washington county, N.Y., daughter of John Doige, born in Scotland, March 15, 1783. He came to the United States and settled in East Greenwich, but afterwards removed to the town of Hope, Hamilton county, N.Y. He lived for a time in Lewis county, and is credited with felling the first tree in what was then the county seat, Martinsburg. Most of his life he was a farmer, but in his later years kept a hotel. He ended his days at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Margaret Lewis. He was a Scottish Presbyterian, and after the formation of the Republican party supported their candidate. He married Margaret Dunn, about 1813, and had three children: Margaret Dodge, born Dec. 15, 1813; William, Dec. 15, 1813; Janet, Oct. 15, 1815.
Children of Hiram and Margaret (Doige) Lewis, all born at Northville, N.Y., except Ella, are:
1. Margaret J., born Sept. 30, 1841; died June 14, 1845.
2. Matilda J., Sept. 1, 1843; died May 31, 1845.
3. James P., Feb. 14, 1845 (see forward).
4. Helen L., Feb. 23, 1850, married Charles Nuffer.
5. Ella V., born at Beaver Falls, N.Y., Dec. 26, 1854.
(III) James P., only son of Hiram and Margaret (Doige) Lewis, was born in the town of Northampton, Fulton county, N.Y., on the home farm of about one miles from Northville, Feb. 14, 1845. He was educated in the public schools of the town, but the death of his father necessitated his leaving school at the age of fifteen years and assuming the management of the home farm, owned by the estate, which in spite of his youth he manfully and faithfully conducted until reaching his twenty-first year, attending part of the winters the town school. Being thrown thus early upon his own resources developed his character and a wise judgment that has made him the successful business man of today. A serious accident, when he was twenty-one changed somewhat his life plans. After recovering from a broken ankle he entered a foundry and machine shop, remaining five years and mastering that trade. After his marriage, in 1870, he engaged in the tanning business at Beaver Falls, N.Y., in company with his brother-in-law. Removing to Beaver Falls in 1871 he remained there nine years. He held this position nine years, excepting that for two years Mr. Lewis conducted the tannery store for his own account.
About the year 1881 he entered the wood pulp busines, then in its infancy, which has been his principal and most successful undertaking. The early habit of self-reliance gained in farm management, his mechanical ability developed in the machine shop, his business experience acquired in the tannery, now bore legitimate fruit, producing the well-equipped man of affairs. The Beaver Falls Pulp Comany, with a mill and plant costing $25,000 was not a financial success during its first five years of existence. His partners becoming discouraged and wishing to retire, Mr. Lewis, in February, 1886, purchased their entire interests and became sole owner. Believing in the future of the pulp industry, he made needed improvements in machinery and introduced new methods, and at the end of two years had so increased the profits and demand for his product that he built another mill, known as the Riverside, the original plant being known as the Pine Groce mill. In 1899, in company with J. N. Slocum (a brother of his wife) he built at Beaver Falls the first paper mill erected there. This mill, operated as "Lewis and Slocum," was built at a heavy expense, and is still (1910) in successful operation. In 1892 the J.P. Lewis Company was formed, with another brother-in-law, H. E. Slocum, as silent partner; another paper mill was built and successfully operated until 1901, when the plant burned. In six months the mill was rebuilt on a large scale and in successful operation. In 1890 he organized the National Wood Pulp Board Company, an organization composed of about fifty different mills, with official headquarters in New York city. He managed the affairs of this corporation for six years, when it was dissolved by mutual consent. In 1902 the paper mills owned by Lewis and Slocum and the J. P. Lewis Company, had so gained on the production of the pulp mill that a new pulp mill was a necessity.
With J. N. Slocum and a nephew, H. I. LeFevre, he formed the Lewis, Slocum and LeFevre Company, and built a large pulp mill, which carries their firm name. This mill, since thoroughly overhauled and equipped with new and improved machinery, is still (1910) in successful operation.
During the year 1905 the J. P. Lewis Company built what is known as the "Brick Mill," the material being reinforced concrete and concrete brick, made upon the ground. This is the largest of all the company mills, and is a successfully operated plant. The mills combined have a capacity of forty tons of finished product daily. At a time when the market was depressed, it became necessary to manufacture the mill product into finished material. To this end the Lewis Manufacturing Company was formed, and under the management of a son, Harry S. Lewis, continued until 1909, when it was merged with the J. P. Lewis Company. The necessities of the pulp and paper mills compelled the purchase of vast areas of timberland and the several Lewis companies own either the land or timber on about 25,000 acres. The business has been very successful, and has fully justified the confidence and wise judgment of Mr. Lewis when in the face of almost a failure, he purchased the intersts of his original partners and boldy launched his bark upon the seas of a practically untried venture.
The enterprises mentioned do not by any means give the full measure of his acitivity. He is first vice president and chairman of the executive committee of the Thousand Island Park Association, which conducts several hotels and stores on the St. Lawrence river. The executive committee has charge of the general business of the association, which was taken in charge by the present board, headed by Mr. Lewis, when the association was practically bankrupt, but now brought to a successful condition of operation and a high standard of excellence in the character of their summer resorts.
There is no island resort in the country that has a higher reputation or larger patronage thatn "Thousand Island Park" on the St. Lawrence River.
Another enterprise is the Beaver Manufacuturing Company, of Buffalo, New York, a stock company under the management of his son, H. S. Lewis, and William McGlashen, the latter being the resident manager. This company furnishes an outlet for a part of the Beaver Falls mills product, the raw material being shipped to Buffalo, where it is turned into the finished product.
For four years subsequent to 1890 Mr. Lewis was trustee for a Boston company that had failed in business. He gave one week of every month to the affairs of the concern, spending one week in Boston and one in New York, also in Connecticut with the National Pulp Board Association. At the end of four years he had unraveled their tangled affairs, placed them again in successful operation, and then resigned his trust. This was done at a time when his own personal busienss would have bveen considered by most men to have been even more than enough to occupy every waking moment.
Mr. Lewis was largely responsible for the building of the Lowville and Beaver River railroad, in 1904, owing to the large amount of freight shipped over the road by the various companies owned or controlled by him. These companies were the largest original stockholders in the company. Mr. Lewis was president of the company during the two years of its construction, and is still (1910) one of the managing directors of the road.
He is a director of the Carthage National Bank, of Carthage, N.Y., and bears his share of the responsiblities of that institution.
In church work he has always been intersested and active. His membership is held in the Methodist Episcopal church of Beaver Falls, where for over thirty years he has been superintendent of the Sunday school. Church benevolence and educational work also claims is interest. He is president of the Northern New York Foundation Fund Association, which has for its object the raising and disburesement for charitable purposes of a million dollar fund; vice-president and a membe of the executive committee of the Northern New York Development League, and has been for several years trustee of Cazenovia Seminary, at Cazenovia, N.Y. He finds social relaxation with the Black River Valley Club, of Watertown, N.Y.
Politically Mr. Lewis was originally a Democrat, but for many years has acted with the Republican party. He was justice of the peace for twelve years, supervisor of the town of Croghan one term, and for several years has been a member of the Black River water commission, receiving his original appointment from Governor Roswell P. Flower.
On Sept. 27, 1864, he recieved from Governor Horatio Seymour a captain's commission in Company I, Twenty-sixth regiment, Thirteenth brigade, Fifth division of the New York state national guard, and served with the Fulton company for several years. Believing as he does, that every man is his brother, he has never connected with any secret orders or fraternities.
He married, Jan. 5, 1870, at Northville, N.Y., Julie E. Slocum, born Dec. 23, 1844, at Northville, only daughter of Humphrey and Caroline (Newton) Slocum. Mr. Slocum was for several terms assessor of his town. He had other children: John N. and Elikas Slocum.
The children of James P. and Julia E. (Slocum) Lewis are:
1. Carrie Leonora, born Dec. 3, 1871, died April 25, 1872.
2. Grace Edna, May 20, 1877, educated at home school, Cazenovia Seminary, Syracuse University, graduating at Wellesley College, class of 1902.
3. Henry S., Aug. 5, 1882, educated in the home schools, entered his father's employ, worked his way through different degrees of promotion, is now general manager of the various Lewis companies and a partner in the Beaver Manufacturing Company, of Buffalo. He married Mary P. Pitcher, of Easthampton, N.Y., and has a daughter, Mary Frances, born Nov. 5, 1909.
John Lewis, immigrant, was of Welsh ancestry, and probably born in Wales. He settled in Westerly, Rhode Island, and died there in 1690 or earlier. He signed certain articles in relation to Misquamicut lands, March 29, 1661. He was admitted a freeman at Rhode Island, Oct. 28, 1668. His name is on a list of the inhabitants of Westerly, May 18, 1669, and he took the prescribed oath of allegiance to the Crown, Sept. 17, 1679.
The name of his wife is not known.
1. Jonathan, married Jemima Whitehead and Deliverance ____.
2. John, mentioned below.
3. Daniel, married Mary Maxson; died 1718.
4. James, married Sarah Babcock; died 1745.
5. David, married Elizabeth Babcock; died 1718.
6. Israel, married Jane Babcock; died 1719.
7. Samuel, married Joanna ____; died 1739.
8. Dorcas, married Robert Burdick.
(II) John (2), son of John (1) Lewis, was a lifelong inhabitant of Westerly; died in 1735. He served on a grand jury in 1688; sold land and house formerly his father's to brother Daniel, Feb. 6, 1690, and bought fifty acres of land at Westerly of Reuben Wait, of Dartmouth, Nov. 6, 1701. He was deputy to the general assembly, 1704-09-10.
His will was dated April 14, 1732, proved April 22, 1735.
His wife Ann and son Joseph were executors.
He bequeathed to children:
Jospeh, John, William, Mary Dake, Sarah Bemis, Ann, Ross, Abigail Slack, Jerusha; to Negro Will ten pounds, and his freedom.
His widow, Ann died in 1748. Her will was dated July 25, 1739, proved Feb. 29, 1748. She bequeathed to children:
Joseph Lewis, Sarah Bemis, William Lewis, Anna Ross, Abigail Slack and Jerusha Lewis; to the Seventh Day Baptist Church of Westerly; and to several grandchildren.
Children, born at Westerly:
Joseph, Oct. 16, 1683.
Sarah, Aug. 17, 1687.
Mary, May 4, 1689.
Anna, Jan. 6, 1691.
Abigail, May 20, 1693.
John, mentioned below.
William, Feb. 1, 1701-02.
(III) John (3), son of John (2) Lewis, was born at Westerly, Rhode Island, Jan. 30, 1698. He married, at Westerly, March 12, 1718, Mary Burdick.
Children, born at Westerly:
John, mentioned below.
Elisha, Dec. 30, 1722.
Mary, Jan. 22, 1723-24.
Joseph, March 2, 1728.
(IV) John (4), son of John (2) Lewis, was born at Westerly, April 19, 1719. He was married by Elder John Maxson at Westerly, Jan. 21, 1738-9, to Thankful Lewis.
Children, born at Westerly:
John, July 17, 1739.
Chloe, Aug. 26, 1741.
Ruhamah, May 19, 1743.
Hezekiah, mentioned below.
Elias, Nov. 25, 1746.
Simon, Dec. 25, 1753.
Hannah, Sept. 7, 1755.
Bernice, Feb. 1, 1758.
William, June 24, 1760.
Jephtha, May 17, 1763.
Anne, Sept. 22, 1765.
(V) Hezekiah, son of John (4) Lewis, was born at Westerly, Rhode Island, Oct. 24, 1744. In 1790 he was head of a family at Westerly, having six sons under sixteen and three females in his family.
He married, at Stonington, Conn., March 16, 1766, Anna Maine, of Stonington.
He settled in northern New York and died at Newville, N.Y., January, 1842, aged ninety-six years.
Children, born at Stonington:
Jared, mentioned below.
Anne, Sept. 10, 1768.
Prentice, March 16, 1772.
John, April 28, 1776.
Maxson, Dec. 13, 1782.
Amy, Jan. 18, 1784.
Josiah, July 31, 1799.
Hezekiah, twin of Josiah.
(VI) Jared, son of Hezekiah Lewis, was born at Westerly, March 6, 1767, died in northern New York in 1858. He lived for a time in South Manchester, Conn. Among his children was Francis, mentioned below.
(VII) Francis, son of Jared Lewis, was born in South Manchester, Conn., Oct. 6, 1806, died Jan. 28, 1878. He married Elmira Hodge, born 1806, died Feb. 24, 1877.
Jared, born Aug. 20, 1829, died in infancy.
Francis F., Feb. 20, 1831.
Abel, June 3, 1832.
Margaret Amelia, Feb. 24, 1838.
Lucy Ann, Aug. 13, 1839.
Ralph, mentioned below.
(VIII) Ralph, son of Francis Lewis, was born in Danube, Herkimer county, New York, June 11, 1842, died Sept. 30, 1905. He was a farmer at Danube and also owned and operated a grist, saw and paper mills there. He moved to Little Falls, N.Y. in 1870, and became one of the leading business men of that place.
He married, June 17, 1868, Emma Holmes, born Sept. 15, 1840, died June 9, 1907, daughter of Erastus and Fannie (House) Holmes, who were the parents of five other children, namely: Charles, Sarah, Kate, Ola and Dora Holmes.
Children of Mr. & Mrs. Lewis:
1. Orrin, born Jan. 15, 1870, died March 9, 1896, unmarried.
2. Rush Francis, mentioned below.
(IX) Rush Francis, son of Ralph Lewis, ws born in Newville, N.Y., April 23, 1873. He attended the public schools and the Little Falls Academy, graduating from the latter in 1893. He entered the law department of Cornell University in 1895, receive the degree of L.L.B. from that institution in 1898, and was admitted to the bar in October, 1898. He commenced the practice of his profession in Little Falls, N.Y., where he quickly won recognition as a counselor and advocate.
Mr. Lewis is a member of the Herkimer County Bar Association. In November, 1906, he was elected district attorney of Herkimer county, serving for three years.
He is a member of the Masonic fraternity, affiliated with Little Falls Lodge, No. 181, Free and Accepted Masons, of Little Falls. He is also a member of Little Falls Lodge, No. 405, Knights of Pythias; Lodge No. 333, Knights of Maccabees; Rockton Council, No. 337, Royal Arcanum; Little Falls Council, No. 54, Order of the United American Mechanics; New York State Council, Order of United American Mechanics; Little Falls Grange, No. 611, Patrons of Husbandry, Pomona Grance of Herkimer County, and the New York State Grange.
Mr. Lewis is secretary of the Merchants' and Manufacturers' Association of Little Falls, having held this office for the last ten years; is secretary of the Grocers' and Butchers' Association of Little Falls.
He is a member of the Presbyerian church and for some time the superintendent of the Sunday school. In politics he is a Republican.
Mr. Lewis married, Sept. 21, 1899, Margaret Wagner, born Feb. 8, 1874, daughter of John J. and Mary (Sanders) Wagner, the former of whom was born Oct. 30, 1833, and the latter Aug. 11, 1838.
Hilda Margaret, born Sept. 20, 1900.
Eltha Lucy, Aug. 29, 1904.
Yula Irene, March 9, 1906.
Thomas Lewis, the pioneer ancestor of the branch of the family herein recorded, was a resident of Monouthshire, England, devoting his attention to mining, deriving therefrom a lucrative livlihood. In 1850 he left his native land, settling in Irquois, Ontario, Canada, where he engaged in agricultural pursuits, following that occupation throughout the remainder of his lfie. He was a man of integrity and honor, performing the duties of life in a highly commendable manner, and won and retained the esteem of all with whom he was brought in contact.
He married Elizabeth Hallot.
Jane, John, Elizabeth, Thomas, Edmund (mentioned below), Sophia and Mary.
Thomas Lewis died in 1874, his widow surviving him until 1805.
(II) Edmund, son of Thomas and Elizabeth (Hallot) Lewis, was born in Iroquois, Ontario, Canada, May, 1851. He was educated in the public schools of Iroquois, and upon attaining a suitable age engaged in farming in his native place, which proved highly successful, owing to his thrift and enterprise. He took an interest in community affairs, and his influence has always been felt on the side of right and justice.
He married Rachel Webb, born in Edwardsburg, Ontario, Canada, in 1844, dughter of Silas Webb, who came from Wiltshire, England.
Thomas Alexander (mentioned below).
Alberta, wife of Herbert Coons, of Iroquois: children: Wilfred, Edmund and Alberta Coons.
Mrs. Lewis is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church, in the work of which she takes an active interest.
(III) Thomas Alexander, son of Edmund and Rachel (Webb) Lewis, was born in Iroquois, Ontario, Canada, Dec. 3, 1871. He was educated in the public and high schools of Iroquois, and then entered the medical department of Trinity University, graduating therefrom in 1897. He immediately began to practice in Norfolk, New York, where he remained for five years, removing therefrom in the spring of 1903 to Edwardsville, and in 1907 located in Hammond, where he has built up a large and lucrative practice. He keeps in touch with the advanced thoughts and ideas along the line of his profession by membership in the American Medical Society and St. Lawrence Medical Society, and in addition to his private practice is serving in the capacity of medical examiner for all the leading insurance companies and health officer for the town of Hammond. His professional skill and ability has won for him high rank among his professional brethren, and the interest he manifests in the welfare of his patients has secured for him their esteem and well wishes.
He holds membership in Hammond Lodge, No. 861, Free and Accepted Masons; Brier Hill Lodge, No. 470, Independent Order of Odd Fellows; Black League, Court of Foresters, and Modern Woodmen of America, No. 10, 030.
He is also a member of the Methodist Episcopal church.
Dr. Lewis married, Oct. 12, 1897, Belle Elliott, born in Chesterville, Ontario, Canada, daughter of William Elliott, of Scotland.
Edmund Elliott, born July 16, 1899.
Thomas Alexander Jr., born Sept. 12, 1903.
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