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
The name "Sisson" is probably derived from Soissans, a province of France. Doubtless the progenitors of the English descendants of the name came to Britain with William of Normandy. In the poll tax returns of Howdenshire (Yorkshire) for the year 1379 these names are found: Johannes Sisson, Robertus Cission, Henricus Sisson, Thomas Cyson and William Cisson.
Cannon Bardsley in his "Dictionary of English and Welch Surnames," states "Sisson, the son of Cecilia." Syston, a popular village in Leicestershire, England, probably derived its name from resident "Sissons." These Sisson are usually noncomformists, and engaged in trades or commerce.
(I) Richard Sisson, immigrant ancestor, was born in 1608, died in 1684. The first record yet found of the name in the United States is where Richard Sisson was admitted a freeman in Dartmouth, Mass., May 17, 1653, and served on the jury there the same year, and on the grand jury, June 5, 1667. July 6, 1658, he bought one three-hundredth part of Conanient and Dutch Islands. He was admitted a freeman in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, in 1655, and in 1671 was surveyor of highways. His will was dated Oct. 18, 1683, and proved Feb. 26, 1684, showing that he died between those dates. He gave to his son James "all housing and land in Dartmouth;" to son George "5 lb in money;" to son John all house and land in Portsmouth. George had previously been provided for.
He married Mary ____ who died in 1692. This is all we know of the first mother of American Sissons. Richard Sisson appears to have been a well-to-do farmer, possessing estates in Dartmouth, Mass., and Portsmouth, Rhode Island. The earlier generations of American Sissons were generally farmers and members of Friends, or Quaker Sect.
The name is found among the patriot soldiers of the revolutionary army, although a few well deserved the name of Tory and had their estate confiscated. In the ranks of the Union army the Sisson name was borne with honor and courage.
George, born 1644.
James, metioned below.
(II) James, son of Richard Sisson, inherited the homestead from his father in Dartmouth, and resided there. He died in 1734. In 1685 he was surveyor of highways; constable, 1666; selectman, 1689. He took the oath of fidelity March 24, 1686, and in 1694 was one of those who had a confirmatory deed of Dartmouth from Governor Bradford.
He married Lydia, born 1662, died June 25, 1714, daughter of Arthur and Sarah (Cook) Hathaway. Sarah Cook was daughter of John and Sarah (Warren) Cook, and granddaughter of Francis and Hester (Mahieu) Cook; both her father and grandfather came over in the "Mayflower." Sarah Warren was daughter of Richard Warren, who came in the "Mayflower," and whose ancestry has been traced to Richard the Conqueror. [trans. note: Richard??]
Children of James Sisson:
Richard, born Feb. 19, 1682.
Mary, Feb. 26, 1685.
Jonathan, mentioned below.
Philip, Thomas, Content, Sarah, Hannah, Rebecca.
(III) Jonathan, son of James Sisson was born about 1689-90. His will was dated in 1775 and he died the same year.
He married, Feb. 7, 1723, Mary, born Feb. 6, 1702, daughter of Thomas Wood, of Dartmouth. He had a son William, mentioned below.
(IV) William, son of Jonathan Sisson, was born Nov. 9, 1723. He married, March 3, 1748, Lydia Potter, by the Friend's ceremony at the Aponganset Quaker meeting house at Dartmouth, Mass. She was daughter of Nathaniel and Mary Potter.
Child: Nathaniel, mentioned below.
(V) Nathaniel, son of William Sisson, was born in Dartmouth, Nov. 11, 1756, died in Queensbury, N.Y., May 10, 1840, at the house of his son-in-law, Joseph Haviland, with whom he and his wife were then living.
He married, by the Friend's ceremony at the Aponaganset meeting house, Dartmouth, Mass., Feb. 2, 1781, Grace, born Sept. 16, 1761, died Sept. 4, 1843, daughter of Benjamin and Ruth (Shepard) Gifford, of Dartmouth, granddaughter of Josiah and Marcy (Chadwick) Gifford, of Falmouth, and great-granddaughter of John and Elizabeth (Crowell) Gifford, of Sandwich. John Gifford was son of William Gifford, immigrant of Sandwich, who was a prominent Quaker and suffered for his faith, being sentenced to be whipped and banished.
Nathaniel Sisson removed to Nine Partners, Dutchess County, N.Y. in 1781, and from there to Queensbury, Washington county, 1783.
Children, all but the first born in Queensbury:
1. Content, Dec. 10, 1782.
2. William, Jan. 2, 1785.
3. Stephen, July 30, 1787.
4. Nathaniel, Oct. 9, 1789.
5. Benjamin, Oct. 22, 1791.
6. Daniel, Nov. 11, 1792.
7. Lydia, March 16, 1795.
8. Ruth, Feb. 20, 1799.
9. James, Feb. 29, 1800, mentioned below.
10. Lemuel, Oct. 5, 1802.
(VI) James (2), son of Nathaniel Sisson, was born in Queensbury, N.Y., Feb. 29, 1800, died at Glens Falls, N.Y., Dec. 30, 1878. He was one of the early merchants of Glens Falls, N.Y., and built the second brick building there. From 1832 to 1878 he resided at the corner of Glen and Bay streets, in a house part of which was built by Edward Wing in 1793, and also occupied by Joseph Wing, his father-in-law.
He married (first) June 11, 1826, Gulielma Shaw, daughter of Joseph Wing (see Wing, VIII). He married (second), Amanda M., born at Glens Falls, May 24, 1821, died Dec. 16, 1893, daughter of Benjamin and Sarah (Wing) Ferris, of Glens Falls, N.Y.
Children, born at Glens Falls:
1. George Wing, Dec. 19, 1828, mentioned below.
2. Cornelia Amorette, May 20, 1831; was the wife of William D. Loveless.
3. Helen M., Aug. 1, 1833.
4. Hannah Augusta, married Dallas C. Tillotson, Nov. 17, 1847; died Dec. 23, 1874.
(VII) George Wing, son of James (2) and Gulielma Shaw (Wing) Sisson, was born in Glens Falls, Dec. 19, 1828. He received his education in the public schools and at the Glens Falls Academy, and at the age of eighteen went to Schenectady, N.Y. as clerk. In the spring of 1849 he started in the general drug business at Coxsackie, N.Y., remaining there eleven years with gratifying success. In 1860 he removed to Glens Falls, and established a large and lucrative drug and mercantile business, which he sold Jan. 1, 1867. He then went to Potsdam, N.Y., where he purchased a half interest in the saw mill property of A.H. Griswold, formerly owned by Pomeroy & Pierson. The mill at once replaced with a large new mill and a planing mill with improved machinery, and the manufacture of lumber projected on a large scale, the logs being driven or floated to the mill from points along the Racquette river. The settlement which sprang up became known as Sissonville.
In 1873 he met with financial reverses, and in 1875 the business was reorganized with Augustus Sherman, of Glens Falls, N.Y., as partner, the new firm being known as the A. Sherman Lumber Company. Mr. Sisson acted as resident manager. After Mr. Sherman's death, in the fall of 1884, his grandsons, William R. and Frederic A. Wee[d?], succeeded him in the partnership. Later their interests were sold to Mr. Sisson and the business of the A. Sherman Lumber Company was incorporated, the capital stock all being owned by Mr. Sisson and members of his immediate family. Mr. Sisson is president of the company. The A. Sherman Lumber Company has become a large owner of Adirondack timer lands and has carried on the manufacture of finished lumber of all kinds, shingles, lath, box shooks, etc., at its Sissonville plant as well as its large steam mill at Tupper Lake, Franklin county, N.Y. The two mills have a capacity of twenty-five million feet of finished lumber annually. To these large interests in the Adirondacks has been added lately a new development in the province of New Brunswick, Canada. Mr. Sisson and his sons have acquired a large interest in the Nepisiguit Lumber Company at Bathurst, New Brunswick, at which place is a large modern shingle mill and saw mill plant, backed up by six hundred and fifty square miles of government timber land well covered with spruce, cedar and pine. This last venture is expected to insure a long and continuous timber supply for the manufacture of spruce and pine lumber, the celebrated New Brunswick white cedar shingles and pulpwood.
Associated with them in the enterprise are Springfield, Mass. lumbermen and capitalists. Mr. Sisson was one of the projectors and largely instrumental in establishing the Racquette River Paper Company of Potsdam, N.Y., which was incorporated in 1891. He became its first president, an office which he still (1910) holds. Its plant is on the Racquette River, three miles north of Potsdam village, and is of the most modern construction for the production of both ground wood and chemical pulp, and the manufacture of No. I Manilla and wrapping fibres of the highest grade. One of the best water powers on Racquette river is developed at this point, with a concrete and steel dam and flume. The entire buildings are of concrete, steel and brick. The daily capacity of the plant is upward of seventy-five tons of finished paper, made from pulp produced within the plant itself and at their ground wood mill and water power at Hewittville, a half mile above. The raw material for this plant is secured from the company's lands in the Adirondacks, tributary to the Racquette river. Its holding, together with the A. Sherman Lumber Company, exceeds eighty-five thousand acres, which insures them a supply of raw material for many years to come. The Racquette River Paper Company is a close corporation, the entire capital stock being held by Mr. Sisson and his sons, and the business is under their direct personal mangement. In all of these enterprises Mr. Sisson is ably assisted by his sons, Rufus L., James, George W., Charles H., Francis T.E., and Fred R.; his nephew, Fred W. Loveless, and grandson, Edwin R. Safford Jr., at Tupper Lake.
Although leaving detail work to his sons, Mr. Sisson has exercised the controlling influence and direction, and all matters of importance pass before him for judgment.
Mr. Sisson's business has always commanded and received his undivided personal application and attention. If one personal characteristic is more pronounced than others, it is his imdomitable pluck, coupled with intense concentration of effort on the object to be accomplished. Hard work, when intelligently applied, he feels to be no injury to a man, and success brought about by such work and application is best enjoyed.
He is a man of strong convictions, basing his conclusions on a careful study of matters in all their phases, and while tenacious of his own views is ever ready to lend a courteous ear and careful consideration to a proper presentation of views of others. His present (1910) large business enterprises are managed in this way, and while his is the moving spirit, final decisions and policies are the outcome of careful consideration and discussion with his associates.
He has taken a great interest in the agricultural operation and breeding of find Jersey cattle carried on by his son, George W. Jr. Together in this line they have made a great and widely known success. He is a stockholder of the People's Bank of Potsdam, and was formerly a member of the board of managers of the State Asylum for the Insane at Ogdensburg.
Born a birthright Quaker, he has been a member of the Presbyterian church for many years, and is a liberal contributor to its support, as well as to all worthy enterprises in his vicinity.
In politics Mr. Sisson originally was a Whig, but became affiliated with the Republican party on its organization in 1856. He never sought public office, although ever ready to perform the duty of a good citizen and active in promoting the best interest of the community.
Mr. Sisson married at Coxsackie, N.Y., Feb. 15, 1854, Sarah Ann, born March 2, 1834, daughter of Charles Hamilton (see Hamilton IV). They celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of their marriage at Potsdam, N.Y., Feb. 15, 1904.
Children, born at Coxsackie:
1. Elma, Dec. 15, 1855, died Aug. 22, 1857.
2. Cornelia, Jan. 13, 1858; married Edwin R. Safford and has Edwin, Grace (married Emmett H. Wilson), Rufus (deceased), Helen, Theodore and George Safford.
3. James, April 3-, 1860; unmarried.
4. Rufus L. (q.v.), April 30, 1860, mentioned below.
5. George Wing (q.v.), born at Glens Falls, N.Y. Sept. 12, 1862, mentioned below.
6. Grace, April 16, 1864, unmarried.
7. Charles Hamilton (q.v.), Feb. 6, 1866, mentioned below.
8. Francis Ten Eyck, born at Potsdam, Sept. 15, 1867, resides there; married Oct. 20, 1904, Sarah M., daughter of DeForest Thompson, at Malone, N.Y., and has Margaret Thompson and Frances.
9. Frederick Reynolds, born at Potsdam, N.Y. Dec. 16, 1870; married June 28, 1894, Lena A., born in Parishville, N.Y., daughter of Samuel R. and Mary (Lytle) Cook, of Lisbon. They have one child: Frederick Reynolds, born June 30, 1908.
The above children of George W. Sisson except Cornelia, received practically their entire education at the State Normal and Training School located at Potsdam.
(VIII) Rufus Lasher Sisson, son of George Wing Sisson, was born in Coxsackie, N.Y. April 30, 1860. He came to Potsdam, N.Y. in 1867 with his parents and was educated there in the public schools and at the State Normal School, which he entered with the first class of 1869. At the age of eighteen he became associated with his father in the lumber business and he has continued in the same line for more than thirty-five years. When the business was incorporated under the name of A. Sherman Lumber Company, Mr. Sisson was made vice-president and treasurer, and he has continued in these offices to the present (1910) time. He is also vice-president and trasurer of the Racquette River Paper Company, director of the People's National Bank of Potsdam, President of the Empire State Forest Product Association, and prominent member and elder of the Presbyterian church of Potsdam; a member of Potsdam Grange, No. 39, Patrons of Husbandry.
In politics he is a Republican.
He married, Sept. 1, 1886, Mary Edith, born at Lisbon, N.Y., daughter of Julius Augustus and Jane Ann (Partridge) Coffin (see Coffin, XII).
1. Lewis Hamilton, born Oct. 14, 1887.
2. Rufus Lasher Jr., Sept. 11, 1890.
3. Ruth Coffin, Aug. 22, 1892.
4. Walter Coffin, Sept. 5, 1894.
(VIII) George Wing Jr., son of George Wing Sisson, was born at Glens Falls, N.Y. Sept. 12, 1862. He attended school in his native town and at Potsdam, whither the family went in 1869, and graduated from the State Normal School at Potsdam in the class of 1881. He was for the next year principal of the high school at Governeur, N.Y. Then he spent a year in Florida and upon his return home became one of the managers of the A. Sherman Lumber Company, of which his father was one of the founders. He bought a farm at Sissonville in 1885 and conducted it in addition to the lumber business. He had an extensive dairy and since 1892 has devoted all his time to his farm and dairy and has been very successful as a stock breeder. He has increased his farm from fifty-four acres to two hundred and fifty. In 1887 he built a new house and large barns He keeps from fifty to one hundred and twenty-five head of registered Jersey cows and imports many direct from the Isle of Jersey. Many of the cows he has raised have been celebrated prize winners. He is a director of the American Jersey Cattle Club and has been its vice-president. He has been prominent in the work of forumulating a system for judging Jerseys and has traveled to all parts of the country in the capacity of judge at cattle shows.
In 1902 he was made director and secretary of the Racquette River Paper Company, of which hs father is president, and he has since then had charge of the sales department and traveled extensively in the interests of the company. He is chairman of the wrapping paper division of the American Paper and Pulp Association, and took an active part in the tariff legislation of 1909, particularly in formulating the schedule for wrapping paper, as adopted by congress. He is a director of the A. Sherman Lumber Company; president of New York State Breeders Association; life member of the New York State Dairymen's Association.
In politics he is a Republican and he is an active and zealous worker for his party. He has been a school trustee and for six consecutive years supervisor of the town of Potsdam. He is a member of the Racquette River Lodge, Free Masons; of St. Lawrence Chapter, Royal Arch Maons, of Potsdam; of St. Lawrence Commandery, Knights Templar, of Canton, also a member of Media Temple, Ancient Arabic Order Nobles Mystic Shrine, of Watertown, N.Y., of Modern Woodmen of America; of Potsdam Grange, Patrons of Husbandry, and of the county and state bodies of this order.
He is a prominent member and an elder of the Presbyterian church of Potsdam.
He married, Oct. 26, 1887, Mary Howes, of Gouverneur, N.Y., born Sept. 2, 1868, daughter and only child of Joseph and Hannah (Sanders) Howes, and granddaughter of Joshua and Hepsibah (Hall) Howes. Her father was born in Ashfield, Mass., Sept. 3, 1809, died Sept. 9, 1884; her mother was born May 19, 1834, died March 31, 1885. Her father came to New York when a young man and settled in St. Johnsville; was captain of the state militia.
Children of George W. & Mary Sisson:
1. Emma Howes, born Sept. 2, 1888; died Oct., 1893.
2. Marion Grace, Feb. 4, 1890.
3. George Wing, Dec. 20, 1892, died Oct. 17, 1893.
4. Stanley Howes, Sept. 2, 1894.
5. George Wing (3), Oct. 23, 1899.
(VIII) Charles Hamilton, son of George Wing Sisson, was born Feb. 6, 1866, at Glens Falls, N.Y. He came with his parents to Potsdam and was educated there in the public schools and at the State Normal school. When he was sixteen years old he went to work in the office of A. Sherman Lumber Company, of which his father is president. At the present time (1910) he is second vice-president of this company and manager of its wood lands. He holds a similar position in the Racquette River Paper Company.
He is president of the Tennessee Lumber and Coal Company, which has its headquarters at Potsdam, N.Y., though the mine is in Cumberland county, Tennessee.
He is a member of the Raquette River Lodge, Free Masons, of Potsdam; of St. Lawrence Chapter, Royal Arch Masons; of St. Lawrence Commandery, Knights Templar, of Canton; and of Media Temple, Msytic Shrine, Watertown, N.Y.
He married, Jan. 28, 1891, Daisy A. Crane, of Potsdam.
1. Marjorie, born June 17, 1892.
2. Dorothy, Nov. 13, 1894.
3. Jerome, Oct. 15, 1898.
4. Sarah, April 24, 1900.
5. Patricia, March 17, 1909.
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