THE LEADING CITIZENS OF MADISON COUNTY

CONTENTS
Preface
Names Index
Portrait Index


   HENRY C. PALMER. In these closing days of the nineteenth century, when such particular attention is being paid to every scrap of Colonial history, our subject can point with pride to a line of ancestry beginning in this country almost coeval with the arrival of the "Mayflower." The first of the family of whom we have record was one William Palmer, who was born in England, and came to America in a vessel called the "Fortune," which arrived here in 1621, the year after the landing of the Pilgrims. He settled in Salem, Mass. In 1629 one Walter Palmer--a powerful man, weighing over three hundred pounds, and from whom our subject traces his descent--located his farm on the site where is now the city of Stonington, dying there in 1661, and leaving a family of twelve children. Another of the early Palmers was named Isaac, and was a hero in King Philip's War and a sturdy pioneer of that era. Ephraim Palmer, the father of our subject, was born in the town of Windham, Conn., in 1795, and with his brother, Henry Palmer, was among the first settlers of the town of Lebanon, N. Y. After making a home in this place, Ephraim went back to Connecticut, and brought his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Calvin Palmer, to live with him. They made the trip with an ox-sled, it being a slow and tedious journey, full of danger, privation, and adventure. Calvin Palmer died at Lebanon, aged seventy-five years. He was the father of five children,-- four sons and one daughter, all of whom are deceased. Ephraim Palmer and his brother owned three hundred and thirty-five acres of land, on which they built their humble home,-- a log cabin. On this place Ephraim became a prominent farmer and also dairyman, having forty-two head of cows, besides carrying on his trade--that of a cloth-dresser--for a number of years. He married Miss Sally B. Clark, who was an energetic and thrifty helpmate to him in his struggle with fortune. Mr. Palmer died in the town of Lebanon, January 20, 1885, at the age of ninety. He was a strong and active man to the last, taking a deep interest in the affairs of his section, which he had lived to see grow from small beginnings to such numbers and prosperity. At his death all his valuable farms in the towns of Lebanon and Eaton were inherited by his only son, Henry C. Palmer, whose sketch is here presented. Henry C. Palmer was born May 29, 1825, and was reared and educated in the schools of Eaton, teaching for one term. He remained at home engaged in farming with his father until twenty-nine years of age. His first venture on his own account was to buy a stock of goods and run a general store in the village of Eaton for one year. He then moved to Bouckville, where he remained for five years, going from there to West Eaton, where he kept a store for four years, being engaged in farming during all this time. In 1854 he married Susan Danforth, who was born in the town of Linden, Vt., in 1832. Her father, Silas Danforth, was born in Massachusetts, and his wife, Alpha, in the State of New Hampshire. He was a mechanic by trade. They had a family of ten children, nine of whom grew to maturity; but only six are now living: Mrs. Palmer, who is the eldest; Mrs. Dellow, residing in Elvira, Cortland County; Silas L., in the city of Cortland, N. Y.; Helen Marsh, in Binghamton, N.Y.; Julia Gilmore, in Topeka, Kan.; and Milton, in Saginaw, Mich. Mr. Danforth died in Little Falls, N.Y., aged forty-seven years, and his wife in the town of Eaton, when she was sixty-eight years old. They were members of the Methodist Episcopal church. In politics Mr. Danforth was a firm adherent of the Democratic party. Mr. Palmer, having disposed of his store to his sons, gives his whole attention to the running of the old homestead farm, which consists of three hundred and thirty-five acres. He also manages a large dairy, supplying many families in New York City with butter. For ten years he enjoyed the patronage of the family of A. T. Stewart, the merchant prince of that city. Five children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Palmer. Henry D., born in 1855; Willie W., in 1856; and Ephraim C., in 1860,--form a mercantile company at McGrawville, N.Y. Cora S., born in 1858, is the wife of Dr. Charles Clark, their residence being in Omaha, Neb. ( For the ancestry of Dr. Clark, see sketch of C. G. Clark.) Walter D., born in 1871, lives at home with his parents. Mrs. Palmer is a member of the Methodist church, taking a lively interest in its religious work; and herself and husband are among the most prominent and highly esteemed residents of the town. Mr. Palmer is well known as a progressive farmer, prosperous in his enterprises and reliable in his word. He is a worthy representative of the hardy pioneers whose sturdy labors laid the foundations of our noble republic. In politics he is, as was his father, an earnest unswerving Republican.

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