WILLIAM A. TIFT, a retired farmer, still making his home on his farm, was born in Oneida County, March 11, 1833, and is a son of Amazia and Martha (Pierce) Tift, the former of whom resided in Oneida
County until 1837, when he removed to Madison County, and bought the farm upon which the subject of this sketch now resides, it containing sixty acres of land. Amazia Tift was a general farmer, and lived on his farm until his death, at the age of sixty-three years, his wife having died at the age of thirty-four. Both were born in 1810. He was a successful man, and was highly esteemed by all for the general worth of his character and for his ability. In politics he sustained the principles of the Republican party after its organization in 1853. He and his wife reared two sons, William A. and James Alfred, the latter of whom enlisted to fight for the flag of his country in the Tenth New York Cavalry, and was killed when he was about twenty-five years of age.
The father of Amazia Tift was Jonathan Tift, a native of Connecticut, who about 1800 removed with ox-teams to the State of New York, and settled in Oneida County, erecting a log house. Wild beasts and game
were at that time abundant; but Mr. Tift was a most successful pioneer hunter, and was he thus enabled to protect his domestic animals from the ravages of wild beasts and to supply his table with the best of animal food. Besides being a successful hunter, he was also one of the most prominent farmers of his day, and was a mechanic as well, so that he was in every way fitted for an independent life in a new country, being able to do everything needed on the farm and in the shop. In politics he was a Whig, and a most reliable, honorable man. He and his wife reared three sons and two daughters, one of the daughters, Lydia A., being a resident of Waterville. He died suddenly on his farm, at the age of eighty-four, never having been sick a day in his life. His wife died when about eighty years of age.
The father of Mrs. Martha Tift, the mother of our subject, was also a native of Connecticut, and removed thence to Oneida County, be this State, in an early day, there being then no other white man within many miles. By trade he was a cabinet-maker, but was also a farmer. Settling in the woods, he cleared his land, improved a farm and died thereon when sixty-five years of age. He and his wife reared a family of six children, five being girls, one of whom, Phebe, is now living in Saginaw, Mich. The rest have all passed away.
William A. Tift has resided upon his present farm ever since being brought to it by his parents. He possesses the genius of many of his ancestors, being a farmer, wagon-maker, carpenter, and jeweller. In politics he is a Republican, but not an office-seeker, nor even radical in his views, holding to the opinion that, no matter what may be the policies and principles of other parties, those policies and principles are in many cases entertained and maintained by honest, patriotic men. Upon his farm he has good buildings,
and the farm itself is in a high state of cultivation. The jewelry business he has carried on for some twenty years, and is exceedingly handy and skilful in the use of tools. Mr. Tift has never married, preferring the state of single blessedness. He is a man not only of genius, but also of high character, and is highly esteemed and has many friends.
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