OLIVER B. YORK was born in Columbus, Chenango County, N. Y., September 24, 1823. His grandfather, John York, went from Rhode Island to New York State when quite a young man, settling in the town of Brookfield in the later years of the last century. It was the same story of hardships and adventures that all the pioneers underwent.
A team of oxen and a wagon loaded with household goods and the family journeyed from old New England into the depths of the forest, and there by the labor of their hands made a clearing and built a home to shelter them. Everything consumed by the household had to be produced on the farm; and, when they went to the nearest market, which was, at Albany, there was many a weary mile to plod and many a hazard to run before the trip was accomplished. The mother had all the work of the house to do, besides carding, weaving, and making the clothing for the boys and girls growing up in the home. The children born to this couple were John, Pattie, Marita, David, Orilla, and Wheeler. The father of our subject, John York, was only sixteen years of age when his father died, and in company with the mother assisted bravely in keeping the home together. Later in life she went to Chautauqua County, where she lived and died at the home of one of her sons. The maiden name of the mother of our subject was Nancy Breed; and she was a native of Oswego County, New York. To herself and husband were born the following-named children: Nancy M., Gracia, Lucy M., Oliver R., Priscilla O., John Henry, Juliette, Delia M., and John A. The mother died in the town of Brookfield,
Oliver B. York made the best use of the educational advantages of the public schools, and was early instilled in a knowledge of farming. At the age of twenty-two he left home, and learned the carriage-making trade with J. Lines, of Edmeston, Otsego County, N. Y. At the end of the first year he married Miss Mary Lines, a sister of Mr. Lines, and for twelve years was a partner of his brother-in-law. He then sold out, and entered the employment of Mr. Lines as foreman, but was practically the head of the concern, superintending all its affairs for twenty-one years. During this time he was elected to the office of Town Clerk, and after the first year, owing to the great satisfaction he gave, was reelected for seven successive years. He was also appointed Enrolling Officer, as it was during the Civil War, and Deputy Provost-Marshal. After his removal back to the town of Brookfield he bought a farm, where he has since resided. An excellent piece of work which he did was the making of a record of all the men who served in the war from the town. This entailed a large amount of labor, as each family had to be visited and every fact relative to them written out. So careful and painstaking was the work that, when finished, it was said to be one of the most correctly compiled of any in the country, and won the highest commendation from the officers of the government.
Mr. York was married at the age of twenty-two; and the domestic happiness of himself and wife has been made perfect by the birth of five children,--J. Henry, Gracia G., Harriet O., Charles O., and Frank H. They have only one cloud in their happy life, and that is that Mrs. York is a confirmed invalid. Mr. York has been a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows for many years, and in his religious views is a Methodist. He has been Excise Commissioner for several years, and uniformly votes the Republican ticket. For many years he was a mechanic, but, when he began farming, made up his mind to be as foremost and perfect in that line as in every other he had been engaged. He read up thoroughly in all things pertaining to agriculture, giving every labor-saving device a good trial, and has been looked upon as a model farmer. He does not hesitate to depart from the beaten track when he finds a newer style better, and has proven himself a master of his vocation. Although seventy years of age, he bears his years lightly, and is able to read without glasses. The children of Mr. and Mrs. York married as follows: J. Henry, now of North Brookfield, is a hop-raiser, and married Nettie, daughter of John and Rebecca Morgan. They have three children,--Burt, Lula, and Clay. A more extended sketch of J. Henry York appears elsewhere in this work. Gracia G. married Mr. O. M. Hurlbutt, a blacksmith, lives in Morris, Otsego County,
N. Y., and has one child,--Georgia M. Charles O. is a cheese-maker, and runs the factory located in Brookfield. His wife was Miss Adelphi Bailey, daughter of Mylo and Mary Jane Bailey. They have four children,--Mary, Mabel, John, and Meda. Harriet O. is the wife of T. P. Stanbro, a farmer in Brookfield
and they have two children,--Charlie and Ora. Frank H. married Miss Earnestine Aldrich. He is a carriage-maker, living in Otsego County. They have six children,--Anna, Flora, Mary, Harry, Lee, and Hattie.
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