OCRAN 0. SAUNDERS. Among the early settlers of Plainfield was one, Stephen Saunders, who came from Rhode Island, and settled in that section of the country, in 1802, when the population was but a handful of pioneers, like himself from New England. This man was the grandfather of our subject. He purchased a tract of land, cultivated it, and before his death had succeeded in wresting from the virgin earth a comfortable and productive farm.
The father, Clark Saunders (the youngest of six children), was born in Plainfield, July 16, 1815, and was married to Miss Cynthia M. Mason, May 25, 1839. She was a native of Connecticut, and came with her parents to Plainfield in 1823, when but four years old. They succeeded his father in the ownership of the farm, on which they resided until her death, February 4, 1875. There were born unto them five children,--Gilbert, Cartha, Albertus, Saraphine, and Ocran. November 29, 1875, he married Mrs. Betsy Drake, of Utica, N. Y., and retired to Unadilla Forks, where he died April 22, 1878.
Ocran 0. Saunders was born in Plainfield, Otsego County, N. Y., November 24, 1847. After finishing his education in the district schools, he attended the Alfred University, in Allegany County, for two terms. After this he taught school in Plainfield and Camps' Mills, making altogether nine terms. From this occupation he went into the employment of a firm in
Loydsville, where he learned the business of cheese-making. This he followed for five years, then went to Atlantic, Ia., where he engaged in the grocery trade one year, when the business was destroyed by fire and he returned to his native place. Soon thereafter he went into the employment of the Philadelphia City Passenger Railway Company, Philadelphia, Pa., remaining with them nearly two years, when he went to Leonardsville, N. Y., in August, 1884, and engaged in the drug and grocery business for nearly four years. Selling his business there, he went to West Edmeston, N.Y., and purchased the stock and business of general merchandise of R. H. White, which he carried on for four years, returning to Leonardsville in the spring of 1892. During the following winter he built his present store, in which he carries general merchandise.
November 4, 1888, Mr. Saunders was married to Miss Cora B. Giles. They have two children,--Willis G. and Paul A. In his religious opinions he is decidedly independent, and not connected with any denominational organization; but his wife is a firm believer in the Christian religion and a member of the First Day Baptist church. Mr. Saunders votes the Republican ticket, and is a Justice of the Peace at Leonardsville. He is a man of good business qualifications, and
of industrious, thrifty habits. He is popular among his townspeople, and is well known as a wide-awake, enterprising merchant, looking not only to his own interests, but to the advancement and progress of his town.
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