THE LEADING CITIZENS OF MADISON COUNTY

CONTENTS
Preface
Names Index
Portrait Index


   WILLIAM G. SAYLES was born in Peterboro, Madison County, New York, June 20, 1812. His ancestors were natives of Rhode Island, the grandfather removing from there to New York State with his family, being one of the first settlers in Smithfield. At that time Madison County was a part of Herkimer County, and was a virgin forest. He bought a tract of timber land and built a log house in the wilderness, about two and one-half miles from the present site of Peterboro. Very few can appreciate the hardships and labors of those days and the long, difficult journeys which had to be made for even the necessaries of life. There were no mills in the neighborhood; and he was forced to ride on horseback to Whitesboro, many miles distant, to procure the flour and meal which made the daily bread for his family. Yet, despite these privations and adverse conditions, their lives were longer than the average span of the present generation; for this founder of the family lived to be ninety-five years old, and his wife, who shared his toils and troubles, died at the age of one hundred, after a sickness of only three days. Her maiden name was Anna Mowry, and she was also a native of Rhode Island. They both died at the home of their son, Silas, in the town of Lenox, N. Y.
   Silas Sayles, the father of our subject, was but a boy when his parents moved to Madison County, where he resided until the year 1819. He then went to the town of Lenox, N. Y., and bought three hundred and three acres of land one mile from the village of Clockville, where he labored diligently and successfully. He spent his last years with his children, dying at the age of seventy-eight years. His wife was Miss Phila Griffin, who came to Madison County with her parents when quite young. She was a helpmate indeed to her husband, and a devoted mother to her eleven children. She passed away at the age of seventy-six years. The names of the children were: Abigail, Smith, Oney, Betsey, Gerrett, William G., Mary A., Dorman, Elmira, Harriett, and Royal.
   William G. Sayles was about nine years old when his parents moved to Lenox, where he was reared and educated. He lived at home until twenty-six years old, and then bought a tract of land near the old homestead, residing there for a number of years, going then to the town of Sullivan, where he remained until 1876, finally settling in Oneida, where he bought property, improved it, and is still living here. He married Miss Civilla Baldwin in November, 1835. She was born in Fenner, Madison County, New York, July 6, 1817. Her father, Lorin Baldwin, was also a native of that town, his father, David Baldwin, having been born in Massachusetts, thence coming to New York State with his family, having to make the journey by team. He located in the town of Fenner, bought land, cleared it off for a farm, and remained there until his death. His wife was Miss Penelope Miles; and her father was also reared amid pioneer scenes to agricultural pursuits, carrying on his occupation of farmer until his death, in 1822. The mother of Mrs. Sayles was Miss Lucena Hicks. She was also a native of Fenner, her father being Joshua Hicks, a native of Connecticut, and one of the first settlers of Fenner, having come here with a team attached to a sled, on which were placed all their earthly possessions. The journey was a long and tedious one, being made in the winter months and over the Green Mountains; and they suffered greatly, enduring many privations. They finally settled six miles north-east of Cazenovia, cut the logs, and built their own log cabin. Here they labored unceasingly, and improved a farm, making it one of the best in the town of Fenner. Joshua Hicks married Miss Charlotte Twist, a native of Connecticut.
   The names of the sons and daughters of Mr. and Mrs. Sayles are: Caroline E., who is the wife of Mr. Harrison Kimball, resides in Fayetteville, and has one child, Civilla; Ellen R., is the wife of J. O. Powers, a prominent ranch-owner of Redfield, So. Dak., owning a well-stocked ranch of two thousand acres,--they have two children, Nelson and Fannie; Edgar E., married Miss Mary Worden, and has one daughter, Edna,--they live in Jackson County, Oregon, he being interested in gold-mining there; Grove, married Miss Delia Bender,--he is a ranchman and live-stock-dealer in Elk County, Nevada. Mr. and Mrs. Sayles buried one daughter, Civilla, who died at the age of eight years, this being the only deep sorrow that has entered the happy circle.
   Mr. Sayles has been highly successful in his life, but never more so than in his selection of a wife, who is a lady of culture, refinement, and much intelligence. She has been the inspiration of her husband, and in the fifty-eight years of their lives together their relations have been most happy and harmonious. They have given their children good educations, and have lived to see them blissfully enjoying their own domestic happiness. Strict and consistent members of the Baptist church, Mr. and Mrs. Sayles have been bright examples for over forty years of devoted followers of Christ. In political matters Mr. Sayles casts his vote with the Democratic party.

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