GILBERT O. SAWDEY, an energetic and progressive young farmer of Hamilton, was born in this town, January 25, 1854. It is supposed that Hamilton was also the birthplace of his father, Calvin Sawdey. His grandfather, supposed to have been a native of Rhode Island, came to this State at an early day in its settlement, and bought a tract of woodland in Hamilton. A hard-working man, he wielded the axe and guided the plough to good purpose. A log cabin, which was for some years the family domicile, was at length replaced by a more commodious frame dwelling. He closed a busy life at a ripe age, amid the scene of his pioneer labors.
Calvin Sawdey, being one of several children of this pioneer household, began life on his own account at an early age, working out on a neighboring farm by the month. Diligent and frugal, he saved enough of his earnings in the course of a few years to buy a farm in Lebanon. Subsequently selling this land, he bought another farm in Hamilton, where he spent the remainder of his days. He married Betsey Pierce, by whom he had seven children--Alfred, Emily, Leroy, Eldora, Gilbert
O., Fred, and Myrtie. Burdette, his eldest born, being a child by his first wife, Emily Shattuck.
Attending first the district school of the neighborhood, advancing from that to the Lowell Commercial School at Binghamton, the subject of this biography received an education sufficiently practical to prepare him well for life. His home training familiarized him betimes with the details of farm management, practice in which has made him a proficient. Not being of a roving disposition, he has remained on the old homestead; and by dint of unwearied toil, by prudence and good calculation, he has been enabled to buy the farm of his father-in-law, Orrumel Hutchins, just over the town line in Sherburne. Here he is engaged in breeding and raising the celebrated Holstein Friesian cattle, of which he has one of the finest herds in the Chenango Valley. He takes much pride in showing
them to visitors, who are always welcome. He labors not less diligently in improving the estate by planting and by erecting convenient and tasteful buildings than he did in acquiring possession.
Here, as elsewhere, his wife, whom he married in 1874, is his zealous and able co-adjutor. Her maiden name was Romelia Hutchins, and she is a daughter of Orrumel and Angeline Hutchins. The religious connections of Mr. and Mrs. Sawdey are with the Methodist Episcopal church, and they are regular attendants on divine worship. Mr. Sawdey does not allow the care of his farm to engross his entire time and energy, but saves some for social recreation and self-improvement, being a member of the society of Grangers and of Earlville Lodge, No. 622, Independent Order of Odd Fellows. Politically, he is a Republican.
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