SMITH CADY, one of the oldest and most respected citizens of the town of Sullivan, was born here, in the village of Canasaraga, January 25, 1811, son of
Argalius and Mary (Herrick) Cady, both natives of Saratoga County, New York, where the grandfather lived and died. This grandfather was Elisha Cady, who owned a farm in Saratoga County, and was long one of the old landmarks of that county, so to speak, having been among the earliest settlers there. He
lived to be an old man, known by every one, and intimately acquainted with the history of every man, woman, and child in the place. He and his wife had a family of eight children, but none is now living.
Argalius Cady came to the town of Sullivan when he was a young man, bought new land from the Indians, who owned everything, around them at that time, and settled down to farming. He married Miss Mary Herrick in the town of Lenox; and their family consisted of three sons and three daughters, of whom the living are: Zilpha, widow of Ethan Benson, residing in Toledo, Ohio; and Smith, the subject of this sketch. The other four were: Henry, a public contractor, who died at the age of seventy; Platt, who lived to be about seventy years of age; Ann, Mrs. Denton, who died at the age of sixty; Maria, Mrs. Daniel Denton, who also was sixty years old when she died. Mr. Cady was one of the pioneer hotel-keepers of this section, and was also engaged on canal and other public works.
He bought the farm now owned by his son about the year 1810. It consisted of one hundred and twenty-two and a half acres, on which he carried on general farming. He died there at the age of fifty-five years, as did his wife some years after, at the age of sixty. Politically, he was a Democrat, and was also a Free and Accepted Mason. He served with distinction in the War of 1812, having the rank of Major.
Smith Cady was reared and educated in the town of Sullivan, going first to the district schools, afterward attending the seminary at
Cazenovia. He assisted his father on the farm until his manhood, when he engaged in public works, building the Chenango Canal near Sherburne, and also the north branch of the Susquehanna Canal at Wilkesbarre, Pa. After this he bought the old home farm from his parents, and cared for them in their last days. The farm is very productive, yielding fine crops of corn, wheat, oats, and hay. He also has a good dairy, and a valuable herd of Holstein and Durham cattle. Besides this Mr. Cady deals largely in stock, raising horses, sheep, and hogs. He has never married, and still resides on the home farm. For some years he has rented the farm on shares, as his increasing years precluded the possibility of his working it alone.
Mr. Cady has always been a strong Republican in politics. He has filled the office of Superintendent of the Poor for two years, and Town Assessor for several terms. Since the years of his youth, which were early in the century, he has seen many changes and wonderful improvements in this part of the country. Where was once an untrodden forest, the fertile fields now glow with ripening corn and golden wheat; and the rushing locomotive whizzes past on the road where the plodding ox-team then wended its weary way. Countless villages and towns have sprung up; and the steam-mill is now but a step from one's doors, when in those pioneer days the primitive windmill was only reached by miles of toilsome journey.
His prosperity is largely the result of his own industry and thrift. He is held in merited esteem by his large circle of social and business acquaintances. and has the gratitude of those to whom he has extended the neighborly hand of sympathy and help.
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