LADURNA P. NICHOLS, one of Georgetown's highly esteemed native citizens, was born June 30, 1830, on the farm where he now resides. George Nichols, grandfather of Ladurna, moved from Rhode Island, his native State, to Lincklaen, Chenango County, N.Y., in 1809, bringing with him his wife and children. He bought a tract of the virgin forest, and, having first made a shelter for his family by building a log house, began to clear the land. This process in those days was called logging, and consisted in drawing the felled trees by ox-teams and piling them in heaps in certain spots where they were burned. From the ashes a salt was produced, which yielded potash. This was sold to the nearest market, and was quite a source of revenue to the farmer. After the labor of clearing the farm was completed and the sowing of the different grains, such as corn, wheat, rye, and oats, was done, the sower had to wait with what patience he could for the sun and dew and rain to do their part in bringing forth the fruit.
In these years, when in our extended country the shortage in crops in one section is made up for by superabundance in another, we can scarcely understand the anxious nights and days of these pioneer fathers, whose hopes of sustenance for their little ones depended on the harvest yielded from one small patch of ground. But they somehow came out all right, and seemed to verify in their lives the proverb that "God helps those who help themselves."
George Nichols married Miss Charlotta Coon in Rhode Island, and found her a fitting help in the new home in this rugged country. He raised and tended the cows: she milked, and made the butter and bread. He raised the flax in the field: she spun, wove, and made it into clothing. And so in every department of his outdoor life she supplemented it with her equal labor in the household affairs. Asa C. Nichols, son of George, was but four years old when his father moved from Rhode Island to Lineklaen, N.Y. On this farm he grew up, receiving what education the limited opportunities of the place afforded. He eventually removed to Georgetown, N.Y., and here he remained until his death. In 1844 he built his frame house, and did himself nearly all the carpenter work then required on his farm. He filled the offices of Pathmaster and Trustee of his school district. He married Miss Sallie Anna Potter, of Stephentown, Rensselaer County, N.Y.; and their children were Martha Melissa, Ladurna, Lucinda Adelia, Joseph Jerome, Lucy Jane, Stephen Eugene, George Deloss, and Martha Elizabeth. The first child, Martha Melissa, died when a young girl. Lucinda A. was twenty-two years of age at her death. Joseph Jerome married Miss Susan Smith, and resides at Pleasant Hill, Cass County, Mo. Lucy Jane is Mrs. Leeurtus Palmer, of Georgetown, and has one child, named Bret Palmer. Stephen Eugene
died while a boy. George Deloss died unmarried. And Martha Elizabeth married Mr. Benjamin Beach, and resides in Fort Bridger, Wy. Mr. Asa C. Nichols and family attended the Seventh-day Baptist church at Otselic, N.Y.
Ladurna P. Nichols spent his boyhood on the home farm in Georgetown, N.Y., attending the district schools, helping in the work of piling logs, and also assisting in the dairy work. Somewhat later he was for a time a pupil in the DeRuyter Institute; and at twenty-one years of age he went to Wisconsin, where he remained for four years, availing himself of the opportunity to pursue a two years' course of study in the Albion Academy of that State, afterward working at farming and carpentering in the summer and teaching school in the winter at Albion. Although prospering in Wisconsin, he considered his filial duties paramount; and, when his father, who was becoming advanced in years, needed and desired his help, he returned to the homestead in Georgetown, N.Y. He picked up the trade of a carpenter when he was seventeen years old, at the time his father's house was being built; and, being ingenious and successful in anything he undertakes, he has erected his handsome dwelling, a sugar-house, barns, blacksmith's shop, and cheese factory-in fact, all the buildings needed on his place. He married Marcelia Harvey, of Burdict Settlement, of the town of Lincklaen, Chenango County, N.Y. Her father, Daniel, was a son of Paul Harvey, one of the pioneer settlers of Pitcher, N.Y., who came from the New England States. Mr. Daniel Harvey was a farmer, and married Lydia Crandall, daughter of justice Crandall, a clothier, whose wife was Lydia Holt.
To Mr. and Mrs. Nichols have been born five children--Eleanora Loretta, Letta Melissa, Lydia Adelia, A. D. Ladu, John Lavier. Eleanora is the wife of Will Halbert, a resident of Chenango County; and their only child is Zella Alice. Letta Melissa married Mr. John M. Crumb, of DeRuyter,
N.Y; and their one child is Miss Daisy May. Lydia Adelia, an accomplished young lady, an artist of much ability, teaches in Morrisville, N.Y. A. D. Ladu and John Lavier, aged eleven, live at home. Mr. Nichols leads the quiet, happy life of a farmer in easy circumstances, possessing a cultivated mind, having a taste for good literature, and reading the papers to keep himself informed of the general events of the times. He and his estimable family stand high in the good opinion of his townspeople, and count among them scores of good friends.
MadisonCountyNewYork.com All rights