Names Index
Portrait Index

  SETH S. MORTON, a retired farmer, living in the village of Eaton, one of the oldest and most highly esteemed citizens of Madison County, and a descendant of a prominent pioneer family, was born May 1, 1816, in the town of Eaton, on his father's farm. He is a son of David and Polly (Snow) Morton, both natives of Massachusetts. The father of Mrs. Morton, also a native of Massachusetts, emigrated to Madison County by means of ox and horse teams, and at a very early day settled in the town of Eaton in the woods, erected a log house with accommodations for travellers, and became one of the first tavern-keepers in the town. The conditions under which he lived and labored were those common to pioneers, and have been repeatedly described, in part at least, in the various personal memoirs of the old settlers incorporated in this volume. At that time the Oneida Indians still inhabited the country, but were generally friendly to the whites, and in many instances proved good and useful neighbors. Game of various kinds, as turkeys and deer, abounded; and wolves and bears were also numerous. Grandfather Snow reared a family of seven children, all of whom grew to maturity. He died in Ohio, having attained the remarkable age of nearly one hundred years. His wife also died at an advanced age.
  David Morton migrated to the State of New York after he had arrived at manhood's estate, his marriage taking place after he reached this county. Selecting for a farm near the village of Eaton a tract covered with timber, he erected a log house thereon, and spent his days for the most part in clearing, improving, and cultivating the land. Being a man of industry, honesty, and high personal character, he had many friends; and his influence was always exerted for the good of the community in which he lived. He reared a family of five sons and two daughters, of whom four of the sons are still living, namely; Alfred, who resides in Pennsylvania; Seth S., the subject of this brief sketch; Hiram, of Steuben County, New York; and George, living in Ohio. David Morton was a Democrat in his political views, and in religious matters a member of the Baptist church. His death, at the age of sixty-nine years, was regretted by all who had known him.
  Seth S. Morton was educated in the district schools, and remained at home, assisting in the care of the farm, until his father's death, when he bought the interests of the other heirs, and has ever since owned the old homestead. In 1846 he married Miss Maria Allen, who was born in Cayuga County, a daughter of David Allen and wife. Mr. Allen was one of the pioneer settlers of Cayuga County, and died there on his farm. Of his three children, only Mrs. Morton now survives. After his. marriage Mr. Morton settled down to farm life and labor, and continued to live on the old homestead until 1879, the entire period of his life there having been sixty-three years. In the year last mentioned he removed to the village of Eaton, where he has since resided, surrounded by his family and friends.
  Mr. and Mrs. Seth S. Morton reared five children, namely: Lutie, wife of Stewart Payson, of Middletown, N.Y.; Allen D., of the village of Eaton; George H., of Erie, Pa.; Charles E., now residing on the old home farm; and Eddie S., of Hume, Bates County, Mo. Mr. Morton is a Trustee of the Baptist Church, of which both he and his wife are members. In politics he has been a Republican since that party was organized, believing that its principles, when practically applied to the affairs of the nation, are the most conducive to the prosperity and happiness of the people. Mr. Morton has never sought office, preferring to faithfully perform the duties of a private citizen rather than to seek publicity in town or county affairs. He and his excellent wife, his faithful companion for so many years, are among the oldest and best known citizens of the town of Eaton; and none are more highly esteemed by their friends or better respected by all who know them.

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