Sullivan In History
Interesting People




He was born in Schenectady in 1784, the youngest son of Christopher Yates, who was an officer in the Revolution. He graduated from Union College when 18, and studied law with his brother, the Hon. Henry Yates. He was admitted to the bar and practised law until the War of 1812. Then he was commissioned a captain and served through the war. He was elected to Congress for the years 1615-6 from the Schenectady-Schoharie district. After his term expired he moved to Utica and soon after to Chittenango. He built a mansion on what is now the Robert Austin farm and soon was operating grist and saw mills, woolen mills, stores, lime and plaster mills. In 1817 the Governor appointed him to manage the "Literature Lotteries," which made it necessary for him to remove to New York City. He did not return to Chittenango to reside until 1825. Then he added boating and boatbuilding and the maintenance of the Polytechnic School to his already numerous enterprises. He was later County judge and also Member of Assembly. John B. Yates died on July 10, 1836, at the age of 52. His death was a calamity to this town especially, as well as to the rest of the country. He is buried in Walnut Grove Cemetery, where many other early settlers are buried.

He was born at Schenectady November 24, 1792, and was a descendant of Samuel Fuller, who landed from the Mayflower at Plymouth Rock in 1634. He graduated from Union College and studied law with Henry and John B. Yates. He was admitted to the bar and entered into a partnership with John B. Yates. They moved to Utica, and later to Chittenango together. Before leaving here he was appointed Master in Chancery, attorney for the Oneida, bridge and Brothertown Indians and Quartermaster of Militia. While at Chittenango he served in the following offices: Justice of the Peace, Town Clerk, Postmaster, Aide-de-Camp to the General of Brigade, Brigade Judge-Advocate, Division Inspector, Attorney for Madison County, Adjutant of the State of New York, Commissioner to Drain Canaseraga Swamp, Commissioner of Highways, Supervisor twice, Judge of Madison County Court of Common Pleas, School Trustee, Member of Assembly twice, Member of Congress twice. After 1837, when his last term in Congress expired, he gave most of his time to settling the estate of his partner, John B. Yates. About 1852 he returned to Schenectady and made his home there until his death.

The ancestor of the Button families in this locality was Matthias Button, who came from England and landed in Salem, Mass., in 1628. One of his descendants, Chauncey Button, settled in Madison County in 1782. Two of his descendants, Charles and Jiles Burton, settled on what is now the Charles S. Button farm. The present descendants are as follows:

Morris, farmer; wife, four children: Bryce, Russell, Muriel, Cordon. Talbot, farmer; wife, one child, Betty. Walrath, unmarried. Arthur, farmer; wife, one child, Charles. Ray, farmer, wife. Perry, farmer; wife, one child, James. Mrs. Leman Robinson. Carl, cannery superintendent; wife three children: Thorne, Ruth, Harold. Irvine Jay, grading and excavating contractor; wife, four children: Gilbert, Merle, Clair, Jerold. Gilbert, wife, three children: Barbara, Jabe, Carole. Willis Merle, wife, five children: Paul, Jay, Lee, John, Peter. Clair, wife. Mrs. Ethel Crawford, one child, Irva Irene. Freeman, farmer, wife, one son; Romaine, wife. Mrs. Elva Yarnell, 2 children: Sylvia-Sally, Juloa. Mrs. Margary Grey. Doris Margary and William K. Ladd.

The Walrath family have played an important part in the affairs of this community for a longer time than that of any of the early settlers. John H. Walrath came here in 1808 with a contract to build a section of what is now Route 5. From that time to the present they have been an important factor in the affairs of the town.

James and Richard Walrath had a store here in 1835. Joseph and Alfred Walrath opened one a little later. Richard R. and Daniel D. Walrath built a paper mill in 1852. Daniel Walrath started the iron foundry about 1840, and was followed by his son Peter, who operated it until about 1900. His brothers, Jesse and Abe, were associated with him for a time. Daniel D. Walrath practised law here for many years. Then, for almost half a century, E. D. Walrath, or "Elgin," as he was known through this section, dispensed justice for the community. Then there is the Hon. John H. Walrath, former Mayor of Syracuse, and now a member of several important state commissions.

MRS. SOPHRONIA CASE The last surviving real Daughter of the Revolution in this town, was born in the town of Manlius, Onondaga County, on "Dry Hill." Her father was Jacob Shaver, born October 21, 1755. He was a captain in Lieut.-Col. Henry Livingston's Regiment of New York Militia in the Revolution. He lived to be nearly 102 years old. Later the family moved to Hartsville, where Sophronia Shaver married George W. Case. They started housekeeping on the Ehle farm and finally settled on North street, Chittenango, where she died. They had seven children, six boys and one girl.

George Case and family lived on that part of the Peter Ehle farm bordering on Tuscarora road, early in the nineteenth century. Their children were: George, John, Charles, William, James, Leonard, Joseph, Edward, Gardner, Sarah, Ann, Harriet, Mary, Elizabeth, Lane, Cornelia, Jane, Francis, Mandy and Louise. One son, George, married Saphronia Shaver; Joseph, James and George W. served in Civil War, 157th N. Y. Volunteers. Their children were: Byron, Charles, Winfred, Emma, Eugene, Elmer, Wellington, Mabel and Blanche. Byron married Ida Phillio, children, Duane and Earl. Winfred married Mary A. Slaughenhauht, 1 child, Frank. Duane married Emma Bender, children, George W., Eva and Rosalie. Earl Case married Bertha Hurd, children, Stanley, Wesley, Franklin, Arnold Roger. Elmer married Grace Watson, children, Wellington, Floyd, Elgin, Luella and Bonita. George W. married Alberta Odell, child, George W. Eva Case married Raymond E. Steding, three children, Betty, William and Jerald. Rosalie married Robert Carpenter, three children, LeRoy, James and Richard. Frank married Effie Cummings, children, Frank, Jane, Patricia. Frank N. married Margaret Kinney, child, David A.

One of the earlier settlers in the northeastern part of the town was John Campbell. He married Nancy Schuyler, a sister of Peggy Schuyler, the first white child born in this town. They settled at Gee's Corners, near the town line. In 1868 the Campbells owned over six hundred acres there. Among their descendants in this vicinity are: Hon. Albert E. Campbell, County Judge and Surrogate; Richard and David Brown, Mrs. Glenn Collar of Bridgeport and Thomas Campbell of Kirkville.

One of the first settlers near the low land in the center of the town was Robert Carter, on what is now Smith's Ridge. One time he started for Manlius with a sack of salmon from Chittenango Creek for Esquire Kinney. On the way he saw two bear cubs and tried to scare them, but only succeeded in rousing the mother bear. He dropped the salmon and climbed the nearest tree that was too small for the bear to climb. The mother bear stationed herself at the foot of the tree. For five hours she kept Carter treed, then she and the cabs trotted off and Carter continued to Manlius, but without his salmon. Earl Carter, on the Smith Ridge, is a direct descendant of Robert Carter.

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