ISAAC CHASE, Jr. was born in Somerset, Massachusetts, on the 24th day of February 1801. His father, Isaac Chase, Sr., was of Quaker origin, and reared his family under the discipline of the rigid honesty and simplicity characteristic of that people. In the year following, in 1802, he removed with his family to Greenfield, Saratoga county, in this State, where his sterling worth and practical Christianity endeared him to all his neighbors. Here, in an excellent community, and surrounded with pious associations, the subject of this sketch grew up to manhood, and acquired those habits of industry and noble effort which, in so marked a degree, characterized his after-life.
He was married May 8, 1820, to a very estimable young lady, Miss Lucy Sheldon, of Milton, in the same county. In 1825, with a few friends, he emigrated to the comparatively new country of western New York, and settled in Parma, on the farm where he now resides. He purchased it of a Mr. Lane, who, seventeen years previous, had bought it directly of the agents of Phelps and Gorham, but as yet had made no payment on it.
He had erected a log house near the site of the present residence of Mr. Chase, and cleared just enough land to raise bread for a large family of stalwart sons, who followed the irregular business of trapping and hunting, and barely managed to live. Being pressed for a first payment, Mr. Lane was glad to sell his improvements and claims to Mr. Chase, whose management in a short time transformed an abode of slovenly indolence into one of prosperous industry. With the persevering energy of the New England farmer, Mr. Chase set to work clearing away the dense forest and thicket, and in due time erected a fine residence, with all the surroundings and attractions of a pleasant rural home.
During the first three winters of his residence in Parma he taught school in the school-house then located at Castle's Corners, which became, under his management, one of the best schools in the town. On January 4, 1857, Mr. Chase lost his wife, with whom he had lived in happy wedlock nearly thirty-seven years. She bore him six children, —three sons and three daughters—Sarah Elizabeth, James, Edwin, Mary Ann, William, and Henry. They are all alive except one of each, and all residents of this county.
He married again at Rock Stream, in Yates county, this State, Hannah Edgerton, of that place, on September 15, 1858, with whom he lived nearly ten years. She died January 6, 1868. On December 8, 1869, Mr. Chase married his present wife, Emerransa Geldred, a very estimable lady of Castile, Wyoming county, this State.
Mr. Chase is a zealous member of the Christian church, of which there are many members in that vicinity. To his efforts more than any other are due not only the organization of that society, but also the erection of the fine church edifice near his residence. He has also been one of the most prominent men in contributing to the growth and development of his town.
Liberal, public-spirited, and always awake to the needs of society, no measure for the public good, or movement for the advance of moral or religious interests, fails to receive his support or the aid of his best efforts, and an appreciative community has rewarded him often with positions of trust. He was nine times elected supervisor of the town, besides minor offices, all of which he administered with the strictest integrity, to the full approval and satisfaction of all parties.
In politics Mr. Chase is a Republican, but not a rigid partisan. Being an uncompromising foe to slavery in any form, he naturally allies himself to the party of universal freedom. A strong Union man during the war of the rebellion, he contributed liberally from his substance for the support of his country, ready, if necessary, to sacrifice all he possessed for its safety.
PETER B. TENNY The subject of this brief sketch was born in Madison county, New York, August 14, 1804. His father, Asa Tenny, in 1812 settled upon the farm now the home of Peter B., and by indefatigable industry made it one of the finest farms in the town, it being especially noted for its fruit. As an evidence of this, we mention the yield of the last season (1876), which was more than ten thousand barrels of apples, besides large quantities of peaches, pears, and grapes.
Peter B. Tenny was married in 1827 to Lucinda Smith, the fruit of which union has been a family of twelve children, of whom five sons and six daughters are living.
RUSSELL C. BATES was born October 8, 1826, in Windham county, Vermont. His father, the Reverend Chandler Bates, came to the town of Parma in the year 1833, and settled on the farm now occupied by his son. He was pastor of the Presbyterian church at Parma Centre for several years.
Russell C. and Roxana Stanley were united in the bonds of matrimony in 1857; one daughter enlivens their home. Mr. Bates has held different town offices for the last twenty-five years,—supervisor, justice of the peace, town clerk, etc., and, as a member of the Republican party, has always taken a lively interest in all matters pertaining to the welfare of his vicinage.
SAMUEL CASTLE Among the earliest pioneers of the town of Parma, the oldest inhabitant, and of the last survivors of the days of settlement, was Samuel Castle. He was born on August 16, 1782, in the town of Roxbury, Connecticut, where he grew to manhood, and in the year 1809 was united in marriage to Miss Ruby Seely, then seventeen years of age.
In October 1810, the two set out for a home in the west, and after nineteen days of tedious travel found a resting-place two miles north of the Ridge road in the town of Parma, Monroe County. Past their clearing ran the Canawagus road, the only highway north from the Ridge. Brave hearts were theirs to encounter and endure the malaria of swamp and dense forest; and to the difficulties of their situation was added the troublous years of the war of 1812, when kindness and hospitality were developed, and adversity furnished opportunity of reciprocal favors.
Parma was erected a town in 1808 and included Ogden till 1817. Of this extensive and sparsely-settled region, Samuel Castle was chosen town clerk, and school inspector at times from 1811 to 1821, and then supervisor till 1826. Appointed justice of the peace in 1820, he held the office sixteen years. On April 3, 1829, he was commissioned side judge for one term of the county court. No decision of his as magistrate or judge was ever reversed. His minutes are a model of care and system. His influence on society was strong and extensive, and his ruling motive was known to be " to do right.”
In 1833 he joined the Methodist church, was elected recording steward, and held the position till 1846, when he was elected class-leader. Seven years elapsed in this capacity, and then again chosen steward, he held the office for life. Employed in many duties, he neglected none. Faithful in places of trust, he was a pillar of strength to the church and a respected member of society.
On the 6th of March 1874, he died at his residence, where he had lived for upwards of sixty years, having attained the venerable age of ninety-two years. His wife, whom he survived but three years, was a woman of remarkable energy. Cheerful and trusting, she bore without repining the discomforts of her lot, and inspired her husband to manly and courageous effort for sixty long years. To relieve want or suffering at home or abroad she spared no exertion. Performing the manifold duties of the household, she also gave to her husband assistance in the fields, and often trod the forest for miles to bring home the cows, and so economize his time for labor.
Occupying a section noted then for unhealthiness, living amidst discomforts disheartening and irreparable, she brought a welcome to the neighbors' fireside, and, ignoring self, became famed for her motherly kindness and hearty good will. Declining in years, one went and the other followed, and the two are eternally united, happy in the fruition of a long life of anticipation, having left behind them endearing memories.
Jehiel Castle of Orleans county, aged eighty, and Isaac Castle, recently deceased at the age of eighty-seven, also settled in Parma in 1S11. A daughter, the widow of Hon. A. I. Wood, is the sole survivor of the family of Samuel Castle.
HON. ABNER I. WOOD One of the most influential and respected citizens of Monroe County was the Hon. Abner I. Wood. He was born on February 4, 1813, at Clifton Park, Saratoga county; received an ordinary education, and was apprenticed to the trade of shoemaking, which he learned.
In May 1835, he settled at the village of Brockport, whence he removed in January 1836, to a farm in Clarkson. Here he, in 1838, married a daughter of Samuel Castle, of Parma, and two years later returned to Brockport and engaged in shoe-dealing. At the expiration of four years he moved to the farm in Parma upon which he passed his life.
Mr. Wood was known as a man of sound judgment, and, thorough in investigation, was firm in the advocacy of what met his approval. Possessing the esteem of his fellow citizens for worth and ability, he was frequently desired to accept office at their hands. Their wishes were respected, and several minor town offices having been held, he was elected to represent the town of Parma on the board of supervisors for the years 1858, 1859, 1860, and 1865. In this position his course was marked by ability, clearness of comprehension, and a conscientious devotion to constituent interests.
Politically a Whig, he joined the Republican party upon its formation, and steadfastly devoted himself to its principles. He was often a member of the Republican county committee, and for one year was its presiding officer.
He was an ardent friend of the Union during the war and gave of his time and means to insure the triumph of the army and the assertion of human rights. In the fall of 1865, he was nominated and elected to the assembly. Twice reelected, he was the first representative of the western district to be honored by three consecutive elections. He was not fluent in speech, but influential from business qualifications. During his last term he served upon the important committee of Ways and Means. Constant and unremitting in the discharge of public duty, his integrity was notable as his judgment was sound, and few had more influence in shaping legislation. Mr. Wood was unassuming and unobtrusive, yet consistently maintained his opinions on all proper occasions.
All who knew him recognized a public-spirited citizen, a sincere friend, a devoted husband, and a true Christian gentleman. He early united with the Methodist church, of which for years he was one of the most prominent members, and by his life fitly exemplified its teachings. His death, occurring April 27, 1874, was a loss to the community, —a vacancy to be long felt was created in his family, the church, and. community. While his memory remains fresh, his virtues are remembered; and whether active in public life, at home upon his farm, or in the family circle, his example and influence were potent for general and individual good.
History of Monroe County, New York; With Illustrations
Descriptive Of Its Scenery, Palatial Residences,
Public Buildings, Fine Blocks, and Important Manufactories
published by J. B. Lippincott & Co., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 1877