A member of one of the oldest families of Oneida county, Van Rensselaer Weaver is among its best known
citizens. He was born in Deerfield January 21, 1855, a son of George F. and Margaret Weaver and a grandson of Henry
Van Rensselaer Weaver. George J. Weaver, the founder of the family at Deerfield, came to this region in 1773 with
Captain Mark Damoth and Christian Reall and settled at the Corners. These hardy pioneers were driven out by the
Indians in 1776 and their homes were burned. Later Mr. Weaver was taken prisoner and carried to Quebec and thence
to England but after two years was exchanged. In 1784 the three men again settled at Deerfield Corners and Mr.
Weaver's grandson, George M. Weaver, Jr., was the first white male child born in the town, his natal day being
January 15, 1787. He died at the age of ninety years, in 1877.
Van Rensselaer Weaver received his preliminary education in the public schools of Deerfield and later attended
Utica Academy and the Utica Business College, graduating from the latter institution in 1874. In 1876 he was appointed
deputy sheriff of Oneida county under his brother, Frederick G. Weaver, who was then serving as sheriff of the
county, and three years later he was elected to represent the town of Deerfield on the board of supervisors, serving
until 1884. He was also a member of the board for two years, from 1892 to 1894. In 1894 he was elected sheriff
of the county for a term of three years, receiving a majority of about forty three hundred votes, the second largest
majority on the ticket. After leaving the office of sheriff he engaged in the knit goods manufacturing business
at Utica under the title of the Elbouf Knitting Company. The company has been successful, having developed under
excellent management a large and prosperous business, and he is still actively connected with its affairs.
On the 20th of February, 1882, Mr. Weaver was married at Clinton, New York, to Miss Laura A. Owens, a daughter
of Owen D. Owens, and four children have come to brighten their home, Van Rensselaer, Jr., Ralph O., Harrison and
Mr. Weaver has from the time of casting his first ballot been a supporter of the republican party. He takes a lively
interest in public affairs and is now serving as a member of the Utica courthouse commissionen. On January 17,
1910, he was appointed United States Marshal, which office he still holds. He has for a number of years been active
in the work of the Baptist denomination and is a member of the board of trustees of the church at Deerfield. He
is also connected with the Mannerchor Club of Utica and is a generous supporter of causes which seek to promote
the permanent interests of the community. Although his office is at Utica he lives at his old home in Deerfield,
which is sacred to him on account of its many associations extending back to the times when the Indians and wild
animals roamed at will along the beautiful valley of the Mohawk In the course of nearly a century and a half great
changes have taken place. The appearance of the country has been transformed and peaceful, happy homes now are
to be seen throughout Oneida county, the work of men who, like Mr. Weaver and his ancestors, bravely assumed responsibility
and ably accomplished their mission.
History of Oneida County, New York
From 1700 to the present time
of some of its prominent men and pioneers.
By: Henry J. Cookinham
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company
Oneida County, NY
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