Biography of Benjamin C. Sears
Orange County, NY Biographies





BENJAMIN CHANDLER SEARS was born in Montgomery, February. 1836, where his father, Marcus Sears, M. D., then resided. His grandfather, Benjamin Sears, was appointed sheriff of Ulster County by Governor George Clinton, February, 1793. His mother was a daughter of Richard Caldwell, captain of the Twenty fifth United States Infantry, who, on the march to the Canadian frontier, died from exposure, and was buried at Champlain, N. Y., in 1812. Dr. Sears soon removed to Blooming Grove, and Benjamin C. attended the public school there, Chester Academy and Montgomery Academy, under Joseph M. Wilkin. He entered the junior class of Rutgers College and graduated in 1857 with the Suydam prize for English composition, and the degree of A. B., receiving later the degree of A. M.; was a charter member of the Zeta Psi Club of New York and trustee of the chapter house of the 20 fraternity at Rutgers.

On graduating he came to the farm upon which he now resides, which was purchased by his great grandfather, John Chandler, in 1793, containing about forty acres, which, by purchase, he has increased to four hundred acres. In carrying on the farm, he is associated with James B. Howell and his son, Marcus Caldwell Sears, who graduated from Rutgers in the class of '91 with first honor, taking also a special course in agriculture. The firm kept a dairy of one hundred or more cows, the milk from which is largely bottled on the farm, and until March, 1906, was delivered directly to consumers from the Blooming Grove Ayrshire Dairy, 445 West Nineteenth street, New York City, but now is distributed by others.

In 1866 he married Phoebe E, daughter of Edmund S. Howell, of Blooming Grove. In 1878 he was democratic candidate for state senator. A year later he was appointed on the commission to appraise damages to property in building the West Shore and Ontario & Western Railroads. For five years he was superintendent of the farm attached to Rutgers, the State Agricultural College of New Jersey, and associate lecturer on farming. For several years he was vice president of the Ayrshire Breeders' Association. He was director of the Orange County Agricultural Society from 1877 to 1899, and vice president from 1889 to 1901. He was an elder in the Second Presbyterian Church of Washingtonville, until it was dissolved, and since then has been deacon in the Blooming Grove Congregational Church.

From:
The History of Orange County New York
Edited by: Russel Headley
Van Deusen and Elms, Publishers
Middletown, N. Y. 1908


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