Biography of James E. Olmstead
Steuben County, NY Biographies





Olmstead, James E., was born in the town of Wheeler, on the farm he now owns, in 1845. Erastus Olmstead his grandfather, was born in Connecticut, and later moved to Montgomery county where he devoted his life to farming. He was a prominent Mason, and held many offices in his lodge. He married Jane Covenhoven, by whom he had ten children, all of whom lived, except one, aged sixtysix, to be over seventy years of age. He died about 1852, aged eighty six years, and his wife about 1865, aged eighty nine. James F., father of James E., was born in Montgomery county in 1798, and in the fall of 1820 he moved to Wheeler where he took up land which was then a forest. The following year he and his brother John took up 100 acres and worked together several years, and later James added sixty three acres. Their first autumn in the town they cut two acres of timber and boarded four miles from their work. He assisted in the building of the Lutheran church of Avoca, in which he was later made deacon; he also filled other offices in the church. He married Harriet, daughter of Emanuel Gunsolous, by whom he had these children: Jane, Elizabeth, Hannah, Dimis, Sarah, who died at eighteen years of age, and James. He died in August, 1883, and his wife in February, 1884. James E. has spent his life on the homestead, which he now owns, and cared for his parents. During the year 1875, in: connection with his farming, he run a grocery wagon through the county, and for some time later engaged in buying and butchering cattle and supplying Hornellsville market from one to two tons of meat a week. He has been elected overseer of the poor for three terms. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity, Avoca Lodge, No. 673, and was the organizer of the Avoca Grange Lodge, P. of H. in 1876, of which he was the first master, to which office he was elected several years. In 1868 he married Dema, daughter of Benjamin and Jane (Fero) Voorhees, pioneers in Steuben county, by whom he had these children: Elmer H., Hattie J., who died at nineteen years of age, James B., and Iona. The Olmstead family is traced back in America to 1632, when James and Richard Olmstead came from England on the ship Lion.

From:
Landmarks of Steuben County, New York
Edited by: Hon. Harlo Hakes
Assisted by: L. C. Aldrich and others
D. Mason & Co., Publishers
Syracuse, N. Y. 1896


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