Biography of Joseph W. Stearns
Tompkins County, NY Biographies





Stearns, Joseph W., who is well remembered in this vicinity as having been for many years the faithful pastor of the now extinct Christian church near West Groton, was a native of Westhampton, Mass., born February 21, 1808. He was the son of Stockwell and Seviah (Wilcott) Stearns and the second of their nine children. The young life of our subject was passed in his native State, where his father was a shoemaker, and he learned to work at whatever presented itself for him to do. He educated himself and later on entered the ministry. He came to West Groton at an early day where he took the pastorate of the Christian church, and at the same time interested himself in the welfare of those about him, and was particularly active during the days of the agitation of the abolition of slavery, he being one of the moat earnest advocates of that measure. More than this, his house was the refuge of escaping negroes, and no man did more to facilitate the freedom of the refugees than Mr. Stearns. His life was a success from every point of view, and he held the respect and esteem of the entire community. He died in April, 1888, aged eighty years, and a little later (September 14, 1889) his wife followed him to the grave. Joseph W. Stearns married Amanda daughter of pioneer Isaac Allen, and to them were born three children: Joseph W., now a clergyman residing in Huntersland, N. Y.; Alvin Stuart, remembered as a merchant and produce dealer, and also postmaster at West Groton, and who died April 18, 1892; and Eugene A., the enterprising quarryman and farmer of West Groton. The latter was born May 3, 1847, and now lives on a part of the old home farm of his grandsire, Isaac Allen, the site of the first Allen log cabin being only a few rods distant from Mr. Stearns's house. In 1871 Eugene A. Stearns married Sarah Jane Rockafeller, of Onondaga county. They have one child.

From:
Landmarks of Tompkins County, New York
Including a History of Cornell University
Edited by: John H. Selkreg
D. Mason & Co., Publishers
Syracuse, N. Y. 1894


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