Shearman, George, one of the most energetic men of the country during his time, was born in Dublin, Ireland,
March 24, 1790. He left home at the age of fourteen, and came to America. After living in Otsego two years he came
to Penn Yan about 1808, where he had a store near the corner of Main and Jacob streets. Here he was engaged in
trade some twenty five or thirty years. He built a hotel -the "American"- near, or on, the site of Cornwell's
Opera House block, and a grist mill, a potashery, and a distillery on the outlet. One of his partners was Solomon
D. Weaver, and during their association the firm operated two saw mills, two grist mills, and two distilleries.
Mr. Shearman met with reverses that cost him his fortune, but others profited by his financial downfall. He retired
to his farm south of the village, and engaged in the mercantile business in Penn Yan with a partner, Daniel B.
Bissell, carrying on the largest dry goods business in this part of the country. After closing out this business,
he engaged in grain buying. From this time on, his son Oliver, although quite young, was associated with his father,
and at his death continued the business. Mr. Shearman was a captain of Light Horse Cavalry, having the largest
company in the State, and escorted Gen. La Fayette on part of his tour through this State. He was always a Democrat
and served as county clerk several terms. He was very public spirited and one of the foremost promoters of the
building of the canal from Dresden to Penn Yan. On the 31st of March, 1811, he married Rebecca, daughter of David
Wagener, by whom he had these children: Abraham W., William, Mary Ann, Mary Ann 2d, George, Rebecca, Eliza, Isabella,
William 2d, Charles, Oliver G., and Eleanor. Of these children, only four, George, Charles, Oliver G., and Eleanor
are living. Mrs. Shearman was a pious woman and a devoted Methodist, being one of the first class of fourteen,
who held meetings about in private houses, before a church was organized. An incident is told of her having gone
to Geneva, a distance of sixteen miles, on horseback, to attend Love Feast, and being then refused admission because
she had two feathers on her bonnet. Mr. Shearman was trustee of the church and their house was a regular stopping
place for all Methodist ministers. George Shearman died December 26, 1859, and his wife January 14, 1855. George
Shearman, jr., born July 28, 1818, is the oldest representative of his family in the county. He is a substantial
farmer of Milo, and one whose efforts in life have been rewarded with more than a fair degree of success. December
5, 1840, he married Phebe Baxter, of Milo, by whom he has had two children, Abram and Mary, the latter the wife
of Capt. Abraham Gridley. The farm on which Mr. Shearman lives was formerly known as the Stewart farm, and this
Mr. Shearman purchased before his marriage, about the year 1838. He is a devoted member and trustee of the Penn
Yan M. E. Church.
History of Yates County, N. Y.
with illustrations and biographical sketches
of some of its prominent men and pioneers.
Edited by: Lewis Cass Aldrich
D. Mason & Co., Publishers
Syracuse, N. Y. 1892
Yates County, NY
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