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Below is a family biography included in Biographical and Portrait Cyclopedia of Chautauqua County, New York published by John M. Gresham & Co. in 1891.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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LESTER R. DEWEY, a comfortably situated farmer and successful dairyman of the town of Sherman, is a son of Capt. Lester R. and Fanny (Patterson) Dewey, and was born in the old homestead house, in the town of Sherman, Chautauqua county, New York, in May, 1837. His paternal grandfather, David Dewey, was a native and farmer of New Hampshire, who came to Herkimer county and subsequently removed to Madison county where he died. His son, Capt. Lester R. Dewey (father), was born in Herkimer county, July 24, 1802, and in 1832 settled on lot No. 39, in the town of Sherman, but subsequently removed to the village where he died, December 5, 1872. He was a whig, and a member of the Universalist Church, and served his town several times as assessor, highway commissioner and supervisor. He commanded a company of militia for some years and on March 23, 1825, as mentioned by both “Young’s History” and the New York State Gazeteer, he married Fanny Patterson, who was born in Pompey, N. Y., October 6, 1802. This was the first marriage in the town and was solemnized by Otis Skinner, the first justice of the peace of the town. Mr. and Mrs. Dewey were the parents of eight children, six sons and two daughters: Calista A., wife of Charles Hall; Talcott P., who married Mary Benson, by whom he had three pair of twin daughters, and died in Iowa in 1874; Perry C., of Nebraska, who married Sarah Gill, and after her death, Matilda Goldsmith, and served in the Union army in the southwest; Alfred B., who married Maria Hubbard, who died in 1880, and in 1881 he married Mrs. Marcia Paddock; Margaretta K., wife of Merritt Wolcott; Lester R.; Chauucey M., who died in infancy; and Tyler T., who married Ellen Wilcox, served in Co. E, 9th New York Cavalry, was captured at Bull Run, spent twenty-two days in Libby prison, and now lives in Sherman.

Lester R. Dewey attended the common schools of his day, and has always been engaged in farming on the old homestead except two years spent in the oil regions and two years during which he was in the West. He owns a farm of one hundred and ninety acres of land, which is five-eighths of a mile from the village of Sherman. He is now making a specialty of dairying, keeps twenty-five Jersey cows, and makes butter by the Cooley system.

On December 25, 1860, he married Laura Benson, a daughter of Caleb Benson, who married a Miss Putnam, and came to the town of Westfield about 1825. Mr. and Mrs. Dewey have had four children, one son and three daughters: Jerushia A., who died young; Mary E., wife of W. B. Whitney, who has been a butter-maker at Sherman for the last eight years; Edwin C., assistant cashier of the Sherman bank; and Effie B.

In politics Mr. Dewey is a republican, and has held several offices of his town.

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This family biography is one of 658 biographies included in Biographical and Portrait Cyclopedia of Chautauqua County, New York published in 1891. 

View additional Chautauqua County, New York family biographies here: Chautauqua County, New York Biographies

View a map of 1897 Chautauqua County, New York here: Chautauqua County, New York Map

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