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Below is a family biography included in Book of Biographies: Biographical Sketches of Leading Citizens, Cortland County, New York published by Biographical Publishing Company in 1898.  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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MOSES C. BUTTERFIELD, a retired farmer of Cortland County, now residing at Blodgett’s Mills, is a native of the county, for his birth occurred in the town of Homer, November 1, 1821. His parents were Parker and Rhoda (Sperry) Butterfield.

Parker Butterfield was born in Francestown, N.H., June 6, 1793. When twenty-one years of age, he came to Cortland County to take up a residence near his brother Moses, who had settled here previous to him. Parker bought a farm, that is now known as the Woodard place, and developed it from its original uncultivated, wild state, into a productive, well appointed farm. Later he learned the business of carding, dyeing and cloth dressing, and ran a shop at Mudge’s Mills, and did a large custom trade for a number of years, until he transferred his busness to Blodgett’s Mills, where he continued to follow carding, dyeing, and the dressing of cloth until he bought a farm on the hill east of the Mills. He continued to make his residence on that property until his death, April 1, 1872. He was an energetic, forceful man, who was determined to succeed, and succeed he did, and that by his own efforts, thus earning the title of self-made. His profits he put to good use, kept on turning his capital over and over, and became a man of considerable property, and highly esteemed in the community. His wife was born June 6, 1793, in Woodbridge, Conn., and died on October 18, 1864. She was a daughter of Medad Sperry, who was an early pioneer settler of Cortland County. Parker Butterfield was a Whig and latterly a Republican in his political tendencies, and served in many of the local offices and minor positions in the gift of his townspeople. He was a member of the Baptist Church. The parental family consisted of these members: Sophia; Samantha; Moses C. (1), who died young; Lemuel L.; Moses C. (2), our subject; and John B.

Moses C. Butterfield received a good district school education, and inherited the homestead, after his parents had finished their earthly careers; during their last years he gave them all the attention and care that could be expected from the most dutiful son. He remained on the homestead some twenty-five years, then sold it and bought a residence on Main Street, Blodgett’s Mills, and went into mercantile business with Rice Tanner. The firm of Tanner & Butterfield conducted a general merchandise store for six years, the partnership being terminated by Mr. Butterfield’s selling his interest, because of the death of his wife.

Mr. Butterfield’s first wife was Sarah M. Tanner, a daughter of James Tanner; she departed this life December 25, 1862, aged forty-one years, eight months and twenty-one days. He then was joined in marriage to his deceased wife’s sister, Hannah H. Tanner; her death occurred June 6, 1880, at the age of sixty-one years. Mr. Butterfield was then married to Miss L. Antoinette Eldridge, daughter of William Eldridge. William Eldridge was born in Sharon, Schoharie County, N. Y., and was a son of Caleb Eldridge, who was born February 10, 1765, in the State of Connecticut, and who was married in March, 1797, to Hannah Rider, whose birth occurred October 24, 1770. Caleb Eldridge settled on a farm in the town of Cortlandville, where our subject’s wife in later years was born, and which property she still owns. This pioneer settler was one of the first men to locate in the town; he cleared a large farm, and in his daily life and in association with his neighbors was all that could be desired of him. His children were: William; Prudence; Enoch; Sylva; Stephen; Erneline; Betsey; and Edward. William Eldridge, the eldest son, was married November 15, 1825, in Columbus, this county, to Mary Miller, and settled down to live on the homestead; he passed away at the age of sixty-eight. He made many improvements on the farm, put it in still better shape than it was when his father had charge of it, and built structures, that are still standing and in use to-day. His first wife died at the age of thirty-six, leaving three children, by name: Esther R.; Ezra F.; and L. Antoinette, our subject’s wife. After the early death of his wife, Mr. Eldridge contracted a second matrimonial alliance with Mrs. Sally Snyder, and reared one daughter, Mary Jane.

Our subject after his last marriage to Miss Eldridge moved in 1881 to the Eldridge farm, and carried it on with abundant success until 1893, when he rented it, and moved to Blodgett’s Mills, where he owns a beautiful residence, in which he is surrounded with many of the luxuries of life. He has never been disloyal to the Republican party, but at all times and under all circumstances supports its candidates and measures. For twelve years he was continued in office as town assessor. Both he and his wife are active members of the M. E. Church, and give liberally of their abundance in helping to further the Christian work of that society.

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This family biography is one of numerous biographies included in Book of Biographies: Biographical Sketches of Leading Citizens, Cortland County, New York published in 1898. 

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

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

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