Reminiscences of Oxford
Homes and People
By B. H. Davis
Published 09-03-1914 in THE SEYMOUR RECORD
Chapter 14

 In continuing the reminiscences of Riggs street we will leave the main road nearly opposite the residence of Ransom Hinman and follow a crossroad for about three-fourths of a mile when we come to an ancient farm house known as the Andrews place.  This house was built some time in the seventies of the 17th century, by a man named Finch, who lived there many years and reared a family of five daughters.  I remember one very distinctly, the youngest, Sarah, who married Hiram Osborn. The place was vacant for several years until about the year 1854.  The farm was then purchased by Nehemiah Andrews o Bethany, then comparatively a young man. He was twice married.  HIs first wife was Phinette of Bethany. Seven children were born of this union, two daughters and five sons, namely: The only ones now living of this family are the two daughters, Adeline and Emily. Dennis, Jay, George, John and Dwight all died while yet in their young manhood.

The second wife of Mr. Andrews was Miss Nancy Alling, daughter of Eli Alling of Oxford. Six or seven children were born to them and I think they are all living.  Frank, of Oxford; Mary, lives in Newark, N.J.; William, somewhere in Montana; Charles in Seymour; Mrs. Fox (I don't recall her first name), lives in Brooklyn, N.Y., and Idella in Oxford (NOTE: She married Orlando Osborn, see below).

Mr. Andrews lived on the old homestead 35 years. He was a practical up-to-date farmer, and his crops alway showed good care and cultivation. For several years he catered to the wants of th e town's poor, and no one had cause to complain of the treatment they received under his care.  His death occurred Feb. 16, 1880, aged 76. Nancy, his wife, died April 4, 1908.

Frank, who now owns and occupies the place, is a thrifty farmer and takes an active part in everything pertaining to the welfare of the town. He has a nice family and some of his boys are identified with the bit and auger industry in Seymour.

Returning to the main road we journey a short distance north when another old landmark greets our vision. This place is known as the Cable Homestead for the reason it was owned by Orlando Cable for many years. He was one of the three brothers who came from Monroe at the time of the hatting industry in Oxford and followed the business of a hatter until the shop was closed. Then he turned his attention to farming and cattle and sheep raising. He married Betsy Wheeler. He was quite prominent in town and church affairs, and filled many offices of trust in the town. They had no children to bless their lonely home, but he was very generous in his nature to the children of the poor of the community. His larger was never empty and the latch string was always on the outside. It was a favorite place for the young people to congregate and it was customary for the older ladies to meet in the afternoon and have a sewing bee, and in the evening the younger ones would assemble and have a kissing bee. They both lived to a ripe old age, loved and honored by all who knew them, and when they were called to the unknown realms, many sad hearts did honor to their memory. I think the place is now vacant.

Just a little farther north stands a small cottage which has been used for many years as a tenement house for the farm help. So there is but little to mention in regard to that.

Passing on a little farther, we come to a place which is well worthy of a lengthy notice. It is known as the Osborn homestead. The history of this place will take the reader back to the later part of the 17th century. It has been occupied by the family for five generations.

Samuel Wheeler bought this place more than a century ago, when the country was a vast wilderness.

(NOTE: Karen Bauer,, has researched the Osborn family, and believes that B.H. Davis is in error.  She reports that the Samuel Wheeler cited by Davis was the grandson of the original builder of the house.  "The Samuel Wheeler who married Phebe Glover was born 1769 in Oxford. See He is the son of Robert and Ruth Wheeler. It had to be Robert's father Samuel who built that house. So the following is misleading, because the Wheelers seemed to have remained in Oxford from the 1740's. It was Samuel and Phebe's daughter Betsey who married Orlando Cable.  See the following cemetery inscriptions are from Bell's List of Jacks Hill Cemetery:

EDITOR's NOTE: My thanks to my sister for helping straighten out the Osborn family account.  Because of the differences between these records and the Davis account, it seems unlikely that the following story of Samuel Wheeler and Phoebe Glover is correct, since at that date wagons were not uncommon.  It may be that Davis has mistakenly attributed the story to the wrong generation.)

Samuel Wheeler married Phoebe Glover of what is now Newtown. The dowry she received from her father was a female slave named Philisy. He brought both his wife and the slave from Newtown on a pillion, as wagons were almost unknown in those days. They had only one horse, so it is very evident that Samuel had to walk. He built the house, which still stands, as a monument to his memory.

He worked hard and faithfully all through his useful life, and by good judgment and to frugality acquired a nice little fortune and became one of the largest land owners in this section of the country. He was identified with St. Peter's church and was one of the most liberal contributors towards the erection of the new church. In politics he was a Jeffersonian democrat, and was elected to fill many offices of trust within the gift of his townsmen. He lived long beyond the allotted time of man, but I have no record of his age or the date of his death.

Some time after the death of Mr. Wheeler, Joel Osborn married a Catherine Washband, and all during his honorable and useful life lived at the Wheeler homestead. He was one of the most popular men in town, both politically and socially. He represented the town several times in the legislature and filled every office in the town. He died May 25th, 1871, aged 50 years.

After his death his son, Orlando, took charge of the estate, and to a certain extend filled the place made vacant by the death of his father. He married Idella Andrews. Five children were born to them, three sons and two daughters.

Arthur, like his father, was very popular with his townspeople. He represented the town in the legislature several times. He was a member of Morning Star Lodge, F. & A. M. of Seymour, and was identified with St. Peter's church. He was an honest and upright citizen. He died Feb. 20th, 19??, aged 61 years.

In the original publication of this article, the editor, William C. Sharpe listed citations in Oxford records, filling in information on the Wheeler family.  Unfortunately, the print on my copy of the article is illegible.

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