A Biography of Joshua & Benjamin Vincent

("Allegany County and Its People: A Centennial Memorial HISTORY OF ALLEGANY COUNTY,NY"  John S. Minard; W.A.Fergusson & Co., Alfred, NY, 1896)

The Vincent family is among the ancient ones of the Christian era, dating back at least as far as the third century, for just at its close, in 304, is fixed the date of the martyrdom of St. Vincentius, the Latin form of the name. From that time devotion to religious principle appears inherent in the family. Paul de Vincent, a Catholic saint of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, was a zealous propagandist, founder of the Brotherhood of Lazarites, and also of the world renowned organization of " Sisters of Charity." The name also appears in the south of France among the Huguenots who by persecution were driven from their country for their adherence to their religion. From that early day every generation seems to have its representatives in law, literature or religion, and prominent among the religious leaders of the present day is found Chancellor John H. Vincent, the distinguished bishop of the Methodist Episcopal church. whose name is inseparably linked with the development of the far-famed Chautauqua movement and University. The earliest members of the Vincent family in America were Adrian Vincent, a passenger from London in 1634 in the Mary and John; Humphrey, of Cambridge in 1634, of Ipswich in 1638; John, of Lynn, who re-moved to Sandwich at its early settlement, representative " in 1639 and six years after; " John, of New Haven, in 1639; Nicholas, of Manchester, in 1679: Philip, "a gentleman of ancient family in the south of Yorkshire " came to New England, and probably saw actual service in the Pequot war. as, after its termination, he published in London in 1638; The true Relation of the late Battle Fought in N. E. between the English and the Pequot salvages; " William, who in 1651 had a grant of land at New London, which he did not improve, but was at Providence in May, 1666. This last is perhaps the ancestor of the Rhode Island and Connecticut families, members of whom were early settlers along the Hudson.

The first of this family in Allegany was Joshua Vincent, who, in 1808, brought his family from Petersburg in Rensselaer Co., and, as an early settler. made a permanent home in Almond and Alfred among the Seventh Day " people, in whose religious faith he joined. He had a taste for mechanics and operated a carding mill a short distance below Baker's Bridge." He had two sons, David and Joshua, of whom David came when but a child from Petersburg to Almond alone on horseback. From thenceforth he lived in Almond, was for years a confidential employee of Hon. Clark Crandall. and died, when 68. on the farm his labor had developed from the wild land that he located. His wife survived him only from November to February. He married Freegift, daughter of Christopher and Lois (Coon) Saunders. Their children were Christopher. Amelia (Mrs. Russell Burdick), David. Lois, Abigail (Mrs. Tunis Van Antwerp), Orrin, Eli (died from wounds received in the battle of Gettysburg), Benjamin Morrill, Albert, John C., Joseph, Eleanor (Mrs. Philetus Andrews), Nathan, Jane (Mrs. Alonzo Rogers), Mary (Mrs. Henry Stillman), Susan (Mrs. John Cottrell).

Benjamin Morrill Vincent was born on the family homestead in Almond, Dec. 16, 1831. Until he came of age his life was passed in farm labor and in attendance at the common schools. After he became a voter he worked one year by the month," then, March 30, 1854, married Sarah, daughter of Jesse and Angelina (Sims) Ferrin, whose father was a native of Grafton Co., New Hampshire. Mr. and Mrs. Vincent resided in Almond until in the fall of 1857, he purchased the sixty-five acres on lot 1 in Scio, which has since been their permanent home. Removing thither Jan. 7, 1858, they here made the nucleus of the present holdings. The small acreage first purchased here by diligence, industry, thrift and business acumen was increased to 225 acres in the home lot, while Mr. Vincent. at his death. February 13, 1896, owned 2,765 acres in this state, Michigan and Kansas, 200 acres of which are in the Allegany oil field. Mr. Vincent's diligence, thrift and practical common sense were active factors in transforming the forest wilds into well tilled fields. He enjoyed the quiet. rural pioneer life, and it is to be noted that his love of home and its surroundings was a large element in his generous nature, he finding his keenest enjoyment in the home atmosphere, surrounded by his little family, and in the entertainment of his many friends. In 1883 oil was found on his land, and from the royalty derived from the numerous wells drilled on his property he acquired bountiful wealth. But its acquisition never changed the unpretentious nature of the man, nor chilled his sympathy with all forms of distress or suffering. He remained through life the same loyal friend, devoted husband, loving father and exemplary citizen. He was a Republican from 1856 and an adherent to the religion of his fathers. He was not desirous of nor called to prominent official places, but in the positions of trust and influence held in the town where` he lived and died he earned the good opinion of all. Such a life, simple and un eventful as it may appear to he. has a value not easily measured. Two children claim this honored couple as 'parents. Charles F. (See Courts and Lawyers), and James Albert, who married Myrtie, daughter of Oliver Norton. has one child, resides in Allentown and is an oil operator.