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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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CHARLES H. STERLING, a son of Henry and Cordelia A. (Clark) Sterling, was born at Atkinson, Piscataquis county, Maine, August 10, 1847, and has made his home in Silver Creek since 1872. Ephraim Sterling (grandfather), of Scotch descent, was a native of New England, and followed the sea in various positions for many years. Having reached the rank of captain he made a few profitable trips and then built a boat of his own. While making his first trip in this vessel it foundered, drowning himself and oldest son. Henry Sterling (father) was born in Kittery, Maine, in 1820, but came to Fredonia, this county, in 1857 and engaged in the manufacture of agricultural implements and foundry work which he continued for ten years. In 1869 he moved to Westville, Chariton county, Missouri, where he followed farming until June, 1876, when he died. Mr. Sterling was a consistent member of the Methodist Episcopal church, and a democrat, but a modest, unassuming and upright man. He married Cordelia A. Clark, of Maine, in 1844, and had six children. The Sterling family is still living in Scotland; Lord Sterling being a branch of the tree from which they sprang, Mrs. Sterling is still living and enjoying good health. She is sixty-six years of age, and makes her home with a married daughter, Mrs. M. F. Ives, of southern Illinois, and is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church.

Charles H. Sterling lived in New England until eleven years old and then came with his father to Chautauqua county. He received his education in the public schools and clerked three years in a store at Fredonia. The ensuing two years were spent learning carriage painting, and in 1868 he went to Iowa where he spent three years employed at carpenter work. In 1871 he returned to Fredonia and in 1872 came to Silver Creek and took a position in Howes & Babcock’s Grain Cleaning Machine Factory. He was employed in the wood-working department until 1884, and then resigned to accept a place with G. S. Cranson, who was developing a device for scouring grain. Since that date Mr. Sterling has been foreman of the Grain Cleaning Machinery Factory for the firm of Huntley, Cranson & Hammond, doing, principally, designing and drafting.

On November 18, 1872, he married Alice G. Fuller, a daughter of Benjamin Fuller, of Silver Creek. This lady died February 22, 1877, leaving a son — Royal L., now fifteen years of age. On February 18, 1880, Mr. Sterling married for his second wife, Flora Hall, daughter of S. R. Hall, of Perrysburg, Cattaraugus county, New York, with whom he has since happily lived.

C. H. Sterling is a member of the Presbyterian church; of Lodge No. 10, A. O. U. W.; and is a republican, now serving as a member of the school board. He occupied the position of vice-president of the cemetery board but the press of his other business compelled him to resign. He is plain spoken and not churlish, but possesses suavity of manner and is a pleasant man to meet. He is a skillful workman and possesses such originality of mechanical ideas that he is a valuable man in the position he occupies. His wife is active in all the enterprises usually engaged in by ladies’ societies, and has achieved more than local renown as an artist. In addition to this her literary efforts possess much merit.

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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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