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Below is a family biography included in Portrait and Biographical Record of Seneca and Schuyler Counties, New York published by Chapman Publishing Co., in 1895.  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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JAMES O’DANIELS. Our subject has arrived at that age when the dignity of years spent in active and productive labor exempts him from the weariness of toil at the present time. He is now recognized as one of the prominent and wealthy retired farmers living in the beautiful village of Watkins. The estate of which he is still the owner comprises ninety-two acres in the town of Reading, to which he gives his personal supervision.

Our subject was born in Chester, Orange County, February 26, 1820, to John R. and Elizabeth (Dense) O’Daniels, also natives of Orange County. They were well-to-do people, and the father followed farm pursuits during the greater part of his life. When their son James was quite young they removed to Yates County, where he was reared to mature years amid rural scenes. Like the youth of that day, he acquired his education mainly in the schools of the district, and was thoroughly trained to a full knowledge of farm work.

When ready to begin in life for himself, Mr. O’Daniels went to Genesee County, this state, where he purchased a tract of land, residing thereon for a period of three years. At the end of that time he disposed of this property, and went to Middletown, Orange County, where he was engaged in selling stoves for some three years and a-half. He then turned his attention to gardening and the nursery business in that village, carrying this on with good results until the fall of 1859. During his residence there he was also engaged in speculating to some extent.

In the year 1859 Mr. O’Daniels went to Athens, Pa., in the vicinity of which place he purchased a tract of land, which he was engaged in cultivating for seven years. On selling out, he went to Dundee, Yates County, where he engaged in agricultural pursuits, residing there until 1869, when he came to Schuyler County. Upon locating here he bought property in the town of Reading, on which he lived until 1891, and that year removed to Watkins, where he is now living a retired life.

The marriage of our subject and Miss Mary A. Drake was celebrated in Yates County, this state, May 11, 1844. Mrs. O’Daniels was born in the town of Dix, July 5, 1820, and by her union with our subject became the mother of three children: J. Byron, who resides at Reading Center; and Mary A. and Jennie V., both of whom died when about twenty-two years of age. The wife and mother departed this life February 2, 1886, and September 22, 1891, Mr. O’Daniels was married to Mrs. Mary J. (Ketcham) O’Daniels, the widow of Francis O’Daniels, his brother. She was born in Starkey, Yates County, June 28, 1824. By her first husband she had a son, Larmon G., a resident of Watkins. Both our subject and wife are members in excellent standing of the Methodist Episcopal Church, with which they have been connected for many years. Mr. O’ Daniels has always been actively interested in beneficial measures in his community, and has been the incumbent of various local offices of trust. In politics he is a Republican.

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This family biography is one of the numerous biographies included in Portrait and Biographical Record of Seneca and Schuyler Counties, New York published in 1895. 

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

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

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