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DANIEL BULL.—We cannot in this place omit an honorable mention of Mr. Bull. He was the son of Thomas Bull, who was the son of William Bull, the early settler at Hamptonburgh. His father lived at the old stone mansion in the present town of Hamptonburgh, on the road from Montgomery to Goshen, and known as the Cad Bull stone house. He removed to this town before he was of age, upon a large tract of new rough land, then owned by his father, and located himself. His father, Thomas, was infirm towards the latter part of his life, and when about to make his will and settle his worldly affairs had thoughts of selling his land in Crawford, which was then worth about $2.50 per acre, and for which he had an offer, and asked his son Daniel, then a lad of about fifteen years of age, whether he had better settle it or let him take care of it. Daniel replied that if he would give it to him he "would try to take care of it." His father concluded to try him, and made his will accordingly. This gave the young man confidence and increased his pride; and the community at this day can judge of the manner in which he fulfilled this early filial promise. In 1780, when nineteen years of age, he married Miss Catharine Miller, who was younger still, and forthwith commenced clearing up his new estate.
The winter of 1780 was celebrated all over this country for its length and the depth of its snow. It was so deep and hardened by the severity of the weather that for some time the people of the county, in transacting their necessary or pleasure business, drove their horses and sleighs in any and all directions across the fields irrespective of the fences. Mr. Bull and Miss Miller went to Goshen to be married by Mr. Carr, of the Presbyterian Church, and that day a fall of snow commenced, which, with previous ones, deepened the road so much there was no traveling the next day. There the new-married pair spent two weeks Of the honeymoon.
Thirteen children were the fruits of this early marriage, the most of whom grew up and were married. Their names, and to whom married, are as follows: Thomas, married Sarah Mills; Hannah, married Alex. Thompson; Abner, married Maria Brinson; David C., married Maria Barkley; Keturah, married William Bull; Catharine, married James H. Crawford; Mary, married Rev. John Johnston; Henry, married Jane Stitt; Milton, married Esther Crawford; Sarah, married Denton Mills; Miller, not married; Daniel, married Sarah Thompson; John, died young.
Mr. Bull was an industrious farmer from his early days. As an evidence of his practical agriculture, we refer the reader to the list of prizes awarded him by the society, which we think are more numerous than those awarded to any other family in the county. Few individuals have cleared up and subdued more wild land, and placed it in a good agricultural condition for their children. The obligations of parent, citizen, and friend, imposed on him through the course of a long life, were duly and faithfully discharged; while those of a superior and more holy character equally shared his careful attention and pious regard. He was an early friend to the construction of the Newburgh and Cochecton turnpike-road, and, with an interval of one year, continued a director from the organization of the company, upwards of forty years. This company had semi-annual meetings, and, with one or two exceptions at furthest, he was always present. This fact proves two things,— good health and a virtuous discharge of public duties.
The progenitor of the Bull family in Crawford was William Bull, who located at Hamptonburgh. His son Thomas purchased an extensive tract of land embracing seven hundred and fifty acres in the township of Crawford, which was in an entirely unimproved state when acquired by him. His son Daniel, whose birth occurred in 1761, and who is the subject of this biographical sketch, became by inheritance the possessor of this land, having pledged himself to cultivate and improve it. He spent the early years of his life at the home of his parents, improving the limited advantages of the district school during the intervals not devoted to farm labor.
In 1780, when but nineteen years of age, he was united in marriage to Miss Catherine Miller, who was still his junior, the ceremony having been performed at Goshen by Rev. Mr. Carr, of the Protestant Episcopal Church. To Mr. and Mrs. Bull were born thirteen children,—Thomas, who married Sarah Mills; Hannah (Mrs. Alexander Thompson); Abner, married to Maria Brinson; David C., married to Maria Barkley; Keturah (Mrs. William Bull); Catherine (Mrs. James H. Crawford); Mary (Mrs. Rev. John Johnson); Henry, married to Jane Stitt; Milton, married to Esther Crawford; Sarah (Mrs. Denton Mills); Miller; Daniel, married to Sarah Thompson; and John, who died in early life.
Mr. Bull died Nov. 14, 1849, his wife’s death having occurred Oct. 1, 1841, in her seventy-seventh year. During a long and well-improved life Daniel Bull maintained a marked character for integrity and probity, and by deeds which speak louder than words placed before his children a conspicuous example of the achievements won by energy and steadfast purpose. The land which he inherited—a vast tract of forest and brush—was, under the magic influence of his industry, made to bud and blossom as the rose.
He was also active and influential in all public enterprises. He was one of the originators of the Newburgh and Cochecton turnpike, and for nearly half a century a director of the organization. The political views of Mr. Bull were in sympathy with the platform of the old Whig party, and these principles found in him an eloquent expounder during his life. In 1779 he contributed generously towards the erection of the earliest Presbyterian church of the township, and was one of its most exemplary members. He was a man of generous impulses, and all deserving causes found in him a cordial helper.
His memory is still affectionately cherished by an extensive family of descendants, a number of whom contribute this portrait as a tribute of their regard.