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Biographical Review: Greene, Schoharie and Schenectady Counties, New York
Noah Dibble West

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[This information is from pp. 114-117 of Biographical Review Volume XXXIII: Containing Life Sketches of Leading Citizens of Greene, Schoharie and Schenectady Counties, New York (Boston: Biographical Review Publishing Company, 1899). It is in the collection of the Grems-Doolittle Library of the Schenectady County Historical Society at 920 BIO.]

Noah Dibble West, a well-known apiarist of Middleburg, N. Y., is one of the largest honey producers of Schoharie County and with but two exceptions the largest in the entire State, if not in the Union. He was born March 5, 1845, in the neighboring town of Gilboa, the birthplace of his father, David West, Jr. His great-grandfather West, who came, it is believed from England, was one of the original settlers of Gilboa, whither he removed from Connecticut in Colonial times, coming here when the country was a wooded wilderness and rearing the small log cabin in which he and his family first found shelter.

David West, Sr., the grandfather of Noah D., spent the larger part of his threescore and ten years in Gilboa, where he was one of the leading farmers and a citizen of influence. Possessing considerable legal knowledge, he transacted law business to some extent for his neighbors, by whom he was highly esteemed. At his death he left his widow, whose maiden name was Rachel Ward, with four children — Orman West, Julia Ann, David, and William. She subsequently married again, and by her second husband, George Hughson, had four sons — John C., George, Cephas, and Robert. John C. Hughson left home at the early age of sixteen years, and after working out for a few years he became interested in the lumber business. He died a millionaire.

David West, Jr., was born September 27, 1813, and died June 12, 1883. He was reared on a farm, and was engaged in agricultural pursuits to a greater or less extent during his entire life. Having a natural aptitude for mechanics, he also worked at the carpenter's trade in his early manhood. Purchasing a tract of woodland, he cleared a space, on which he built his first dwelling, and in a few years he erected a fine set of other frame buildings. Thereafter he attended to the cultivation of his land until his death, at the age of sixty-nine.

He married March 20, 1840, Celinda Dibble, daughter of Noah and Abigail (Crippen) Dibble. Her paternal grandparents were Daniel and Lois (Pomeroy) Dibble, the grandmother the daughter of Daniel Pomeroy, a Revolutionary soldier. The parents of Celinda Dibble had ten children, three of whom survive, namely: Jane, born in 1820; Abigail, born in 1822; and Amanda, born in 1826. Noah Dibble, who served as a soldier of the War of 1812, was a carpenter in Middleburg, and well known throughout this section as a builder of saw-mills, which he made a specialty. He died at the age of seventy-six years. Mrs. Abigail Dibble died on September 12, 1869, aged seventy-nine years, six months, and nine days. In religion she was a Baptist. David West, Jr., and his wife, Celinda, were also members of the Baptist church. Of their union but one child was born, Noah D., the special subject of this biography. The mother was born on February 23, 1817, and died May 17, 1893, at the age of seventy-six years.

As mentioned above, Daniel Pomeroy, her grandmother Dibble's father, great-great-grandfather of the subject of this sketch, was a soldier of the American Revolution. He was under Washington, and it is related that the General on parting gave him his cane as a keepsake. This cane Daniel Pomeroy gave to his daughter Lois (Mrs. Daniel Dibble), with the request that she should hand it down to her eldest son, Noah Dibble, to be always kept in the Dibble family, held by the eldest son of each succeeding generation. From Noah Dibble the Washington cane passed to his eldest son, Ichabod Dibble, brother of Celinda; from Ichabod to his eldest son, Sylvester; and at the death of Sylvester, leaving no son, it came into the possession of his brother, Jesse Dibble, its present owner, who is a cousin of Noah Dibble West, the special subject of the present biography.

Noah D. West grew to manhood on the home farm in Gilboa. At the age of twenty he commenced teaching school, and he was thus employed in his native town for ten terms. He also assisted in the management of the home farm until attaining his majority, when he took possession of a few of its acres, and turned his attention to the culture of bees, an industry in which he had been interested from boyhood. Ten years later he bought his present farm of ten acres, located two miles from the village of Middleburg, on the road to Catskill. Here he has continued his chosen work, from year to year enlarging his operations.

After his parents' death he came into full possession of the old farm of one hundred twenty acres, formerly owned by himself and father together; and since the death of his father he has bought and now owns three adjoining farms, including in all four hundred acres. All this land, then covered by a dense forest, was once the property of his grandfather, David West.

In his five bee yards Mr. West has five hundred swarms of bees, which produce annually from eight to ten tons of honey. This he sells in the leading cities of New York and New England at the highest market price. He has made a special study throughout his life of bees and their habits, and in his efforts to obtain the best results from bee-keeping at the least possible cost he has invented and patented a spiral wire queen-cell protector and a spiral wire queen-cage, which have proved of great value. Although these inventions have been before the public but a little more than seven years, they are in demand throughout the United States, in Canada, in England — in fact, in all parts of the world; and he is carrying on a very substantial business as the sole manufacturer of these articles. For three successive years he was chosen, and paid, to act as judge on the different races of bees and of honey, bee appliances and bee literature, at the New England fairs held at Albany, on which occasions a large variety of apiarian goods was displayed and large premiums awarded. On July 11, 1899, he received the appointment of bee inspector for the State of New York.

He is a Republican and a Prohibitionist in politics and an active member of the Methodist Episcopal church, in which he has been class leader, a teacher, and the superintendent of its Sunday-school.

Mr. West married June 23, 1867, Sarah A. Haskin. She is a daughter of Joshua Haskin and a grand-daughter of Moses and Hanah (Hait) Haskin, natives of Dutchess County. Her grandparents were pioneer settlers of Broome, N. Y. They reared fifteen children, one of whom is yet living, Joshua. The grandmother was a Quaker in her religious belief. Joshua Haskin was engaged in farming in Broome until 1871, when he removed to the town of Maine, Broome County, where he has a fine farm of one hundred acres. Formerly a Democrat in politics, he has been identified with the Republican party since the Rebellion. He has served as Assessor and as Overseer of the Poor. He married Deborah A. Hughson, daughter of Nicholas and Charlotte (Duncan) Hughson, formerly of Broome, but later of Norwich, Chenango County. Mr. and Mrs. Hughson had ten children, of whom four are living, namely: Deborah A., now Mrs. Haskin; Hiram Hughson; Jane, wife of John DeMoney; and Charlotte, wife of Charles M. Markel. Of the seven children born to Joshua Haskin and his wife these five are living: Sarah A., now Mrs. West; Edwin S.; Grosvenor; Alice E., wife of Dr. Dudley; and Hiram A. All except Mrs. West reside in Broome County, and all, with their parents, are members of the Methodist Episcopal church.

Mr. and Mrs. West have eight children; namely, Orman, Ruth A., Edwin H., Elma A., David J., Alice C., Charles D., and Hattie D. The four younger are still in school. Orman M., a graduate of Middleburgh Academy and Union College, was formerly a school teacher, was graduated at the Drew Theological Seminary, and is now preaching in Port Colden, N. J. He married Dora Dorman, and they have one son, Dorman. Ruth married Delos H. Gridley, formerly a teacher, farmer, and bee-keeper, later a student at Drew Theological Seminary, now preaching at Speedsville, N. Y. They have one son, Vernon J. Mrs. Gridley was vice-president of the Women's Christian Temperance Union at Madison, N. J. Edwin H. West married Sophia M. Shafer. He was in his earlier years a farmer, interested in bee culture, also a teacher; and after his graduation from the Middleburg High School he was for a time a clerk in Schenectady, a position which he resigned to become a member of the police force in New York City. Elma A., formerly a teacher in the public schools, is the wife of Elmer B. Wood, of Broome, and has one son, Howard C. Mrs. West is a member of the W. C. T. U.; and she and all of her children are active members of the Methodist Episcopal church and of the Sunday-school, in which all the elder children have been teachers.

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