Charles B. Travis and Sylvia (Crosby) Travis

Steuben County, NY

Submitted by PHGS member:  Pam Davis

Charles B. Travis and Syliva (Crosby) Travis

Amasa Travis, the father of the subject of this sketch, was born in Dutchess Co., N.Y., Sept. 29, 1770. He married Dec. 14, 1800. Phoebe Travis, his wife, was also born in Dutchess County, Dec. 25, 1783. Of this union, were born twelve children, three males and nine females, nine of whome lived to maturity. In May, 1801, they moved to Bergen, N.J., staying there four years; thence to Sheshequin, Pa., where they remained one year. At this place Charles B. Travis, their third child, was born, March 22, 1805. From Sheshequin they moved to Howard, in this county, in 1806. Coming through Chimney Narrows, at Corning, they were in great peril, their horses losing their footing in the rapid water, which was several feet in depth on the narrow roadway. Mrs. Travis says "I held my babes, Charles, a year old, and Absalom, three years, and my husband reined the horses safely to land." They were the second family settling in Howard, where they occupied a place which had been in the possession of a Mr. Hovey. He had chopped down about three acres, and had put up a log house, which had only one gable end boarded up; a floor had been laid, except around the fireplace; no ceiling, no doors. Mr. Travis had to return for another load of goods, so they put up a quilt for a door, and rolled a barrel on the bottom of it to keep it secure. Here she remained alone with her babies until the return of her husband, with no neighbors within miles of her. In the night scarce a sound was heard save the shrill piercing cry of the hungry panthers. 

They stayed in this place about one year, and then removed to Howard Flats, where they lived from 1806 to 1818, twelve years. Mrs. Travis was a woman of wonderful genius and physical energy, and literally almost provided for and sustained a large family by her own labor, while her husband was felling the forest-trees and clearing a place for a home. She cut and made a coat worn by Seth Rice, the first Supervisor of the town of Howard. Knowing her superior abilities as a spinner and weaver, Judge Hornell said to her that if she would spin and weave a piece of cloth to compete for a premium at Bath, and it took the premium, he would make her a present. She made the cloth; took the premium at the fair, and the judge made her a present of a two-year-old heifer.

Mrs. Travis still resides on Travis Creek, in Canisteo, with her daughter, in good health, at the advanced age of ninety-five years.

Chas. B. Travis was married Jan. 28, 1834 to Sylvia Crosby, daughter of Richard Crosby and Hannah Baker, sister of Honorable Jeremiah Baker. This marriage was blessed with eight children, --Solomon, Amasa, John C., Wesley, Cynthia M., Eleanor M., Samuel, and Nelson C.

Mrs. Hannah Travis was born April 6, 1811. Mr. and Mrs. Travis settled on Travis Creek, in Canisteo, in an unbroken wilderness, and the flourishing settlement on the creek bearing their name is a result of their hard labor—unintermitting labor—and praiseworthy economy.

Mr. Travis and his sons now own about nine hundred acres in the vicinity of the old homestead. Mr. and Mrs. Travis, in the possession of health, enjoy the fruit of their industry on their well-tilled farm in the pleasant valley. Both have been consistent and active members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, for over fifty years, and their house has ever been the home of the itinerant.

Mr. Travis in early life was a Jackson Democrat, but latterly has been identified with the Republican party.

*The above information was obtained from the History of Steuben County, New York, Clayton (1879).

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Last Update February 15, 2020