Biography of George Fordon

(I) William, great-grandfather of George Frederick Fordon, was born in England, October, 1957, and spent his life in his native country, engaged in farming. He married, January 28, 1792, Sarah Mary Dunslee, who was born in December, 1770.

(II) George, son of William and Sarah Mary (Dunslee) Fordon, was born near Whitby. Yorkshire, England, April 23, 1803, and died near Geneva, Ontario county, New York, February 12, 1876. Having come to the conclusion that the “New World” offered better chances for advancement than the old, he sailed from England for this country, landing at New York City, June 1, 1831. During the entire year following he traveled through what was at that time the “far west, ” now (1910) comprising the states of Michigan, Indiana and Illinois, in search of a locality suitable for a home for his family, but he decided that that section of the country was still in too wild and unsettled a condition. He returned to the East, and purchased a tract of land of two hundred and twelve acres. near the present town of Geneva, and resided on it until his death. Mr. Fordon, the subject of this sketch, distinctly remembers his grandfather telling of walking, in the summer of 1831, a distance of thirty-five miles along the sandy beach of Lake Michigan, and seeing no white man with the exception of his traveling companion. They stopped that night in the now (1910) great city of Chicago, which was then a mere trading post, and the proprietor of the best and only hotel in the place was a Frenchman, who had married a squaw. George Fordon was the pioneer of under drainage in Ontario county. In place of the clay tiles which were unknown in that vicinity at the time, he constructed wooden sections, and the ditches lined with these wooden tiles or pipes were in good and continuous use for many years. His neighbors, many of whom had considered him a fool for his peculiar methods, became convinced of the utility of his contrivance and followed his lead in the end, when they saw the excellent results that followed. He and his family were members of the Episcopalian church, and his political views were those of the Republican party. He married, November 8, 1822, in England, Hannah Stephenson. Children: William, see forward, Hannah, Frances Emma, Sarah Mary and George Archer.


Surnames:
Fordon,

Topics:
Biography,

Collection:
Milliken, Charles F. The History of Ontario County, New York, and Its People Lewis Historical Publishing Co., New York. 1911.

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