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Bela Herrick,

for many years a resident of Patriot, was born August 10, 1794, near New Berlin, Chenango Co., N.Y. Lived one year (1803) in Berkshire County, Mass., and in 1809 immigrated with his parents to Maysville, Chautaqua Co., N.Y. Served a short time in the war of 1812. First, in 1813, entered as a substitute in Capt. Silsbee's company, and in 1814 volunteered with Capt. James McMahon, both companies of New York Militia. Was at Fort Erie when it was attacked by the British under Gen. Drummond, and witnessed the explosion of the "powder plot,' where 500 of the enemy were blown to atoms as they were shouting, "No quarters to the d--d Yankees." Was at the sortie shortly after, when the British were driven away. In 1818 he immigrated to Indiana, and settled at Patriot, Switzerland County. Was married, to Alice Wade, daughter of Elisha Wade, one of the proprietors of said town, January 16, 1820, and the same year taught the first school taught in Patriot, at his own house, at $1 per quarter. Was appointed postmaster in 1824, and continued in office until 1852. Built the first hewed log house and first frame house in Patriot. United himself with the "Patriot Universalist Society" at its organization, in 1835; assisted materially in building up the church, of which he is still a member; took an active part in the temperance reform that was being agitated about the year 1840 or 1841; organized a society of Washingtonians; remained and worked with them as long as they could get three members together, and then with nine others applied for a charter, and organized a division of Sons of Temperance, which has had varied experience of ups and downs, but till recently has had an existence. He always took a deep interest in political affairs, but never sought for or received any office higher than justice of the peace or county commissioner. His political creed was Republican.