Benjamin Cobb Homer 1777-1852
Benjamin Cobb Homer was born on June 24, 1777, and began going to sea when he was a mere boy, but was obliged to quit on account of his health; so he went to the western part of the State of New York, to take up farming. There he met and married Anna Warner of Erie, New York. Her great-grandmother was a princess of the Cherokee Indian nation,* so Anna Warner had one-eighth Indian blood, a fact of which father Homer was very proud. They were married and settled on a piece of timber land in Onondaga County, New York where they built their home in the wilderness and began to rear a family.
They cleared the land and used the logs to build a house of several rooms and out-buildings to house their livestock and chickens. The buildings were chinked and daubed with mud and covered with a heavy coating of brush and dirt to keep out the summer heat and the winter cold and provide protection from the wild animals and the Indians. They had plenty of good substantial food, as the woods were full of game, and they soon began to raise vegetables and corn. They kept the ordinary domestic farm animals to supply the family needs, including sufficient sheep to provide wool for Grandmother to spin and weave into homespun for clothing and bedding.
This home in Onondaga County is where Russell King Homer (our "Father Homer") was born. He was naturally very proud of his parents, their characters, and the life they lived. He told us children a great deal about it all, so that we had a pretty complete picture of the home activities and surroundings of the place of his childhood.
Benjamin Cobb Homer was a God-fearing Christian man, although he was never at any time a member of any church. As far back as he knew anything about his forefathers, they had all been Free Masons, so he followed in their footsteps, and became a Free Mason in full fellowship, and continued so all during his life. He studied the doctoring of animals and their ills, and became the only veterinary in that part of the country and he took care of all that type of work for everyone for miles around. His personality and interests were such that he was always on friendly terms with the Indians, which stood them in good stead as there were many Indian troubles in that part of the country at the time.