The More House came to the Farmers’ Museum from the village of Roxbury in Delaware County, New York. Built in 1818, by Jonas and Deborah More, the house features the popular Federal-style of the era. The More House tells the story of a prosperous family in Central New York from the early to mid 1800’s.
The More Family
Jonas and Deborah More lived in Delaware County their entire lives. Their parents were some of the earliest white settlers in the area. The More farm was primarily a dairy farm, and the family also profited from other business ventures. The family operated the gristmill and sawmills that Deborah had inherited from her family. Jonas was involved in over eighty land deals during his lifetime. Jonas ran several businesses and served in public offices. He was also a high-ranking Freemason.
Jonas and Deborah helped serve their community by establishing the Dutch Reformed Church of Roxbury. In fact, they held some of the earliest services in their barn. The couple had eight children who lived to adulthood and one that died as a child. The children were responsible for helping around the farm.
The New and Growing Rural Middle Class
The changing society of the mid-nineteenth century boosted rural New York into a prosperous area. Ranked among the wealthiest men in Delaware County in 1850, Jonas More exemplified the new and growing class of professional people. People in rural areas helped their growing communities by serving in public office and founding local organizations like churches. Due to improvements in production and transportation, people had access to a wide variety of new fashions, decorative styles, and merchandise.