Source: The Illustrated History of Montgomery and Fulton Counties, New York; New York, F. W. Beers & Co., 1878; Chapter: Town of Palatine

Place names mentioned: St. Johnsville, Town of Palatine, Palatine Bridge, Sackett's Harbor

John A. Failing was born September 18, 1800, a mile west of the village of St. Johnsville. His father, J. H. Failing, removed with his family to the western border of the village, where he kept a hotel, in which our subject assisted him. The latter in 1814 had entire charge of the house and the farm for two months, while his father was with the garrison at Sackett's Harbor. The house, and even the barns, were at the time filled with soldiers, marines, ship carpenters and teamsters every night. This was the tavern pleasantly remembered by Thurlow Weed. At nineteen young Failing entered the militia, and held successively the offices of corporal, sergeant, ensign, lieutenant and captain, being chosen to the latter post in 1825. He married Nancy Shults March 23, 1823. They have had three daughters and nine sons, of whom one daughter and five sons have died. Four years after his marriage, Mr. Failing moved to a farm of 96 acres, which his father had bought in the town of Palatine. The barn had to be turned partly round to get it out of the highway, and the job required about eighty men an entire afternoon, with the addition of two baskets of rusks and half a barrel of whisky. Additional buildings were put up in 1828, including a cider mill, whose first season's product of fifty barrels was sold for a dollar a barrel. The wheat crops were generally large, and marketed at Troy. Latterly the farm has been chiefly devoted to dairying. Mr. Failing's estate has been enlarged by the purchase at various dates of 320 acres, and a brick house was built on it in 1837. Mr. Failing bought his present residence at Palatine Bridge in 1870. He has served one term as supervisor of the town.

Submitted by Barbara L. Gese. Barb's direct-line surnames from Montgomery County are: CASE, GREEN, HERRICK, JEFFERS, KRING, NEHER/NEAHR, PETTINGELL, SERVISS/SERVOSS, SOUTHWICK, and SPRAGUE. Barb is not related to the Spraker family.

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