Nicholas Lansing Zabriskie, or “N.L.,” came to Aurora in 1867 to be with Louise, his new bride and E.B. Morgan’s only daughter. N.L. (1838—1926) would spend the rest of his life in Aurora, raising a family with Louise and helping his new home thrive through innumerable acts and volunteer positions, including 50 years of service as a Wells College Trustee. A history of Cayuga County, published in 1908, eloquently summarizes N.L.’s impact on this tiny, treasured village: “Mr. Zabriskie has never held any public office except that of justice of the peace, but he has become so intimately associated with the best interests of Aurora that the public mind regards him and the village as inseparable. […] Business, education, religion—all find him an earnest and generous patron.”
N.L. and Louise lived with her parents, E.B. and Charlotte, in their home, now known as E.B. Morgan House, one of the Inns of Aurora. It was here that they raised their two sons, Alonzo (b. 1867) and Robert (b. 1872), sheltered in the comfort and safety of Aurora. As the boys grew into young men, the world took them on separate adventures: Alonzo traveled, fishing and hunting within his social circles, while Robert sought an education at Princeton, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in 1895 and an Electrical Engineering Degree in 1897. During their time away from home, both brothers found brides: Robert married Aubin Markham Wells in 1899 and Alonzo married Belle Loader in 1902.