His wife had died before he started for his new home. She had experienced the horrors of Indian warfare during the Revolutionary struggle; at one time she was driven from her home by the savages and slept during the severe blast of a wintry night with her two sons in a hole she had dug under the side of a great log in the forest. These two sons were John, the father of the subject of this sketch, and Azor, both of whom came with their father to this place and settled on the farm now owned in part by R. B. Smith.
General Azor Cole was a remarkably well preserved man, straight as a reed, and lived to be ninety-nine years and nine months old. He was the first man, in this section at least, to discover the process of making quicklime. The opportunity was afforded him by an accident. They had fallen some heavy timber into a small pond and upon its being "snaked" out to be burned, drew forth upon it some of the marl which had been deposited at the bottom of the pond. When the timber was burned it was noticed by him that the marl was changed to quicklime, and thereafter a kiln was built and the business followed some time by Mr. Cole and his sons.
John Cole, son of Azor, married for his first wife Joanna Edgecomb, and for his second wife Betsy McNish. They reared a large family of children, six of whom are still living, two only---Harrison De Loss and A. Leroy---residing in the county.
John Cole was in the War of 1812, himself and his horses having been impressed into the service for the transportation of army supplies. He was a mason by trade and lived in South Cortland until he went to Pennsylvania, where he died in 1850 at the age of eighty-eight years.
Azor Leroy Cole was born in South Cortland Aug. 13th, 1828. Here he spent his early life, with limited school advantages, and working most of the time for Swain & Crandall, in the manufacture of lime. In 1855 he worked one year at Pokeville for Palmer & Gleason in a door and sash factory. He then came to Cortland village and for three years was baggageman at the Syracuse & Binghamton railroad station. During the following year he was clerk for Stephen D. Freer in the hardware stoor, at the close of which term his partnership was formed with G. N. Copeland and James A. Schermerhorn under the firm name of Copeland & Co.; this firm carried on the grocery trade successfully for six years. Mr. Cole then removed to his present residence (1866) and has since that time managed the large real estate interests of William R. Randall.
Mr. Cole was elected trustee of the village in 1861, which office he has held three terms. He is a trustee of the Savings Bank, Cortland, and is also one of the trustees of the Cortland Rural Cemetery; he is president of the Cortland County Bible Society. He became a member of the M. E. Church in 1854 and has been a trustee and class-leader ever since. He has also filled the position of usher for twenty-eight years and has been superintendent of the Sabbath-school for many years. His work in the church has been of a positive and important character, especially in relation to the Sabbath-schools; and his labors have also been effective in building up country Sabbath schools and in reclaiming the misguided and ill-spent time of young men. His wife is also an earnest Christian worker and a woman of most estimable qualities, whose acquaintanceship and esteem are highly prized by all who know her. Her name was Pamelia C. Richardson, daughter of James Richardson, who came from Broome county and entered the employ of Mr. Randall, under whose tuition Mrs. Cole was reared. Mr. and Mrs. Cole were married March 8th, 1854, and have two children---George L., deceased, and William Randall Cole, a promising lad of fifteen years.
DR. CALEB GREEN was born in La Fayette, Onondaga county, N. Y., November 14th, 1819. On the paternal side he was of English extraction; on the maternal, Scotch. He is of patriotic blood, his grandfathers having both fought in the War of the Revolution,---one of them beginning with the battle of Bunker Hill and the siege of Boston, was in the battles of Bennington, Saratoga, White Plains, and other engagements of that historic struggle. His father was a soldier of the war of 1812.
From a volume published in Philadelphia in 1877, entitled The Physicians and Surgeons of the United States, we gather some of the following facts in Dr. Green's history: Being the son of a farmer, he had the usual experiences of a farmer's boy---hard work and a plenty of it, and a training in the habits of frugality and rigid economy.
His early education was obtained in the "freeman's college"---the common school. He also attended the La Fayette High School, and afterwards the old Cortland Academy in its palmy days, under the management of that prince of educators, the late Dr. Samuel B. Woolworth.
In the winter of 1840-41, while teaching a select school in his native village, he commenced the study of medicine, which he afterwards pursued in the office and under the instruction of Dr. Frank H. Hamilton, at that time Professor of Surgery in Geneva Medical College. He attended three courses of lectures in that college, acting, a portion of the time, as prosector to the professor of surgery. He graduated, receiving his degree of Doctor of Medicine, January 23rd, 1844.
In March, 1844, he entered on the practice of his profession in Homer, where he has since remained.
He took an active part in the organization of the Medical Association of Southern Central New York in 1847, and issued the circular as chairman of the committee appointed by the County Medical Society to call a convention for the purpose of such organization. From 1849 to 1855 he was its Recording Secretary, and edited its Transactions. In 1848, at the request of the president of the association, he read a report on Vital Statistics, with special reference to the climatic and hygienic conditions of the valley of the Tioughnioga. In 1849, as chairman of the committee appointed to report on "The qualifications requisite for commencing the study of medicine," he presented one of the earliest essays published in this country on a subject which was then beginning to interest and stimulate the medical profession. This paper was published in the Transactions and reviewed with commendations, in some of the journals.
As an undergraduate, in 1843, he had published in the Boston Medical and Surgical Journal an essay on "Epidemic Influenzas, with special reference to the Epidemic of 1843," which he had clinically studied.
In the same journal, in 1845, he published his thesis "On the Functions of the Oblique Muscles of the Eye," based on original investigations.
He became a member of the Cortland County Medical Society in 1845, and was elected its president in 1852. The subject of his annual address in 1853 was "The Physician a Naturalist," and by vote of the society a copy of the address was communicated to the State Medical Society, and by it published in its Transactions for 1853. In 1854 he was elected delegate to the State Medical Society for four years, and in 1858 was elected a permanent member of that society. In 1862 he was again elected president of the County Medical Society. He became a member of the American Medical Association in 1853. In 1860, 1870 and 1880 he was a delegate from the New York State Medical Society to the National Convention for Revising the United States Pharmacopia---a convention which meets decennially in Washington, D. C. In 1881-82 he was president of the Central New York Medical Association. At the organization of the New York State Medical Association, in February, 1884, he was elected its Recording Secretary. In 1870, on the retirement of the late venerable Dr. George W. Bradford as Secretary of the County Medical Society, an office in which he had most efficiently served the society for forty-five years consecutively, Dr. Green was chosen as his successor, a position which he has held for the last fourteen years.
In 1855 he was appointed to the professorship of Materia Medica and General Pathology in Geneva Medical College. In 1858 there was a re-classification of the departments in the college, and he was appointed to the chair of Physiology and Pathology. In March, 1862, he resigned this professorship, but was afterward offered the chair of Obstetrics, but declined. In 1872, on the organization of the medical department of Syracuse University, he was elected to the chair of Obstetrics and Diseases of Women and Children, but did not accept it, as he preferred to devote himself entirely to the practice of his profession.
Some years ago Madison University conferred on him the honorary degree of Master of Arts.
Dr. Green has devoted some attention to various departments of natural science, as leisure has permitted, never allowing the fascinations of their pursuit to encroach on his strictly professional duties. In this matter he has always sacrificed his tastes and inclinations to the obligations of his calling, which have daily pressed upon him. Hence he has never taken time for original investigations. He has, however, kept his eyes attentively open to the book of nature, wherever its pages have presented themselves, and whatever accumulations, either in the literature or the field work of natural history, have been acquired, are the result of patient industry during the few leisure moments which have occasionally come to him.
Many years ago he was elected an honorary member of the Buffalo Natural History Society. In 1879 he became a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and in 1882 he was elected a member of the American Society of Microscopists. He is also a member of the Central New York Microscopical Club.
For about twenty years he has been much of the time connected with the school boards, ---first as a trustee of Cortland Academy, and for the last few years as a member of the board of education of the Homer Academy and Union School.
In addition to an ample library, rich not only in the old medical classics, for which he has a penchant, but also in the latest modern treatises, with transactions of medical societies, and other serials, he provides his office with several of the leading medical and scientific journals, thus keeping himself posted in whatever is new of practical interest in his profession as well as in general science.
On the 8th of September, 1845, Dr. Green was married to Miss Roxanna R. Parsons, of Northampton, Mass., for several years a teacher under Mary Lyon in Mt. Holyoke Female Seminary. They have had three children. The first dying in infancy, the youngest, Frederick Hyde Green, dying at the age of five years and six months. The second son, Dr. Frank Hamilton Green, graduated at the College of Medicine of Syracuse University in June, 1882.
Dr. Green, after forty years of accumulated experience and hard work, is still, day and night pursuing the active duties of his profession.
MAJ.-GEN. SAMUEL G. HATHEWAY.1 The death of one of the founders of our county, who, for more than half a century, took a leading part in its affairs---of a man whose life was a career of vicissitude, action and success---calls for something more than the usual brief obituary. It is due to the deceased, and furnishes a useful lesson to the living.
Samuel Gilbert Hatheway, was born in Freetown, Bristol Co., Massachusetts, in 1780. His paternal ancestors emigrated from Devonshire, England. Their descendants were active, and frequently successful business men, occupying prominent places in the community. His father and grandfather were substantial farmers. His grandmother, in the paternal line, was a descendant of Sir Humphrey Gilbert, the distinguished maritime explorer, and of William Bradford, second governor of Plymouth Colony. His mother was descended from the same families, and she counted among her ancestors John Alden, of Plymouth, who went a wooing for Miles Standish so successfully---for himself. 2
The father of Samuel Gilbert Hatheway died near the time of his birth, leaving him to the care of his paternal grandfather. His grandmother and mother taught him in his infancy, and at four years old he could read the Bible. Both of these relatives were superior women. The dignity, benevolence and force of character possessed by his grandmother, are yet remembered in neighborhood tradition; and were constantly reverted to by him to the end of his life. When old enough the boy was sent to school. He was an eager and ambitious scholar and was oftenest of any at the head of his class. He was a great favorite with his uncles, one of them often predicting, in a phrase of that day, that "he would cut a wide breadth in the world." These were happy days, but a sad change was approaching. The uncle, Samuel Gilbert, who had charged himself with the future care of the young orphan, died. The Gilberts had been mostly loyalists when the American Colonies shook off their allegiance to the Crown; their estates had been confiscated; and they had retired to New Brunswick, where they received a grant of land from the British government. His uncles, on the father's side, were in a situation where they might have extended a helping hand to him, but according to the ideas of those stern puritan times, they felt that it was every one's duty to earn his own bread by the sweat of his brow. At nine years old he left his grandfather's house and became entirely dependent upon his own exertions.
Of the period between this and his majority, we have few facts to record. He lived with various persons, toiling hard, going to school winters, studying, and devouring every book he could borrow, by the light of kitchen fires, when the day's work was over. His character was too robust to sink under the change which had taken place in his circumstances and prospects; he uttered no complaints and resolutely performed his duties---but he deeply felt the loneliness of his situation, and was wholly unreconciled to his narrow and hopeless mode of life. As he approached manhood he tried different ways of bettering his condition, and finally, influenced by the example of an older brother, who had speedily risen to the command of a vessel, went to sea. But a single voyage to the West Indies disgusted him with his sea-faring life.
Having now by careful saving laid up a small store of money, he resolved to join the tide of emigration which was then pouring from New England into the western wilderness. Standing on the hill that looks down on the village of Assonet, in his native town, he said, "I shall probably never see this place again; the wide world is before me and I will be a man in it." He then walked to Windsor, took leave of his mother and sister, purchased him a stout roadster, and set out.
Toil had knit and privation had hardened his sinewy frame until it was almost insensible to fatigue, hunger and exposure. His morals were pure, his will firm, his self reliance great, and the key note of his life had been sounded on the hill of Assonet. Thus he entered upon manhood.
It was in 1803 that he turned his horse's head westward, and after some day's riding through the forests of Central New York, he reached Chenango county, where he settled. Two years after he removed to Cincinnatus, in Onondaga county. In 1808 Cortland county was organized and embraced that town. He first purchased three hundred acres of land, thus incurring what was then regarded as a great load of debt. There was a small new clearing on the place and a log house. Otherwise he was in the midst of the primeval forest---his nearest neighbor being some miles distant. As soon as he could get together a stock of provisions, he sent for his mother and two orphan nieces---daughters of his only sister---and they lived with him until the nieces married, and the mother died. She survived until 1826.
His early experiences in the wilderness were those of all our pioneers. It required a sharp struggle to obtain their plain food and raiment. The commonest comforts of life were scanty, and luxuries undreampt of. But he was now eating the blessed bread of independence and hope, and he toiled on stoutly and cheerfully, felling the forest and enlarging his cultivated fields. Every settler was compelled to place his domestic animals in high pens at night, to protect them from the wolves. The Indians were sometimes dangerous. Every man slept with gun and axe within the reach of his hand. He never knew what it was to fear. On one occasion an accident had exposed his cattle to the wolves. Aroused at midnight by the near yells of a large pack, he looked out and saw what had occurred. The wolves were just seizing his stock. Bidding two hired men who were sleeping in the house to follow, he threw himself among them armed only with a club. The men dared not leave the house. He, therefore, fought on alone, holding the wild beasts at bay until his animals were secured.
It was his custom to labor throughout the entire day, and then if he had business with others to transact, to transact it at night. He thus often walked miles---barefoot to save his shoes---through the forest, dimly lit by the moon, wolves and panthers uttering their cries around him. His industry and frugality were equaled by his judgment in the farming and other business of border life, and thus his plans prospered and his property accumulated.
In 1808 he married Miss Sally Emerson, of Solon, a woman well fitted by her energy and providence to advance the interests of such a husband---but beautiful, kindly, and possessing a charity to this day warmly remembered by her old townsmen. The wife of a well known gentleman who was present at her funeral says: "All the people of the surrounding country were assembled. The funeral services were long delayed. The multitude talked of nothing else but the deceased. The women gathered together in groups. Many of them had experienced the sharp privations of pioneer life. Each had a deed of mercy to herself or to some of her household to proclaim. Who, they asked each other, will now take care of the poor and the sick? They would then gaze at the corpse and break out into lamentations." She died in 1832.
He received the commission of Justice of the Peace, from the Council of Appointment, in 1810, and continued to hold the office by appointment or election for no less than forty-eight consecutive years, and until he declined to hold it any longer. The explanation of so unusual a fact may be found in the declaration made to us by a gentleman who was long first judge of this county, and who, in early life, often conducted suits before him, then a political opponent. He affirms that he was as independent and impartial a magistrate, and decidedly the ablest one in this capacity, he ever knew; that he at once saw through the facts and law of the case, and that no ability or ingenuity on the part of lawyers could in the least degree mislead or swerve him. And our informant adds, that he never in a single instance heard his fairness called in question. There was no other town office, to which a justice of the peace was eligible, which he did not repeatedly hold, and in all he gave like satisfaction.
He represented Cortland county in the legislature in 1814 and 1818. In the last named year he procured a division of the town of Cincinnatus, and the part of it in which he resided fell within the limits of Freetown---named after his native town. He removed to Solon in 1819 where he continued for the remainder of his life. He was elected to the State Senate in 1822, to Congress in 1832, and was chosen a Presidential Elector in 1852.
In 1848 he married Miss Catharine Saxton, of Groton, New York, and this excellent and accomplished lady still survives.
He was fond of military affairs, and rose through the various grades of office until he was commissioned a Major-General in 1823. In this capacity he possessed largely the confidence of the different State executives and was often employed by them in making those reorganizations and other arrangements which became necessary to carry out the various military laws enacted during his long term of command.
But it was in politics that he most delighted. He studied the principles of our government and the history of parties from his childhood. His family were Federalists, but before he became a voter his views became fixed on the other side. He prided himself on casting his first vote for Jefferson. He put on his armor in that terrible war of passion, unequaled in intensity and bitterness in our country, and he never took it off.
He possessed the personal traits of leadership. He was as firm as the living rock, and possessed a tough, active persistency of purpose which never slumbered and never rested. Years might roll away---defeats might come---but not even the sharp edge of the resolve was blunted, or the tireless pursuit for a moment slackened. Few could match him in solid argument---we never saw him excelled in the rough and tumble encounter with opponents on election day. His facts, his logic, and his wit were equally ready. The latter was sometimes rough enough, but it was always scorching. He often turned the flank of a prosy debater by a sudden sarcasm, which stung like a barbed arrow, while the surrounding crown laughed down his discomfited adversary.
The years were but one long election campaign to him. If victorious he immediately commenced organizing to retain victory. If beaten, the same hour saw him up again, covering the retreat, rallying the broken squadrons, and preparing by everything which judgment could devise or ingenuity compass to win victory the next time. His townsmen were devoted to him, and how often their compact phalanx changed the fortunes of the day! Our older citizens well remember the common saying on an election evening, when reports came in from one town after another of Anti-Democratic victories: "Wait till you hear from Solon!" About midnight would be heard the tramp of horses---the cry, "Solon is coming," the proclamation of its vote in the deep bass notes of "the general"---and the thundering shouts of the Democrats over a victory "snatched from the fire."
Gen. Hatheway had higher traits of leadership. He was an acute judge of men, and towards those against whom his prejudices were not excited, a sure one. He was too much disposed, like all men of the same class of character, to underrate opponents and especially so if their talents were mixed with certain classes of foibles, such, for example, as assumption in the young, vanity in the old, pompousness or foppery in any one. These were gall and wormwood to tastes based on the old Puritan models of manners, and obscured from his ken the better qualities which sometimes lay below. But among friends he accurately estimated every one's capacities and qualities, and knew just when and how far he could be trusted. This was well known to Democratic executives and the great party leaders. He almost controlled the early executive appointments in his district, and was rarely voted down in the County, Senatorial and Congressional Conventions which he so constantly attended. Many prominent men owed their start in political life to him. Judge Nelson, of the United States Supreme Court, who commenced his career as a lawyer in this county, told a member of the Onondaga bar that "whatever he had gained, he owed the founding of his fortunes to General Hatheway." Others but a little less prominent could have truthfully said the same.
But it was in the great councils of his party that he most markedly exhibited the vigor of his mind and character. His creed was the creed of Jefferson and the early Democratic fathers, pure and simple. No man had weighed every word, every letter, the whole spirit and intent of it, or understood every iota of it, better than he: and it sufficed him. He loved no new planks in the platform---no hewing over or refitting of old ones. When the times brought up new questions and the necessity of new party issues, few were so capable as he to decide what course best conformed to old principles and established precedents; and to do this as strictly as possible was the only political expediency he knew. He had not a particle of the trimmer or time server in his composition. No temporary popularities or unpopularities daunted, or even influenced him. The rage of popular excitement fell on him like spray on the rock. If adverse, it only strung to greater tension his nerves of steel. In this regard, he was one of those who, in bloody epochs, would have been a hero or a martyr.
He loved the stern joy of victory---he loved personal success---but he would have marched to the scaffold or stake, rather than buy preferment by abandoning his cause or his friends. His contempt for temporary popular impulses sprung from no contempt for the people. He was a Democrat in the essence as well as the name. It is rather because he deeply trusted the people and felt unshaken faith that when they were wrong, the "sober second thought" would bring them right.
It was this high adherence to principle, this sharp discrimination in respect both to principles and the appropriate leaders and subordinate agents to carry them out---this sure judgment in planning---this nerve and persistency in executing---which gave him so much weight in those high secret councils of party to which but the few are admitted. He possessed the entire confidence of the patriotic Daniel D. Tompkins, and of every succeeding executive of the strict party faith. We speak from our own personal knowledge when we say that such statesmen as Van Buren, Wright, Marcy, Nelson, Dix, Flagg and others of the like calibre, considered him one of the soundest and safest of party advisers. He was one of the marked favorites of President Jackson, when in Congress.
And it was the same qualities which gave him a full share of influence in the deliberative bodies, legislative and political, of which he was a member. He possessed no forensic powers. Keen, ready and pungent as he was in private discourse, his voice was rarely heard in legislative bodies, never in a set speech. He had not been trained to it, and he was both too modest and too proud to undertake to do what he could not do well. He possessed no ingratiating arts in such places. His deportment was grave and informal, and to a stranger cold, if not stern. His face bore the same expression. He did not thaw readily into geniality. He gave his confidence slowly, and until he gave it, was reserved in his bearing and reticent in the expression of his opinions. He possessed no pliancy of mind or manners. He inherited all over the stiff, sturdy, unchanging, uncourtierlike features of the stock from which he sprung.
He was fair and bold in his politics. He never shrunk from the issue, and the whole issue. He fearlessly avowed and defended every plank in the adopted platform, whether it suited or did not suit his hearer. His convictions were strong and his prejudices were equally strong. He was a thorough friend and an uncompromising opponent. He struck slashing blows and always waged the war to the end; but he always struck face to face, and never did in the dark what he was unwilling to avow in the broad light off day. He was upright and unvenal. Who, in the wildest rage of parties, ever uttered the suspicion that he was guilty of that political and official corruption, which now flows putrid, like a river of death, through our land? Our old party giants fought with gloves off. They exhibited little delicacy or magnanimity towards opponents. They often mixed personal with political animosities; but they did not play the hypocrite and lie to each other. They did not steal, even from the public. They did not sell their votes or official influence for bribes, after the mode of these milder and more cultivated days.
We are sure we speak from no partial stand point when we pronounce General Hatheway a man of marked and powerful abilities. It was not always our fortune to agree with him. We have felt the biting edge of his hostile blade. But we have ever believed that this county or region never produced or nurtured a man his superior in mental capacity, scarcely an equal in natural parts. We believe that, with professional education, he could have reached high distinction in any intellectual calling. We believe that weaker men have been nursed by training, by circumstance, and by opportunity into renowned lawyers, eminent statesmen, and great men in other pursuits.
But it would be conveying an entirely erroneous impression to speak to him as an uneducated man in the true sense of the word. His school attainments were comparatively nothing, and he never reached anything like the full and rounded literary culture which he prized in others and was so anxious to bestow on his children. But he was a self-educator from his boyhood to the last hour of his life. He not only read but devoured all useful books. He carefully mastered every idea and every detail---appropriated everything valuable---and then laid it away for future use in a memory of almost marvelous retentiveness. Nor was it rendered practically useless by being piled away in confusion or disconnected scraps, after the fashion of those who read without system and merely from curiosity. He digested and classified all he read by careful reflection; and everything bearing on the same point was placed in the same pigeon hole of memory so that it could be rendered instantly available. Thus he studied the Bible, in which he was so familiar that not a word of it could be misquoted or transposed without his instant detection. Thus he studied the rich pages of Grecian, Roman, English and American history. Thus he studied a great variety of publications on numerous and especially on utilitarian subjects. He had no taste for light reading. It was like offering child's posset and confectionery to a hungry giant.
He was better educated still. What is education but, as the word implies, a drawing forth---a development? His powers were all drawn forth, all exercised and matured in the school of action and events. His whole life was action, struggle, contest---in scenes which train every thew and sinew of the understanding and judgment. Of the two, such an education is vastly more thorough and effective that a mere scholastic one. The former always strengthens, the latter sometimes emasculates. How few of our sturdy, unlettered pioneers who were men of large natural capacity, have left sons, though carefully educated in schools, entirely fill their fathers' places!
General Hatheway, as we have already said, well knew his powers. He possessed perfect self-reliance in all matters on which he possessed sufficient knowledge to feel competent to decide and act. Hence he adhered to his views with tenacity. The celebrated Joshua A. Spencer was employed in an important law suit for him. They differed as to the theory on which it should be conducted by the former. Neither could convince the other. Mr. Spencer was discharged and the event justified his client's sagacity. Such anecdotes might be multiplied.
As a business man he was eminently successful and accumulated a large property. This was accomplished by large and judicious forecast, by making investments with a correct estimate of the present and future value and availability of property, rather than by extra painstaking, or by commercial exactitude. He was not a speculator, but like all men of English blood, loved to accumulate land, which rose greatly in value on his hands. At the time of his death his estate consisted of several thousand acres.
He was an extremely lenient creditor, never sueing, or taking any advantage of a failure to meet engagements with him, provided no evasion or dishonesty was attempted. A legal gentleman of this county recently remarked to us that he foreclosed fewer mortgages than any man he ever knew who held so many. He was a kind neighbor, an indulgent landlord and a peace making magistrate. He terminated numberless law suits brought before him by his townsmen, by pointing out to them the proper terms of an amicable settlement. But strictly honest himself he required honesty in others. Those who attempted to defraud him received no indulgence. And those who committed what he regarded as an aggression of any kind on him, opened a score which was never closed until the reparation was extorted or the penalty inflicted.
We have painted, so far, a character which all must respect, but which few, perhaps, would love. But he was loved---intensely loved by his family and connections. Few men had more warm personal friends, and these embraced many of the first men among his contemporaries in our county. Judges Nelson, Dayton, Woods, Gray and others of like mark, were not only attached to him while their interests were common and when he could so powerfully serve them, but we are not obliged to speak from hearsay, when we aver that they carried that attachment to other scenes of action and retained it to the end of life. So it was among many of our old leading citizens, who have died in this county, or who still remain among us.
In truth, there was an inner portion of his character which we have scarcely touched upon. His early struggle with disappointment and want chilled his exterior and perhaps circumscribed the range of his personal sympathies. But the pent up fire only burned the more intensely within its narrower limits. Such friends as we have named, if threatened with danger in some unexpected turn of the election campaign, had only to call him for succor. It mattered not whether the messenger came at midnight, or in tempest; the chief was at once in the saddle, his pennon displayed, and he and his retainers spurring to the rescue. Neither friends nor foes will forget the tremendous vigor of his onslaught on such occasions. And he stood by his friends as staunchly in private transactions as in public life.
His domestic affections glowed like molten lava. Who that witnessed them has forgotten the scenes of voiceless, tearless, terrific agony, impressed for years in awful characters on his face, when the partner of his youth, and when his sons, the gifted Samuel, John, the favorite of the army, George, the gentle and well beloved, and his daughter, the brilliant and accomplished Mrs. Boyd, preceded him to the tomb. Never was there a kinder husband or more loving and indulgent parent. And how tenderly he gathered under his protecting wing his grandchildren, and other relatives. He seemed to seek compensation for the deprivations of his own youth in leaving nothing lacking to make that of his descendants happy. Every avenue to education and enjoyment was opened to them. He gratified all their wants. He conversed and associated with them as equals, and joined in their amusements. He was ever ready to mount his horse and accompany the young ladies on a ride. He kept them amused and delighted by his wit and by his quaint raillery. Oftentimes he would, with serious face, affect to ridicule their fashionable apparel, their taste for gathering flowers, their going to look at some favorite scenery, or the like,---but they could detect the repressed smile which showed that he was only teasing them, and they well knew who so carefully provided the apparel, who called their attention to the flower when they overlooked it, and who, if they thought of turning back, always proposed to ride a mile further to get the best view.
There was indeed an aesthetic corner in his practical and utilitarian mind. He loved good equipage---he loved pleasant and tasty surroundings---he loved trees and flowers, and the song of birds---he loved striking scenery. He was not a careful farmer, but he dearly loved the fields. He often spent hours riding over them with his wife or family, with no other object but the satisfaction of seeing them and enjoying the sunlight and air. These tastes increased strongly in his later years, for he then had time for them and companions who, without the neglect of duty, could participate in his enjoyments.
The domestic features of the portrait would be incomplete if we omitted to speak of his hospitality. This was unbounded. He delighted to be surrounded by company of all ages and sexes. He was markedly attentive to his guests. His table was liberal and elegant. Unless well acquainted, his manners were at first formal; but he soon relaxed, and his quaintly told anecdotes and keen repartees "set the table on a roar." The guests were importuned to remain. Carriages and saddle horses were ready for each. Their stay was made a scene of festivity and amusement. We well remember how Nelson and the other friends we have mentioned loved to gather round his table of an afternoon and evening, and then gallop home in the "small hours."
The general had one propensity in his younger days which caused many a hearty laugh in this county. As we have said, he was full of humor. He loved teasing and joking, and could not sometimes resist the temptation of playing a practical joke. These were never very serious in their consequences, but were wonderfully mirth provoking to all but the subjects of them. We never heard of his thus victimizing any one without provocation; but when the provocation was offered, and there was no other appropriate way to pay the score, woe to the opener of the account! If we had space and skill in recounting such matters, we should like to place some of these amusing incidents on record; but we have neither.
Age mellowed the good fruit. Old feuds were gradually forgotten---old prejudices softened. The circle of his sympathies expanded. He continued to the last to read and to transact his accustomed business. He grappled with all the new questions of the day with keen interest. We saw him at eighty years old in a county convention, leading his side with all his old vigor. He was warmly urged the same year, by leading friends of one of the presidential candidates, to attend the National Democratic Convention at Charleston.
His faculties, and his force and individuality of character, remained unimpaired until death. He continued to ride daily in the saddle until the snow storms of last winter. He then took a cold and suffered somewhat from indisposition---the first illness of his life---but his constitution, naturally powerful and unimpaired by excesses of any kind, rallied and he felt himself nearly well. He resumed his reading and his rides. When the weather permitted, he busied himself superintending the arrangements of his garden. A week before his death he drove a number of miles with his wife, and spoke with great pleasure of preparations he had made for their thus traveling together the coming summer. Two days afterwards he rode with her to McGrawville, and on his return took his favorite route through his meadows. The day before his death he was well as usual, and very cheerful except when he called the attention of his family to the fact that it was the anniversary of the day on which his wife was to have been buried. (His own death marked the anniversary of her burial). He looked out often during the day on the cold storm of rain and snow then falling, pitying the new born lambs, and speaking of the backwardness of the season. In the evening he took his tea as usual, and talked over business matters with his accustomed interest, with his son. He seemed in an uncommon flow of spirits, spoke much of his old New England home, and told many pleasant anecdotes of his grandmother Hatheway, and of others he had known in his youth, thus prolonging his ordinary hour of retiring. He awoke the next morning in the same cheerful mood, listening for awhile, as was his wont, to the matin songs of the birds, interchanged many cheerful remarks with his wife, and left the room with a pleasantry on his lips. He met in the dining-room a bright, sensible girl of thirteen, who belonged to the family. He stepped to the window and exclaimed: "What a pleasant morning---I am so glad the storm is over." He then, as he so often loved to do, commenced jesting and laughing with the little girl. She observed that he was paler that usual; left the room a moment, and on her return found him sitting by the stove, his head slightly leaning on one side, and gazing, she thought, into the fire. But there was something strange in his look, and she immediately gave the alarm. His wife was at his side in an instant, and his family and a physician (Dr. Meacham), sleeping in the house, a moment after. The latter saw at a glance that a great change had taken place---that the soul had departed to God who gave it. An expression of perfect placidity rested on the face of the corpse. Death had come and left no trace of pain. One of his family physicians, Dr. Hyde, informs us that he died without any disease---that the physical machine stopped because it was worn out. This seems to us the most natural and happiest form of death. The event took place at 6 o'clock A. M., on the 2d of May, 1867, in the eighty-seventh year of his age.
On the 7th, in the presence of a number of old friends, the fathers of the county, of various distinguished gentlemen from abroad, who attended in despite of the badness of the weather, and of crowds of his sorrowing townsmen, the solemn burial service of the Episcopal church was read by the Rev. Mr. Meacham, and followed by some impressive remarks by the same gentleman. The remains were then borne from the home he had so loved, to the beautiful family burial place, "The Cedars," and placed as he had requested, "between the wife of his youth and his first born son."
He left a son, Colonel Calvin L. Hatheway, and three daughters, Sarah, the wife of Dr. Whitney, of Buffalo; Livinia and Elizabeth; also, three granddaughters, Julia, Helen, and Caroline Boyd, daughters of Gen. Boyd, of Wisconsin.
The effect of Gen. Hatheway's death throughout the county was striking. His positive and unyielding character, his partisan blows, and his great success had of course engendered enmities. These were dying away, but some of the old scars still smarted. When the stately old oak suddenly fell, the natural sense of justice in every man's heart vindicated itself. Every old prejudice was buried in his grave. Every one admitted the uprightness and massiveness of his character. Every one felt that one of the strongest, bravest and truest of the old fashioned stock of men had passed away.
DR. FREDERICK HYDE. The ancestors of Frederick Hyde were among the first settlers of Norwich, Conn. (in 1660), Elizabeth Hyde being the first white child born there. His grandfather, Gen. Caleb Hyde, settled in Lenox, Mass.; here, in 1774, his name appears, with that of his brother Moses, appended to a petition from that town against British aggression. An important part was borne by several of the family in the Revolutionary War, Major Elijah Hyde being a cavalry officer and a confidential friend of Gov. Trumbull; also Capt. Eliphalet Hyde saw service. Ebenezer died on board the Jersey prison ship. Gen. Hyde was sheriff for some time of Berkshire county, Mass. About 1790 he removed to Lisle, Broome county, N. Y. He was major-general of the State militia, elected a Senator from the western district of New York in 1803 and in 1804 was chosen by the Assembly as one of the council of appointment. His wife was Elizabeth Sacket, daughter of Captain Sacket, a physician of Oblong, N. Y.---a woman of rare excellence, many traditions existing of her ability to meet the emergencies of the times; to train a large family; to convey by her tact news of the enemy's plans to our army; to help her husband exercise a graceful and generous hospitality. Once several officers of distinction called to pay their respects to the general when he was absent. She killed and dressed the porker in the pen and when he returned he found his guests merry over a bounteous table, charmed with their hostess, whose fluent conversation enlivened a feast fit to set before a king. If this woman had any faults time has obliterated them from the record.
Dr. Hyde's father, Ebby, was the thirteenth child and lived at Whitney's Point, where he married Elizabeth Osborn, daughter of Deacon Osborn, and kept a country store. The pioneers usually sent their children back to Lenox Academy for their instruction and these, in turn, taught the growing children at home. Some progress must have been made in education, for Frederick, just previous to his fifteenth birthday, started one cold winter's day on foot thirteen miles to Freetown, Cortland county, to teach a district school, and the chilling remembrances of those months were enough to last a lifetime. After this the rule seemed to be, teach winters, attend school summers, until teaching took all the time; but then he usually had some enterprise of study on hand, till we find him in the family of Dr. Hiram Moe, of Lansing, where he began the reading of medicine, afterward pursued under Dr. Horace Bronson, of Virgil, in 1833. Previous to this his father had removed to this town. While a student, having attended one course of lectures at Fairfield, N. Y., he joined the Cortland County Medical Society, though he did not take his degree of M. D. until 1836. Soon after this he came to Cortland, N. Y., to live, becoming a partner of Dr. Miles Goodyear, whose daughter, Elvira, he married January 24th, 1838.
He has two children living in Cortland, Augusta Hyde, and Miles G. Hyde, who graduated in 1865 at Yale College, and in 1868 at Geneva Medical College, and has since practiced his profession here, at one time taking part in the teaching at the Syracuse Medical College, and often presenting papers of interest to the County Medical Society.
The details of a busy life, spent wholly for half a century in his profession, though full of startling event to himself and persons concerned, could have little general interest to the community. In 1841 he first attended the New York State Medical Society and read a paper on fever. A circular issued in 1853 shows that at that time he had a private anatomical school at Cortland. This lasted three or four years. Some of the sessions were held in the upper story of the old Eagle store.
In 1854 Dr. Hyde was appointed professor of obstetrics and diseases of women in Geneva Medical College. In 1855 he was transferred to the chair of surgery in the same institution, and occupied that position until the closing of the college, and the organization of the medical department of Syracuse University in 1872, when he became a professor of surgery in the faculty of that school. He is a member of the Southern Central Medical Association of New York, and has been its president. He is a permanent member of the New York State Society and in 1865 was president of that body. In 1868 he was a delegate from this society to the State Medical Society of New Jersey. He was one of the original members of the American Medical Association, and is a permanent member of that organization. In 1884 he was one of the founders of the New York Medical Association, a voluntary association which promises well for the future of the profession. In 1876 he was a delegate to the International Medical Congress held at Philadelphia in connection with the centennial exhibition, and was a delegate to the British Medical Association held at Belfast, to which place he was elected in May, 1884, from the American Medical Association.
In Dr. Hyde's long and successful professional career, extending now over a period of more than forty-eight years, he has contributed many and valuable articles to medical literature, and has treated a large number of remarkable cases in general practice, and has likewise performed many of its most difficult operations in surgery.
In 1883 Dr. Hyde was appointed by Governor Cleveland, to be a trustee of the Asylum for Idiots at Syracuse, which office he holds at the present time. He was elected and has served as president of the Cortland Savings Bank since 1876. Dr. Hyde has been very active in promoting the welfare of public education. He was president of the board of trustees of Cortlandville Academy for eighteen of the twenty-five years of its existence, and has been a member of the local board of the Cortland Normal School since it was organized in 1869, and president of that body since the death of Hon. Henry S. Randall in 1876; and it was during his administration that the State superintendent was foiled in his attempt to wrest the Normal School from the concurrent authority of the board, although the superintendent carried the controversy into the Supreme Court. While the first two decisions were against the board, the Court of Appeals sustained it and the controversy secured enlarged liberty to teachers and added to the dignity of the teacher's profession.
DEACON MANLY HOBART.3--- The town of Brimfield, Mass., contributed not a few of the early settlers of the town of Homer. Among them were Samuel and Dorothy Hoar or Hobart, the grandparents of the subject of this sketch. They were of the same family whence descended the distinguished Senator Hoar, of Massachusetts, and other influential men in that Commonwealth.
In the summer of 1798 Mr. Samuel Hobart had visited Homer, located his farm upon the place now owned by Mr. John Scott and put up a log cabin for the accommodation of his large family. The ensuing winter they moved with an ox team from Massachusetts to what came to be known for many years as "the Hobart farm." Arriving in Homer they found that the heavy snows had broken in the roof of their cabin and accepted gratefully the hospitality of Deacon Peter Hitchcock, whose log-house was the only one then standing between their farm and the site of Homer village. Repairing speedily their humble cabin, they began their residence there and interested themselves at once in all that pertained to the welfare of the infant settlement.
It was Mrs. Dorothy Hobart to whom especially is traced the inception of the action which brought about the formation of the Congregational Church in this town. Of the children of these godly parents, Gideon, the father of Manly, was nineteen years of age when they came to Homer. In 1806 he married Electa Wadsworth, of the well known Wadsworth family, in whose veins coursed the blood of a heroic ancestry and among whose kin have been numbered some of America's distinguished patriots. Their children were Amos, Sophronia, Manly (born May 7, 1810), Horace, Orrin, Euretta, Celinda, Mary M., and Clark E.
Of the childhood and youth of Manly little need to be said. His opportunities of education, limited though they were, were diligently improved and he early developed those qualities of decision and energy which contributed so greatly to his success in life. Inheriting the blessings that came from a godly ancestry, receiving the instructions and counsels of pious parents and trained in the exercise of those traits of character which are of highest value, he came up to manhood peculiarly fitted for its duties, and prepared to fill the prominent place he held in the esteem and trust of his fellow men.
June 22d, 1842, he was married to Miss Caroline A. Boies, daughter of Captain Rufus Boies, an influential citizen of Homer, who held many positions of responsibility and trust in church and academy and town affairs. To them were born four daughters, Ellen F., Clara A., Alice B., and Mary S. All of these daughters were married and, with the exception of the youngest, who resides in Syracuse, have their homes in Homer. The oldest daughter is the wife of Mr. Geo. D. Daniels, of the firm of Kingsbury & Daniels, merchants. Her children are Alice C., Anna B., and Manly Hobart Daniels. The second daughter is the wife of Mr. Lyman H. Heberd, who now resides upon the Hobart homestead. Her children are Marian A., Caroline S., Grace E. (deceased), Cora E., and Jessie A. Heberd. The third daughter is the wife of Mr. Charles A. Skinner, until recently a member of the same mercantile firm with Mr. Daniels. Her only child was baptized Clark Hobart Skinner by the dying bed of his grandfather Hobart. The youngest daughter is the wife of Mr. J. M. Knapp, of Syracuse. Her only child is Martin Hobart Knapp.
In the relations of the home Deacon Hobart was a true son, caring tenderly for the comfort of his parents till their death---a kind and loving husband, a wise and tender father and a judicious and helpful brother and friend. He showed the quality of his nature in his peculiar interest in children and youth, and in the way in which even the youngest of his grandchildren loved and trusted him. To his employees and dependents he was uniformly just and forbearing, and among the most sincere mourners at his funeral were some who had known him intimately in such relations for years.
Deacon Hobart was in his early years consecrated to God by his pious parents, and in 1841 made public profession of his faith in Christ and united with the Congregational Church in this village. As a Christian he was positive, humble and faithful. He took such strong hold by faith of God and his promises, that he knew much of the joy and inspiration of conscious fellowship with the Lord. He was always decided in his convictions and loyal to them, and ready for every good word and work. In 1856 he was elected a deacon of the church, a position which he held by repeated elections till his death, and which he so filled that he "purchased to himself a good degree and great boldness in the faith."
Endowed with a large measure of good common sense, he turned it to sanctified use in official counsels, and as an adviser and helper in every good and benevolent enterprise.
His sagacity and soundness of judgment made him constantly sought by those who needed a wise and true counselor, and no small part of his sacrifice of himself for others' welfare was manifest in his cheerful and careful attention to demands of this nature. In the use of the large property, which by diligence and business sagacity he had accumulated, he sought to promote the great ends to which his life was consecrated.
To-day missionaries on American and foreign soil are preaching the gospel who were largely helped in their preparation for their work by his munificence.
He was practically and generously interested in several great benevolent societies. For a number of years he was president of our County Bible Society, and foremost in the support of its interests. But while he took an intelligent and liberal interest in these broad ministries of good, he did not lose sight of important institutions at home nor prove wanting here in an enlightened and generous public spirit.
For church and academy, for business enterprises and public improvements he was ready to plan and labor and give.
Besides the important offices in the church and in other religious and educational organizations which Deacon Hobart so well filled, he was repeatedly elected to places of trust in business institutions and in the administration of town and county affairs. At the time of his death he had been for several terms a director of the First National Bank of Homer. At different times he had served as a supervisor, and in other similar positions held by him had proved alike his capability and faithfulness.
Deacon Hobart's last sickness was short. He was at the preparatory lecture of his church on Saturday afternoon, September 1st, and though quite unwell, also went to church the following day, saying that it might be his last communion service on earth. His disease, pneumonia, was complicated with other ailments, and he sank rapidly under its power till he gently breathed his last, Friday evening, September 7th, 1883. But, though the body yielded to the fell power of disease, the soul was victor in the strife. In the face of sufferings intense and at times agonizing, he bore clear and triumphant testimony to the worth and sufficiency of Christian faith and the Christian's Master, to sustain and bless even to the end.
His dying counsels to children and grandchildren, to pastor, physician and other friends will not soon be forgotten, while the promises of God and the words of prayer were often upon his lips. The last words that could be understood from him were, "The Lord is my strength."
It is eminently fitting that in a history of Cortland county the name and memorial of this good man should have permanent place. The engraving which pictures his face may give to those who never knew him some idea of the bright, positive, energetic character that had stamped its evidence in the lineaments of his countenance, but to the many who knew and loved and honored him it may serve to recall the features of one whose true vigor of mind and worth of character make the brief words of this biography seem poor and tame, and whose manifold services in helping forward the interests of his generations, and of the institutions he loved, form in truth his noblest memorial, and highest encomium, next to the word that as we believe welcomed him above:---
"Well done, good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joy of thy Lord."
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