The Fay Family: David Eaton and Nathan Fay

David Eaton's 1858 Speech
Nathan Fay 1772
Chautauqua Grapes and Joseph Belknap Fay
Brockton, N.Y., January 15, 1887
Re-typed 5 January 2008 by David Eaton Arnold, great-great-grandson of David Eaton. No content changes have been made to Dr. Taylor's manuscript; only to paragraph lengths for ease of reading..
Copied from the Fredonia Censor, Wednesday, March 16, 1887
[also containing biographical information about Nathan Fay (1772-1810)]
David Eaton, the subject of this sketch, was among the first settlers of the country (sic), and actively identified in its interests for more than half a century, He built his cabin on what is now designated as Lot 37, T.5, R.13, in the territory of the present town of Portland, in July, 1806.
He was of Welsh origin, his great, great grandfather, James Eaton, emigrating to America while a young man, from Wales in 1640.
It is not definitely known, but it is supposed that James came to America while yet a young man, and took to himself a wife of the daughters of the land whither he went. Just here it would be possible for me to give the lineage of the Eaton family to within a few years, but it would not suit my purpose to do so. I shall confine myself to the subject of this sketch as definitely as possible.
Mr. Eaton was born in Framingham, Massachusetts, February 2, 1782, but early in life removed with his father, Benjamin Eaton, and family from that town to Southbury, the same state. His mother's maiden name was Mary Stacey. He was the eldest son, and the fifth of a family of ten children.
His father was poor, a shoemaker by trade, and from force of circumstances David's early education was sadly neglected. At nine years of age he was put upon the bench, and at fourteen made shoes for the market. His father, from lack of means and a business tact, never engaged successfully in business, but for many years was in the employ of Nathan Fay, an energetic business man of the same town. Mr. Fay, in addition to farming, carried on quite extensively in the manufacture of boots and shoes on contract. This establishment was among the beginnings of the boot and shoe business of the state.
The elder Eaton was one of the most reliable workmen of Mr. Fay, and was allowed to take his work to his own dwelling, after being prepared, where he and young David placed it in condition for the market in the shape of boots and shoes.
In the year 1800, when David was 18 years of age, his father died; but the manufacture of shoes and boots was continued by the son for three years later. Although put upon the bench at nine years of age and caused to do the work of a mature hand at fourteen, and at eighteen left with the support and care of a large family, he nevertheless found time to store his mind with the essentials of an education.
At the death of his father, David and his brother, Cyrus, his only living brother, who was extremely anxious for a liberal education, and had in part prepared himself to enter college, entered into some sort of arrangement whereby David was to remain at home and care for the family, and Cyrus, by teaching and other means, should make his way through college. The arrangement was strictly adhered to and Cyrus eventually graduated at Bowdoin, became a tutor at his Alma Mater, and afterwards principal of an Academy in the same state.
This incident is introduced to show the unselfish make-up of David, and one that was a decided characteristic of his life. Cyrus was adept in the study of the languages, but although he had been under the tuition of the best educators of the times, was not equal to his brother David in mathematics, astronomy and kindred sciences. Without the aid of a tutor, except the clergymen of the parish he had with great rapidity made large attainments of knowledge, and seemed equal to any emergency. The intricate knots of the most difficult mathematical problems would unravel and the solution come easy to view under the inspiration of the music of his hammer and lapstone.
At times, however, as he said to the writer, his leather would become subjected to such prolonged and persistent hammerings, before the inspiration came, that its texture became like a plate of steel.
The family, in the meantime, suffered the most terrible afflictions, nearly all of them dying of that fearful scourge, scarlet fever, very few of them coming to maturity. Their home became almost a desolation, and in some sense all this prepared the way for the events that culminated in their removal from town.
While Mr. Eaton was in the employ of Mr. Fay in the manufacture of boots and shoes, the subject of emigration to the Holland Purchase was often discussed. Some years previous to this, Mr. Fay had decided when his mother and father were dead, if he himself should be spared, he would sell the paternal acres, find a lodge in some vast wilderness, build there a home for himself and family, and endeavor to improve his fortunes. The Holland Purchase was just then being very extensively advertised and its advantages as a home for settlers placed in the most favorable light.
Mr. Fay became very enthusiastic over the matter, and a year or two later, his father and mother being dead, he determined to at once explore a portion of the Purchase, at least that portion bordering on Lake Erie; at the same time holding out the most flattering inducements for Mr. Eaton to accompany him.
There was something so romantic about the idea of being pioneer settlers, and of a home on some fine table-land, or in some sequestered glen on the border of a beautiful lake that was stretching its waters far into the almost unknown west. As it was talked over and each side of the proposition turned again and again and brought into view, the imagination gave coloring and gilding to each in the most charming manner.
It was not human to withstand such an argument and imagery, and it was eventually determined that the contemplated journey should take place the following spring, this being in the fall of 1804.
Mr. Eaton, then 21 years of age, taught school the following winter, the winter of 1804 -1805, at some point near Bangor, Maine, where he had gone on a visit to his brother Cyrus. In the spring, he returned, and found that the contemplated tour had been the theme of conversation by both families the entire winter, in fact by the whole town.
Everything was soon in readiness for the departure, even two stout hickory walking sticks that had been seasoning for months in the smoke of the old chimney of the little brown house on the hill. Like pilgrims of old, they carried huge burdens on their backs, in their cases, however, in the shape of knapsacks of coarse cloth in which were placed a single change of homemade linen, a boiled chicken, rye biscuits, a bottle of apple molasses, and such other things as motherly and wifely care saw fit to furnish. They wore stout brogans, and with their stout walking sticks felt themselves equal to any emergency.
No railroads or canals were then in existence, and the stagecoach was a lumbering vehicle barely worth the attention of two stout muscular men, so they made the entire distance on foot with the exception of about 23 nautical miles.
On arriving at Buffalo, then an insignificant hamlet of log houses, being footsore and weary, they engaged a passage for Presque Isle or Erie, in a small rowing barge loaded with salt, on the condition that they should take a hand at the oars now and then. The crew consisted of the owner of the barge, two other white men, and two Indians, engaged for the trip. During the first night out a storm arose, the thunder and lightning were terrific and the water was lashed into fury by the force of the wind. The two children of the forest were badly frightened, and gave up all hope of reaching their destination, or land at that point, in facing despair wrapped themselves in their blankets, and laid down in the bottom of the boat and slept, expecting to wake in the happy hunting grounds of their people.
Mr. Fay and Mr. Eaton were obliged to do double duty at the oars, and by almost superhuman effort only, the boat head was kept to the windward and free of water. But the storm near the morning abated, and at the dawn they found themselves several miles below their point of advance the night before. The stalwart and stolid Indians came up from the barrels of salt, seemingly much disappointed that they were not yet over the river, but rather brought face to face with the hard reality; and by constand and hard pull at the oars, near noon they reached the mouth of the Cattaraugus Creek.
Our travelers were not too happy in making a successful landing. "It was a night of peril upon the billowy deep." During the fury of the storm the hat of Mr. Fay had been blown off and left him on a voyage of its own, and he was obliged to wear a red bandana handkerchief a la turban for several days, or until a trading post was reached. After a rest they resumed their journey on foot, and in due time made a critical survey of all the northern border of this county and as far west as North East, Penna.
On their return they passed through the south part of the county, striking a point near the new village of Mayville and passing down the northern border of our beautiful Chautauqua Lake, and over the ground now occupied by the city of Jamestown, thence to the location of Olean, and from that point north to their tracks westward of several weeks earlier.
It must not be supposed that in all their wanderings through the territory now enclosed within the county and thence to the point to which we have traced them, they were traveling on McAdamized roads, turnpikes or even common highways, even in fact much of the way over any roads at all, not even a trail, for over a large portion of the distance none existed. They were guided by the sun, the general course of the streams, some trails, and a pocket compass they often consulted.
During their absence from home they seldom slept in a tavern or other building, but where night overtook them. Their whole expense for the luxury of a bed was but thirty-seven and one-half cents each. Their means were taken from their tow cloth larders, which were occasionally replenished by the landlady of some wayside inn. About the tenth of August they reached their home; and it was a wondrous tale they had to tell. For weeks and months they were the heroes of the town. The story of what they had seen and knew of the Holland Purchase was a hundred times repeated for listening ears.
This was in 1805. The impression they made upon the minds of friends and neighbors was the occasion of a hegira of no small dimensions from that and adjoining towns, westward, and to a considerable extent to Chautauqua County.
During the winter of 1805-06, Mr. Eaton also taught a school and occupied his leisure time in preparing himself for his removal to the wilds of Chautauqua.
On the 20th of April 1805, he was married to Miss Elizabeth Horne, an estimable lady of the same town, and early the following month, May, he left the home of his fathers, with all of his effects and a family of a wife, mother and sister comfortably loaded into a single wagon prepared for the occasion and covered with stout cloth made by the family from flax, dressed for the purpose. Their wagon was their sleeping compartment, and their dining hall was by the roadside; a large box or chest containing their bill of fare with lid thrown back formed their table from which baked beans, rye bread and molasses were partaken with a relish.
They were accompanied by Nathan Fay and family, Elisha and Nathaniel Fay, then young men.
The wife of Mr. Eaton was in feeble health, yet hoping for a favorable change, but before reaching Utica in this state, showed signs of a decline, and on arriving at New Hartford was obliged to stop for a rest. But that insidious disease whose stealthy approach no hand may stay had marked her for its own, and she died on the tenth of June and was buried there.
This was a sad event for Mr. Eaton, but as soon as he could complete the arrangements, he left his mother and sister with former friends and acquaintances who had at some time emigrated from Massachusetts, and proceeded at once to Canadaway, now Fredonia, where he expected to find Mr. Fay and family, but learning that they had located in the new town of Portland, he followed them there. He had no time to lose, and at once located for a home part of Lot 37, T5, 13R, the farm on which he lived until his death, nearly 67 years.
He at once retraced his steps as far as Batavia, procured his Article for his land, which bears date of July 9, 1806, and paid the required ten percent. The Article was filled out by William Peacock, a clerk in the office, and afterwards agent for the company in Mayville. Mr. Eaton distinctly remembered being very gravely asked if he could write his name. He returned to his purchase, built a log house, cleared two acres of land, and in October following removed his family from New Hartford.
The following winter was very severe. There was a heavy fall of snow, the falls at the crossroads, now Westfield, were frozen up and he was obliged to resort to the motor (sic) and pestle to prepare corn for food. A large hemlock stump, standing a few feet from the house was hollowed out by burning, a springpole thirty feet long resting over the end of one of the house logs and bound down on the longer end by a with to a small tree, and to the small end of which was fastened a pestle of hard wood, was a mill, though simple in construction, that answered them an excellent purpose throughout the dreary winter.
Their coarse brown bread, and the scarce supply of animal food procured from the forest, carried them through.
Mister Eaton was located one and a half miles from Mr. Fay, but owing to the depth of the snow and the severity of the weather, they seldom met. But in the opening of spring the long dreary winter was forgotten and the beautiful green of the leafy forest charmed their sight and cheered them in their round of toil, and they were happy in their new home.
The clearing of the land was the order of the day with every settler, and with Mr. Eaton it was no exception. The sturdy blows of his axe soon opened the forest and let in the sun, and a generous soil ever after furnished him with all the necessities of life. His mother kept his house, and his sister, Miss Anna Eaton, taught school until 1815, when she married Solomon Nichols and removed to Whitestown, Oneida County, this state.
Mr. Eaton at once took a prominent place among the settlers along the lake border, and in the county. He was a man of considerable ability, fitted to command and was held in high esteem. His education, tact and readiness under all circumstances, placed him in advance of his neighbors and townsmen.
He was clerk in the first election held in the town; the town then being identical with the present county with the exception of the eastern tier of townships.
The general election was then held on the last Tuesday in April and the two following days. The polls were opened the first day at the house of Mr. Bemus at Bemus Point and on the north side of Chautauqua Lake; the second day at the house of Mrs. Perry, formerly Mrs. McHenry at the crossroads, on the west side of the creek at Westfield, and the third day in the forenoon at the house of Hezekiah Barker of Canadaway, now Fredonia, and in the afternoon of that day at the house or Oasmus Holmes afterwards the Roberts Stand, now in the town of Sheridan. The board of elections passed from one polling point to another on horseback and in single file, with their ballot boxes in their pockets, no roads as yet being opened.
Sixty nine votes all told were cast; 41 for Daniel D. Tompkins for governor, and 28 for Morgan Lewis. The expenses of this election were $68, each vote costing within a fraction of a dollar.
In 1809 Mr. Eaton was elected assessor of the town of Chautauqua. He was supervisor of the first town of Portland in 1815 and of the second town of Portland in 1834 and 1835, and was chairman of the board when a new member in 1815. He was clerk of the Board of Supervisors for the years 1820 to 1827 inclusive, and in 1831 and 1832. He was justice of the peace for four years, commencing in 1829, elected at the first town meeting for the present town of Portland.
He was appointed a Superintendent of the poor in 1844, and served in that capacity for six years, the last term by election. He was town clerk for fourteen yeas, his first election taking place in 1819, when the town of Westfield was part of the town of Portland, in fact he filled one or more civil positions continuously until 1850.
Like most men of that day he was aspirant of military honors. There was then a martial spirit existing among the people that does not exist today. A large degree of pride existed among the officers especially, each anxious to excel in his particular position. A settler, elected to some military post by votes of his neighbors and friends, was an object of envy, and actually enjoyed a degree of note and confidence in advance of civil positions in the same territory. In 1810 or '11, at a military gathering, at the formation of the first military company in the county, at the house of Mrs. Perry at the Crossroads, Mr. Eaton was elected Lieutenant of the Militia, and in due time was commissioned by Governor Tompkins and served in that capacity until 1814, when he was appointed Regimental Paymaster and, as stated in a letter to the writer in 1871, bade adieu to all military affairs. Such, however, was his popularity in military circles that he was appointed Brigade Inspector, May 14, 1816, but declined serving.
In every position he occupied from the first, civil or military, in full possession of all those qualities necessary for the performance of the various duties of one standing in the van of pioneer life and learning on to the perfect development of advanced civilization.
His perceptions were always quick, and his judgment seldom at fault, and once conceived of a right, prompt and fearless to act. The desire to be and do right was a characteristic of his whole life.
But allow me to retrace my steps for a moment to the point of his first settlement in town.
As time passed and the town became settled and cleared, various schemes were introduced for the advancement of the interests of the settlers and development of the resources of the town and county. Mr. Eaton was always foremost in these efforts and a moving spirit in all laudable enterprises.
In 1815 and '16, he was active with others in the formation of a Turnpike Company. The proposition was to construct a turnpike road "from the village of Buffalo to the east line of Pennsylvania near the house of Samuel Truesdale", through the new northern tier of towns.
The company became incorporated under an Act passed February 28, 1817, with the title of "The President, Directors and Company, of the Niagara and Chautauqua Turnpike and Bridge Company."
The incorporators were Zattu Cushing, Jonathan Sprague, Henry Abell, John E. Howard, Nathaniel Bird, David Eaton, Robert Dixon, John Mack, Ozias Hart, John French, David Royce, Richard Williams, Zenas Baker, Ebenezer Goodrich, Daniel Camp, Jonas Harrison, John G. Camp, Charles Townsend and such other persons as shall associate, etc.
The company became fully organized in due time, and commissioners were appointed to receive subscriptions, but from causes not known nothing further was accomplished.
Through the influence of Mr. Eaton, a public library was established in town in 1824. This was indeed a blessing to the inhabitants. It became incorporated under the general Act of April, 1796, and was in existence for many years.
Mr. Eaton was largely instrumental in the organization of the first Congregational Church in Portland, January 31, 1818; himself, wife and mother becoming members. On the reorganization of the church in 1833, the wife and mother of Mr. Eaton became members, but he himself never again became a member of any religious organization, yet maintained a consistent Christian character to the close.
Of his religious belief he wrote in a letter to the writer in 1870, "My present belief is that every person will receive according to the deeds done in the body, whether they be good or whether they be evil, without any reference to professions of want or professions of sectarian names or creeds".
Of his political professions, he wrote, "I was a Federalist up to the War of 1812, but becoming dissatisfied by the course taken by the party with reference to the war, I left it. I afterward became a Clintonian and voted for John Quincy Adams for president. I also voted for Harrison, Taylor, Fremont, Lincoln and Grant. Thus you have my politics in a nutshell."
Among the activities of a very busy life, he figured as a common school teacher, and taught two terms, one in the winter of 1813-14, and the other in the winter of 1814-15. During his first term there was a call for military volunteers to at once repair to the Niagara frontier. He at once dismissed his school, volunteered, and at the close of his term of enlistment returned, called his pupils together again and completed his engagement.
In this there was manifest the same decisive action so prominent throughout his whole life. As a teacher, as in all things else, he was eminently successful. But, we will turn back a leaf or two in the history of this man and view him from other standpoints.
It will be remembered that I stated in my sketch of the life of Nathan Fay a year since, that Mrs. Fay died in 1807. This was the first death within the territory of the present town of Portland. In this bereavement, Mr. Eaton and family particularly sympathized. All intimacy existed between the families, and a confidence more common in those early days than now. But we have all learned by sad experience that confidence is sometimes misplaced, and Mr. Eaton was destined to know this, if he had never known it before.
In 1909, Mr. Fay, becoming nervous and restive as the months of his widowhood passed along, proposed to return to the home of his youth and visit friends and relatives. It was, however, very quietly whispered among the settlers that his visit would result in bringing home a wife. Many were the verbal messages sent by the Fays and the Eatons to friends in the old home, and many were the missives committed to the capacious pockets of the lonely pilgrim.
Three years previous the wife of Mr. Eaton had sickened and died at New Hartford, as we have already seen. Mr. Eaton knew from the first symptoms of weariness, previous to their reaching this point, that was to be the result.
Medical men had been consulted previous to her marriage, as to the advisability of a change of client, and the only hope expressed was that a change might be favorable. But her young life went out, and the world to him was almost a blank.
During her few days of illness, a young lady was called in to aid in her case, and remained with them to the close, and had found a warm place in the sympathetic natures of the entire family.
What a thing is the human mind! What a thing is the human brain, the organ of the mind! What strange impressions are sometimes made upon, ie., whether we will or no, and how far are we accountable for these impressions? When clouds and storms, a thick darkness and tempest gather about us and all the brightness of life seems to have gone out, then often comes a something, whether from the hand of an all wise Providence I cannot say, that softens our grief and half dries our tears, a star is shining through a rift in the thick clouds somewhere.
While Mr. Eaton lingered around the grave of his departed wife and sorrowed for joys so soon blighted, he was at the same time conscious of a co-mingling and conflicting emotions, that he dare not entertain, much less divulge. He reproached himself as he stood thus weeping for the loss of the one he had loved so well, that he should permit intruding thoughts of another. But the thought was with him and could not be banished.
With him in this thing there was an irresistible conflict, loyalty and disloyalty, a cherished memory and a heart already disposed to admit a new idol. The thought was cruel indeed, and he determined to at once leave the place and pursue his journey, but the young lady that had cared for and watched over his wife with such tenderness, as suddenly became his ideal of perfect womanhood, and thence came the quick mental resolve that if her ever married again he would certainly return and ask her hand. A chill passed over him that such a thought should just then be entertained. It seemed to him an almost unpardonable sin, yet he left the scene of his sorrow with the image of the young lady in his heart.
But, time passed on and the poignancy of his grief had become assuaged. Three full years had passed. He had been eminently successful, the forest had been cleared away, he had a pioneer's palace well supplied with the necessities of life, and his thoughts now special turned toward the one that had so unconsciously disturbed him when his heart was so heavy with grief.
As Mr. Fay was leaving on his journey to his early home, Mr. Eaton handed him a letter directed to Miss Mercy Groves, New Hartford, Oneida County, New York. Mr. Fay well understood the nature of its contents, and promised to faithfully care for and deliver it.
Months passed, but no tidings of Mr. Fay, or an answer to the letter so trustingly committed to his care. There was a suspense in this that to Mr. Eaton was absolutely torturing, and his heart for weeks was heavy.
But, some time in October, it was rumored that Mr. Fay was on his way home, and with him a wife as had been predicted. But on their arrival it may be better imagined than expressed, the wide wonder of the family and absolute consternation of Mr. Eaton when his ideal of perfect womanhood was introduced as the lawful wedded wife of Mr. Fay.
Nothing short of experience will in any just sense convey to others an idea of the chagrin or Mr. Eaton at this unlooked for termination of this, his second effort toward a domestic settlement of his own.
Outwardly, life with him went on as usual. What his mental exercises were for the few months that followed, we can only conjecture; the only answer the writer was able to obtain to a question designated to throw light upon the workings of his noble soul under trying circumstances, was "I did not feel kindly toward Mr. Fay, of course. If he had delivered my letter, and then the lady had chosen to go with him, it would have been alright, but as it was, his act was not generous."
A few rods in the rear of the house of Mr. Fay was a large spring from which the family obtained water for the needs of the household. It was a large one, gushing from a gravelly bed a stream of considerable proportions. It was overhung by outstretching branches of giant trees and surrounded by dense thickets of undergrowth, and at this juncture from association had become a point of great interest, and to us at Portland at this day almost classic. It was a witness of many an earnest discussion by the few settlers seated on a large fallen tree that lay along its border, of scenes wise and otherwise, but of great import to them, and had a decided bearing upon the destinies of the little republic they were helping to form.
Mr. Eaton was prominent in all these discussions and, being a man well educated for the time in which he lived, and a man to command from his very demeanor, his influence was greater than any other members of the council and placed him in advance of them all.
Mr. Fay was also a member of this council, a man of considerable influence, and in his secular affairs had succeeded far beyond his expectations. His domestic relations, so disturbed by the death of his wife, being now renewed, there seemed little to prevent the realization of the dreams of his earlier years.
But there was an element in his make-up that often disturbed him. He was strangely to fits of despondency, forebodings and fears of coming evil, and early in June, 1810, he had a presentiment that he was near the end of his earthly career, and it is said that on some of the last days of the month, on a bright and beautiful afternoon, after a protracted absence, he was found by his wife seated on the old log at the spring, gazing intently at some fleecy clouds that like beautiful spirits were mirrored deeply in the crystal waters.
He was a Deist, but his soul was wandering from the scenes by which he was surrounded, and dwelling upon the possibilities of the future. Before the close of the month, he died and was buried by the side of his first wife.
Because of the acquaintance, and the sympathy manifested by Mr. Eaton in the misfortunes of the family, the settlement of the estate was offered him, and in due time he was appointed Administrator. With little delay the estate was settled, the widow remaining with the family.
In the meantime, the spring and the council chamber, with its log of dignity and honor, had become famous, and gatherings of young and old loved its quiet beautiful shade, and it was as well the resting placer of the weary laborer as he partook of his noontime meal and quaffed the water from the sparkling fountain. Saratoga nor Chautauqua ever enjoyed a popularity so decided.
But it was yet to be a witness of a scene of a far different nature than any yet finding a place in its history. In some of the months of the year that followed the death of Mr. Fay, seated upon the log at the spring, and in the near proximity we are in duty bound to believe, Mr. Eaton and Mrs. Fay entered into a compact at once tender and sacred, that in the best sense was mutual, and which was consummated by their formal marriage on March 6, 1811.
The ceremony was performed by David Eaton, Esq., of the Crossroads, now Westfield, residing within the county. This union proved an unusually happy one. It is said that in all the days of their wedded life, as far as they two were concerned, no petulant or even impatient word ever escaped them. There was a mutual forbearance amid all the perplexities of life that was beautiful indeed, and their kindness of heart was delightfully manifest in every domestic relation.
One of the most prominent features of their lives was a perfect loyalty to the best interests of their household. In their religious life, their beliefs and sympathies were identical. Olive branches grew up about hearthstones, and in due time went out into the world blessed of and blessing their parentage.
In due time the log house gave way to a more pretentious mansion that is still standing on the farm. In this house Mr. Eaton had a room fitted and furnished for his use, and dignified by the term - library. It was a room for himself alone, - no one was allowed to enter unless he was present, as mathematical and astronomical instruments and appliances, and books, were to be seen on every hand and in process of use.
When weary with the labors of the day, he often reverted to his workshop for an hour and refreshed his physical nature by delving into the mysteries of the heavens. It is said that amid the cares of a large family, and the duties devolving upon him in other respects, among other things he calculated eclipses and often for twenty years in advance, and with complete accuracy.
He was a NESTOR among the early settlers, a patriarch in his family, a gentleman and a Christian.
The family of Mr. and Mrs. Eaton consisted of five children, four sons and one daughter.
EDWIN, born December 19, 1811. Married Caroline P. Baldridge of Fredonia, March 1, 1843; at some time previous to marriage settled in Frewsburg, this county, where he died July 2, 1880, aged 68 years and 7 months. He was a general dealer.
EMILY, born August 8, 1813; married Josiah Wheeler of Frewsburg, June 15, 1847. Mrs. Wheeler died at that place May 27, 1871; Mr. Wheeler also died there October 8, 1869.
ALFRED, born March 4, 1815; married Hannah C. Clark, May 20, 1845; settled at Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin; returned to the old farm in Portland April 24, 1852; now lives in Westfield, this county. He is a farmer by occupation.
OSCAR, born August 8, 1820; married Louisa A. Kennedy of Steuben County, this state, October 1, 1850; lived for some years in Portland; several years at Grand Traverse, Michigan; afterwards at Forest Grove, Oregon; now lives at Oswego, Clackmas County, Oregon. He is a farmer by occupation.
DARWIN, born March 6, 1822, married Ann J. Collins of Monticello, Sullivan County, this state, October 1, 1850; is now and has been for many years Professor of Mathematics and Natural Sciences at Packer Collegiate Institute, Brooklyn, this state.
The council chamber by the spring that was a point of so much interest to the settlers for many years and to the family of Mr. and Mrs. Eaton and the Fays, has lost its canopy of overhanging boughs and green leaves, the old log is gone, but the spring is there today; the clouds of heaven look down as calmly and are mirrored as deeply and beautifully in the crystal waters, and around the locality still cluster many and interesting recollections of these earlier years.
The family of Mr. and Mrs. Eaton have all left the old homestead and the town. The family mansion still stands there in all its glory and is occupied by strangers. A monument in the cemetery a mile from his old home, marks the resting place of a remarkable man, his estimable wife and his mother. The mother of Mr. Eaton died October 14, 1848, aged 95 years and 6 months. The wife of Mr. Eaton died May12, 1862, aged 73 years and 6 months. Mr. Eaton died October 7, 1872, aged 90 years and 8 months.
At this day, as we look back over the past, a period of eighty years in the history of this man and his amiable wife, we may gain new inspirations of manhood and nobility of character and all that goes to make character good and beautiful, and as we thus gaze, there may and will come to us, clear and well defined, the brightness of a halo that lingers above and around blessed memories.