David Chassell was born in Glasgow, Scotland, and came to Barnet, Vermont, with his family at the age of eight. After graduating from Dartmouth College in 1810, he served as Principal of Caledonia County Academy in Peacham, Vermont. In 1815 he took charge of the academy at Cambridge in Washington County, NY, where he decided to pursue theological studies, a change from his college interest in law.

After being ordained by the Presbytery of Troy in 1820, he moved to Fairfield to serve as Principal and teacher at the Fairfield Academy. He served in this capacity during three periods: 1821-23, 1828-39, and 1845-47.

Around 1840 the Chassell family moved to the farm on the oxbow, on the West Canada Creek, where White Creek joins the West Canada. Between his second and third employments at Fairfield, the Rev. Chassell served two years at the Herkimer Academy. While never installed as pastor, the Rev. Chassell preached at Presbyterian services in Fairfield and Salisbury, was present at a great period of religious revival in Fairfield, and presided at the dedication of the new Presbyterian Church in Fairfield.

About 1860 the Chassells moved to Holland Patent where they operated a dairy farm. David Chassell was married three times:

  1. 1810, Peacham, VT - Lucinda Elkins (1790-1820)
  2. 1821, Shaftsbury, VT - Anstiss Olin (1799-1829) buried in Fairfield
  3. 1836, Fairfield, NY - Eliza Ann Griswold (1808-1893) buried in Holland Patent

Children of David Chassell:

  1. Lucinda (1811-1817).
  2. David, Jr. (1813-1838), an assistant teacher at Fairfield, graduated from Hamilton College in 1834, attended Fairfield Medical College and practiced medicine at Key West
  3. John (1814-1883), moved to Houghton, Michigan, after teaching at the Fairfield Academy, and became the first cashier of the First National Bank of Houghton. He purchased land for a farm in 1867, and a new village was named in his honor, Chassell, Michigan
  4. Catherine (1816-1836)
  5. Jonathan Elkins (1818- ), an assistant teacher at Fairfield
  6. Lucinda (1822-1899), served as Preceptress of Fairfield Academy after the death of her husband George Thomas of Utica in 1867
  7. Olin (1825-1848)
  8. William (1829-1910)
  9. Eliza (1838-1890)
  10. George Griswold (1840-1914), a dairy farmer and cheese manufacturer in Holland Patent and President of the Holland Patent Bank

Taken from "This Green and Pleasant Land, Fairfield, NY" by Jane Dieffenbacher, Fairfield Town Historian
Copyright © 1999
All Rights Reserved.

Back to Town of Fairfield Page

Back to Herkimer/Montgomery Counties GenWeb

Back to New York State GenWeb

Last Updated: 7/1/99
Text Copyright© 1999 Jane W. Dieffenbacher, Middleville, NY
All Rights Reserved.