Village of Fairfield and Vicinity
by James Hall
James M. Hall, a professor at Fairfield Seminary from 1872-1901, was born in Middleville, NY in 1832. The son of a carpenter. Professor Hall was skilled in chemistry and physics. However, he also taught botany, Latin, Greek, and mathematics. He lived in Fairfield, wrote local history, and kept a journal on current affairs and local people. Professor Hall lived to age 92 and left a wealth of unpublished notes, providing information on Fairfield residents.
In this school district No. 6 beginning at the west, Mason Morey lived on the farm which he purchased from William H. Mann whose father Abijah was one of the first settlers of Fairfield. Morey's family consisted then of three children, Fred, Phoebe, and David. The next east was Jonathan Barnes. His farm had formerly been owned by William Griswold. (Jonathan Barnes bought his farm from Amos Sherwood, Nov. 10, 1843.) Barnes' children were George, Lucy, Hiram, Mary, and Ida. Horace Ford came next. In the early days this farm had been owned by one Knowlton. Ford's children were Milton and Frank. Next was Mr. May. He was a carpenter and joiner by trade. His children were five, three girls, only one of whose names I recollect, Adalaide, and two boys, Zina and Lockwood.
Next was A.S. Gage who had a store in the building owned now by Miss Bailey. His wife had been a widow with one son, Alden Curtis. He had two children, Huldah and Thadeus. He did not own the dwelling house. Opposite lived Jerome Hendrix, blacksmith. He had eight children. The oldest, Albert, was in Little Falls but Stephen, Augustus, Jerome, Byron, Libby, Howard, and Moses were at home. Next on that side was John Green, a cooper. His children were Harriet, Louise, Mary, and James. Only the last two were in the district school. On the same side next came Lyman White who had several children, only one of whom, Dwight, was of an age to attend district school. White had been a hatter by trade, but the business having ended, he worked at whatever he could get to do. This house was said to be the first one built in the village.
Next was David Beers, a tailor. His children were past going to school except David J. and he had already learned the printer's trade. I do not recollect who lived in the next house. Gardner West lived here with two children, Helen and Antoinett, but John Christie owned and kept the hotel. His children were past school age. I cannot think who occupied the house now owned and occupied by Miss Harrison. In those years, Barnes' house was owned and occupied by Gordon Bradley. He was a cabinet maker and on the premises was a large shop which had been used as a cabinet shop. This many years afterwards was converted into the house and barn now owned by A. J. Wiseman. Next lived Joel Herrick and old Carpenter. Next to him, Lemuel Smith, a retired farmer. He had one son Seymour.
Next on the corner lived John Wood. He had a daughter not old enough at this time to go to school. This was a large house and had formerly been a hotel and was owned and kept by John D. Waterman. Wood had about fourteen acres of land which he worked. If we begin where the Platform Road runs toward Salisbury, we find the house now owned by Mrs. Morey was then owned by James Borden, a teamster. He had no young children. Next lived Isaac Wilcox who was a sort of a saloon keeper and had the name of being a tough customer.
On the corner lived Dr. Clinton Chatfield, a dentist with two girls, Libby and Frederica. And opposite, John Larraway, a tinsmith, who had, I think, four children of school age. I can only recall George and Eliza. Dexter Williams lived in the house now owned by Charles Braybrook, and he had several children whose names I cannot recall. Mrs. Miller, with her son B. F. and daughter Sarah occupied the house now owned by Mrs. Whitney.
The Starkins place was owned by Mrs. Bryan, widow of a physician who had formerly practiced here. Jarius Mather lived where Maria does now. His children were Albert, Charles, and Maria. He conducted the store in partnership with A.H. Buell.
If we begin at the northern limit of the district, we find Sidenous Teall who had three children, Charles, Sarah, and Marion. The latter two were too young to attend school. Next one, Hullenback on the farm then owned by L. C. Smith. He had, I think, two children of school age. Next this way, Elisha Huddleston on the west side, no children. Nearly opposite, Manning S. Todd. He had six children, Charles, Adaline, Lucina, James, Eugene, and John, the last three of school age. The next house was not occupied at this time and in the next lived James C. Bassett who had one daughter, Idalia. In the house now occupied by James B. Lambertson lived old Mrs. Wood and Sally Durkee, her sister. I cannot recollect who lived in the next house.
In the old store next to the hotel lived Col. George W. Phillips. His children were Mary A., who was the wife of Sandy Casler of Little Falls, Anson, Guelmer, and Helen. Helen went to school. Dr. Sweet occupied the next house and had a tenant, but I do not remember the name. Edwin Harris lived here in 1852. The next house was occupied by Mary S. Smith, a maiden lady. Next on that side, Dr. William Mather, who had three children, William A., Mattie, and Alonzo. Next A. H. Buell, a merchant and a very wealthy man, who had I think three children, Alexander, William, and Hattie. Going on beyond Jarius Mather's, next was David Raynor. He had other older children but his daughter Mary and step-daughter, Elba Lamberson, of school age and afterwards, the wife of B. F. Miller, lived with him.
Next on that side, Pardon Tucker, with whom Amelia Kimpton, step-daughter, lived. Opposite was an old yellow house belonging to I. A. Rice. This in the early days of Fairfield had been occupied as a store but in 1850 was rented as a dwelling, but I cannot remember the tenant. Next on that side was the house occupied by James Young. It was then owned, I think, by David Raynor. I cannot tell the name of the tenant at this time. Opposite lived Valentin Farrell, an Irishman, who had several children and next below the house now owned by Martin Connors and either in this house of the Young's house on the other side lived a retired Methodist minister named Slee. He had children but none went to school.
Next on the other side lived Andrew Vorhees who had a tannery just below the house where Mrs. Bishop's barn stands. He had one son, Willie. Opposite the tannery lived Charles I. Hurlburt, no children. Farther on lived Zachariah Reed, children all grown up. Next was William Lambertson with four children, Wilbur, Watson, Sherman, and Howard. The H. Bradford and P. Crist places were not then in this district. Going up the hill first cames W. B. Porter with no small children. Opposite was Thomas A. Rice, some children of adult age, but I think Dan, Clark, Nancy, and Charles were at school. Next on the other side, Philip Reese with whom lived a step-son, Silas Thomas, who went to school and on the same side in the brick house, Mrs. A. C. H. Smith who had two children. On the opposite side was David W. Cole in the stone house with no young children. Next on top of the hill, R. R. Smith, no small children. The farm now owned by Mrs. Jackson, owned then by R. R. Smith, was occupied by a tenant whose name I have forgotten.
Having mentioned those living in the village in 1850, I will add those living in the school district outside of the village. Beginning at the west, Merrill Huddleston, his wife and two sons, George and Parley, lived back in the lot north of the Middleville Road. A road formerly ran from the Neely farm through Cupid's Retreat to the Platform Road but which in 1850, had been taken up part way and then ran no farther than the north line of the Neeley farm as it does now. Just over the line at the end of the road stood a farm house and outbuildings occupied by Joseph Moyer and wife. With him lived his son Charles, wife and daughter Harriet and also his father, Ludwig, a German. Just below where the cross road meets the Middleville Road stood a tenant house in which my father and mother and myself lived. The Neely farm was owned and occupied by Mason C. Morey and family, Mrs. M., sons Fred and David, and daughter Phoebe. The next house still owned by the Barnes family was occupied by Jonathan Barnes, wife, and sons George and Hiram, and daughters Lucy, Mary A., and Ida. In the corner of this farm next to Ford on the north side of the road stood a small house. This was occupied in 1850 by ______ Parent, an old man of eccentric habits, but if anyone also lived there with him, I cannot recall the fact.
The farm now owned by Mrs. Ida Rice was owned then by Lennel C. Smith and occupied by Ora Hallenback, who had a son named Jasper and other children. The Teall or (Wilson) farm was owned and occupied by Sidenius Teall. His children were Charles, Sarah, and Marian. Charles married a Girvan girl and afterwards went to live in Little Falls. Sarah married Atwater Wilson. Marion never married.
Going directly south, we find the farm now owned by Hagadorn was then owned by Zachariah Reed, wife, and son George, daughters Roxanna and Emily. George was a dealer in cattle for many years and occupied the farm till his death which resulted from a fall in the barn. Roxy married Joseph Daniels and Emily married Robert Helmer. There is one more farm in this district which now belongs to D.B. Jackson and was then owned by Richard R. Smith and was occupied by a tenant whose name I cannot remember.
Source: This list was transcribed and provided by Jane Dieffenbacher, Fairfield Town Historian.
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