After grandfather Perce's family had nearly grown up, there came up from Connecticut two nieces of grandfather's, his brother's two daughteres, and as grandmother always had plenty of work to do, she kept them busy most of the time. At that time the peple had and made all of their own bedding and clothing for every day wear. There were no carding machines in the ocunty at that time and all of the wool and flax had to be carded by hand cards. Three pounds a day was a day's work. A spining was two "runs" a day and a girl that was twelbe years old had to spin a "run" a day. No girl could get married unti she had chests of bedding, woolen sheets and blankets, coverlids, linen sheets and all things needed to keep house. A girl twelve years old was supposed to spin 20 knots a day, that being half a day's work and grandmother was not far behind the times in manufacturing cloth. The assessors came around one year and put down 500 yards of cloth that grandmother and her family had carded, spun and woven.
As grandfathers niece (Samuel Perce's daughter) were of the same name as my mother and aunt, they were called to distinguish them in the family cousin Betty and Abby Connecticut.
Abbie Connecticut Perce married a Mr. Hale. I think his name was Alfred. They moved to a farm in the town of Norway on Ross Creek, which empties into White Creek. The most of the Hale farm is now owned and occupied by Dennis Leary, except two acres owned by myself. Mr. and Mrs. Hale had two children, one who died in infancy and a son who grew to manhood. She stayed on the farm until Mr. Hale died, when she sold the farm and moved to Old City with her son, who carried on the shoemaker's trade there. He married Daniel Post's daughter Roxy, and a little later they went to Illinois, where a daughter was born to them. William Benchley of Newport village married her sister, Julia Post. Daniel Post's first wife was Nancy Pratt, a distant cousin of my father.
Betsy Connecticut Perce married E___ Tyler and settled in Old City a number of years ago. He afterwards sold his place and moved to Floyd. Mr. and Mrs. Tyler had three daughters; Roxy, Louisa and Adeline. Louisa married Mr. Combs of Floyd. Roxy and Adeline were not married.
Grandfather had a cousin, who came to Fairfield and brought a wife and two little sons. He left them in grandfather's hands and was never heard from after.
Grandfather got them a place. Their mother died later. The children were: George W. and Allen. George W. married William Porter's sister, Emeline and they had a son and daughter, George and Georgiana.
One of the first settlers of Fairfield was a family of Bordens. The family consisted of Mr. and Mrs. Borden, five sons, Abram, Jeremiah, Joseph, Timothy and James. Jeremiah settled in Eaton's Bush. Joseph settled in the Perce district. James lived in Fairfield village. I recollect seeing Jeremiah when I was a child. He was a very old man. I was well acquainted with Joseph Borden. He lived for a while as our next door neighbor.
Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Borden had two daughters both of whom died unmarried. James Borden and wife had three daughters and two sons, Richard and Dayton (?). The daughter's names were: Almira, who married Larned Jackson of White Creek and one daughter, who married Warren Lawton and a daughter Mary who died unmarried. Dayton Borden married Charlotte Bensley of Fairfield village. Richard married Lovina Dwight of Cold Brook.
Among the first settlers of Fairfield were two Harris brothers from Connecticut, named Caleb and Gardner. They came up on foot and bought land on Stony brook and in the West neighborhood. There was a younger brother, who came later, and settled in the town but I do not remember his given name. Their parents came later with two sisters, Phebe and ___. Caleb Harris married a Miss Reed. He and his wife had five children; two sons and three daughters. William married Madeline Keeler and lived on Stony Brook. Olive married Joseph L. Hall and lived in Newport village. ___ married J. Elkins Chassell, who run a store in Newport for a number of years, and later on went to Clayville.
Mr. and Mrs. Chassel had one son, who died in infancy. Mr. and Mrs. Hall had one son and three daughters. The son Albert married a Miss Howe and they had three children, a daughter Addie and two sons.
J.L. Hall's daughter Adeline married a Mr. Arnold and went west. Caleb Harris' son John died unmarried and his daughter Sarah married Mr. Phelps. William Harris' wife was aunt to Henry B. Keeler of Newport.
There was in Fairfield at that time a Mr. Jackson and he married a Miss Mackley (?) Harris. (I think she was Gardner Harris' daughter) and they had two sons, Archibald and Larned. When the sons were grown up Mr. Jackson died and his widow bought Noble Ross' farm, a stone house on Upper White Creek in the town of Norway. It is now owned by Mrs. M. J. Jackson. Archibald married Angeline, daughter of Low Carpenter and a son and daughter were born to them. William married a Miss Brayton and died on White Creek and Marietta married Warren Phelps of Middleville. Larned Jackson married James Borden's daughter Almira and they had two sons, Herbert and Merton. Herbert lives in California. Merton died unmarried.
Later on there came a family named Jackson. At the time, if I remember correctly, they lived in Fairfield on Brayton street. I was very young, but some of them were my schoolmates. The family consisted of Charles, James and John, Maria, Sarah and Eliza. Maria married William Jones of Newport village. Sarah married Elias Jones of Newport. Eliza married William Stroupe, also of Newport. The father, John Jackson, went into his hay field apparently well and dropped dead.
Among the first settlers came a family named Eastman. I think they were from the eastern states. They settled in Fairfield on Brayton street. They consisted of an old gentleman, his wife and two sons, Daniel and Abihu (?). I never learned much about Abihu (?). Daniel married Betsey Keller and settled in Eaton's Bush. He was a blacksmith by trade. Mrs. Eastman died and the old gentleman married for a second wife, a widow named Kirck. She had one son. Her maiden name was Esther Wilher Wilcox; a sister of Henry Wilcox of Newport village. Her son married and settled on Brayton Street. He had two sons born to him; Robert and Richard. Richard married Pardon Barney's daughter, Loveal (?) and settled in Newport village. Robert married Ephram Watkins' daughter Sarah, and went to Utica.
Mr. and Mrs. Eastman had a son and daughter. The sun(sp) was Almon and the daughter was Alice. My mother's first husband was Alum Eastman. They were married in 1810 by Elishar Eaton of Eaton's Bush and they lived in Fairfield. Her maiden name was Betsey Perce. She and her husband Almon Eastman lived together a few years until the epidemic of fever broke out when he died. They had one daughter born to them, who was named for her grandmother, Esther Almira Anice Eastman. She married a William Wood and they had born to them William Wood Jr., who married Cherrill Arnold of Eaton's Bush, and they had a daughter Alice. William Wood, Jr., went into the town of Newport and bought the old mill that used to stand on the Shedd Brook for a few years and then they went west. My half sister married Dean Kelley and lived on White Creek in the town of Newport and lived there most of his days. She now sleeps in Newport cemetery.
Franklin Mason lived on Brayton Street and he and his wife had three daughters. They were, Barbara, Alzina and Mary. His wife died and he married Rachel Wood.
Two of the first Fairfield settlers were two brothers, Nathaniel and David Brown, who came from Connecticut and were cousins of Orrin Brown of Newport. David was a doctor. Nathaniel bought a farm in the southern part of the town. David and his wife Molly had one son born to them. Nathaniel and his wife had two sons and two daughters. The sons were: Erastus and Roselle. The daughters were: Emily who died young and another one whose name I have forgotten. They have all passed away. Rosell had a son and daughter. His wife was a Miss Eaton from Eaton's Bush.
John Wood came from one of the eastern states and bought a farm on Eaton's Bush hill. He and his wife had born to them two sons and two daughters. They had a number more, I think, but I am not positive. (There were two families of Woods, that lived on the Little Falls road. They were Collin and Brayton Wood. I think they were nephews of John Wood.) I remember these four: William and Manaton, Rachel and Sophia. William Wood married Cherill Arnold and had five sons and three daughters. The daughters were: Maria, who died young, Rebecca, and Mary Ann. Rebecca married George Monroe. Albert was drowned in the west Canada Creek; was washed off the dug-way between Herkimer and Newport. The other four were Henry, Abram, George and Addison.
Mr. and Mrs. Monroe had four children: two sons, Clement and George and two daughters, Mary and Grace. John Woods' daughter Rachel married Mason Franklin. Manton Wood married and had one son. Sophia died unmarried. William Woods' daughter Mary Ann, now lived in Newport. Al the rest of the family have passed away.
John Arnold came from the Eastern states and bought a piece of land near Eaton's Bush. He was one of the early settlers and had a brother William who settled somewhere in the vicinity. I think he was the father of George and ___ Arnold, the professor, and two daughters: Lucinda, who married Abram Hardendorf; and Charill, who married William Unce of Fairfield and lived in Newport on Shedd Brook. Mr. and Mrs. Hardendorf also lived on White Creek in the town of Newport.
John Arnold's family consisted of John Arnold Jr., a son William, and five sisters, one who married as aforesaid, William ___ and one who married Rev. Daniel Robinson and three other dauthers Sabia, Lucy and ___. William Arnold stayed at Eaton's Bush, John went to Newport and married a Miss Mariette Smith. He made cutters for sale. Rev. Daniel Robinson preached at Newport nearly seventy years ago. The writer remembers attending an association meeting at the Baptist church and hearing him preach. I have been told that he was the first to establish a Sunday school in Newport and that it was established in a barn.
David Benchley came from Newport R.I. He was an uncle of Jenks and William Benchley of Newport. He settled in Eaton's Bush and married a widow named Haskins, who had five children by her first marriage. There were three sons and two daughters. The sons were: Leonard, Irving and ___. The daughters were Sophronia and Laura. Laura married an Elder Carpenter and had a son named Hazelton. Sophronia married my uncle, George Perce. Leonard married a Miss Brown and settled in Newport village and was the principal doctor for many years. His son Geoerge is there still.
Mr. and Mrs. George Perce had three children, one son James Bowen Perce, Maria, who married Irving Haskins of Little Falls and Laura who died young. Mr. and Mrs. David Benchly had a son and daughter born to them. The son was William; the daughter Angeline. She married Albert Ford of Eaton's Bush. I well remember the time that they were married. I was boarding at my Uncle George Perces' and going to school in the Perce district. The teacher, Miss Charlotte West, and all of Uncle George's family, went to Eaton's Bush to the wedding and there came up one of the old Fairfield storms and kept them there a whole week, teacher and all.
William Benchley married a girl from Herkimer. I used to meet her often at my uncle's. I remember meeting David Benchley when I was a child. He was then ninety years old. David's son William went to Herkimer and is now dead. His wife was still living a few years ago altho very old.
Our appreciation to Jane Dieffenbacher, Fairfield Town Historian, for sharing this gem from her personal collection.
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