A photograph of Doctor Gilbert Wilkinson Hazeltine (1817-1893) who
wrote The Early History of the Town of Ellicott. This photograph is pasted
in the copy of his book that he presented to Mrs. Prendergast. That would
have been Mrs. Alexander Prendergast, daughter-in-law of James Prendergast,
founder of Jamestown.
The Hazeltine families arrived in Chautauqua County, New York and Warren County, Pennsylvania in the early days of settlement. Abner, Laban, Daniel, Abraham, Pardon, Edwin and Hardin were sons of Daniel and Susanna (Jones) Hazeltine and they all came to this area by 1820. Daniel, the father, came to Chautauqua County, dying here in 1828. Susanna Jones was the sister of Solomon Jones, who settled in Jamestown in 1810. The Jones and the Hazeltines were two of the families who arrived here from Wardsboro, Vermont. In the library at the Fenton History Center, we have the Hazelton (Hazeltine) Genealogy, compiled in 1892, as well as, local history books with information on the families. What follows is a quick family history based on the printed genealogy and the writings in our files and other local history books. The information has not all been verified. (Someone needs to research and write the family history!)
Abner, Laban and Daniel were the three sons of Daniel and Susanna, most connected to Jamestown. Daniel arrived in Jamestown in May 1816 and established a dye house and a fulling mill for dressing home manufactured woolen cloth. At the age of 17, he had apprenticed in the manufacturing of woolen cloth in his home state of Vermont. He married Mehitable Bemus, daughter of William Bemus and had two sons and three daughters, two of whom died young. His textile industry grew to include weaving of cloth and he had a partners from time to time, finally selling to his sons, William and George, in 1865. The business later became Allen, Preston and Co.
Abner attended Williams College so when he arrived in Jamestown in November 1815, he taught school and read law. He became a lawyer, served as a New York Assemblyman and as a member of Congress for two terms. He married twice-first to Polly Kidder and second to Matilda Hayward. His children included Charles, Harriet, Abner, Lewis and Mary Matilda plus Lydia and Henry Martyn who both died young. Charles attended Williams College and became a teacher in New Jersey. Abner followed in his father’s footsteps and became a lawyer. Lewis became a doctor, settling in Union, Pennsylvania.
Laban, the oldest son of Daniel and Susanna, arrived in Jamestown in October 1815. He married Constant Flagler, and arrived in Jamestown as the second doctor to practice here. His youngest surviving son, Richard. F. Hazeltine, married Hannah Jane Sherman, settled in Farmington, Pennsylvania, and had a son, Laban, who became a doctor. Laban Hazeltine, the early settler, had a son, Gilbert Wilkinson Hazeltine, who was a doctor in Jamestown for many years, dying in 1893.
Gilbert grew up with Jamestown and had a passion for the, then, Village of Jamestown, which was a part of the town of Ellicott. He was the one who wrote The Early History of the Town of Ellicott, Chautauqua County, N. Y.: Compiled Largely from the Personal Recollections of the Author. It was published in 1887 when he was 70 years old and only a few years before his death. Having lived his entire life in Jamestown, he had many recollections to include in the book and probably many that did not make it into the book. He married twice and had a number of children, one of whom made his name well known but not in the same way as the majority of the Hazeltines!
The Hazeltine families populated this area with many solid citizens but like many families there was at least one “black sheep” among them. The next two Saturdays (October 1 and October 8) the Fenton History Center is conducting their “Saints and Sinners” cemetery tours at Lake View Cemetery. That one Hazeltine “black sheep” will be a part of the tour, so if you want to learn more, consider attending a tour. For more information, call 716-664-6256 or check our website, www.fentonhistorycenter.org.