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Abner Huntley

1767 - 1877

An Hour with a Centenarian

Abner Huntley was born in Lynn, Massachusetts, August 4, 1767. Asked how far Lynn was from Boston, he said, "he did not remember," but it was a day's journey with a yoke of oxen, and that he had frequently been to the Boston market with produce with that kind of a team.

He remembered as though it were but yesterday the excitement attending the outbreak of the American Revolution, and heard the firing at Lexington, Concord, and Bunker Hill, and the alarm and consternation which prevailed when the British marched on Concord and Lexington.

The tories and Indians used to spoil the gardens of the colonists and commit other depredations which were annoying and helped to make a scarcity of provisions. During those times he used to go to the woods and dig groundnuts, which his mother would boil for food. After a meal thus prepared he would go to bed satisfied.

Just before Cornwallis surrendered he was old enough to enter the service, and obtained the consent of his father, who came home on a furlough but his mother resolutely refused to let him go into the service.

He removed to Chatham a few miles below Albany where he lived until he came to Cuba in 1842, and settled on what is now known as Ed. Thomas farm. He voted for Washington the second time he ran for president, and has never failed to deposit his ballot at all the elections or town meetings.

Possessed of a vigorous, rugged constitution, he has been blessed with good health, never having had a course of sickness, nothing to prevent his attending to his regular daily duties and occupation. He has never had the toothache, and never until quite recently has felt the need of glasses. He walks erect and without a cane. His step in not elastic but quite sprightly.

It is related that since he was 90 years old he broke a colt to ride, which had baffled the skill of all the boys of the neighborhood. He says the colt came near throwing him but he came out victor and the young steed submitted. At 107 years Mr. Huntley rode a home and led a parade in front of the grand stand at the Cuba Fair.

Mr. Huntley has good right to be old, his grandfather having seen 108 years. His wife, who was Margaret McCarthy of Dutchess Co., died in 1856 over 80 years of age.

He feels that he has been richley blessed, and is profoundly thankful for the remarkable degree of health he has enjoyed.

Source: Civic History and Illustrated Progress of Cuba, Allegany Co., N.Y., 1822-1910, by John Stearns Minard, pp.196-197

A Centenarian in Cuba

Abner Huntley, Esq., of this town, was one hundred years old on Sunday last, August 4th. Mr. H. is still what might be termed hale and hearty--can sit his horse as erect, and walk with as much ease as many men of forty. On Sunday morning he milked several cows. Mr. Huntley has voted at every Presidential election since, and including, Washington's last term, and has never missed an election of any kind or a town meeting since he became a voter. He is a sterling Republican, and judging from his present appearance, will be able to cast his ballot for Justice and Right many times more.

On Monday a pic-nic in honor of Mr. Huntley's one hundredth birth-day, was held in this village, which was attended by Hon. J. G. Mercereaux, and Mr. Wheeler, of Portville, and many other guests. Everything passed off in the most agreeable and pleasant manner. At the pic nic Mr. Huntly by request exhibited his horsemanship by riding a three year old colt which he "broke" himself last winter!
Source: The Cuba True Patriot, Vol. VI, No. 7, Aug. 9, 1867

Abner Huntley, Esq.

A correspondent of the Portville Mirror, speaking of Mr. Abner Huntley, of this village, who reached his one hundredth birth-day on the 4th inst., (mention of which we made last week,) says:

Forty years ago, when he came into what is now Allegany county, the villages of the Genesee and Allegany rivers were an almost unbroken forest, but he has lived to see a village of more than one thousand inhabitants grow up on what was then a dense hemlock swamp, and the whole region to be dotted with cultivated farms and thrifty hamlets.

Mr. H. has always been a strictly temperate man, not using intoxicating liquors at all, and tea and coffee but moderately. He came of a long-lived family, his father having lived one hundred and three years, and one of his brothers over a hundred. He is the father of seven children, of whom only one -- Henry Huntley , of Clarksville-- survives. There are twenty-five that call him grand-father, and thirty-one great-grand father. Grateful to that kind Providence which has so lengthened out his days, he is waiting cheerfully and hopefully God's time to transfer him to that world where no one grows old. "Thou shalt rise up before the hoary head, and honor the face of the old man."
Source: The Cuba True Patriot, Vol. VI, No. 8, August 16, 1867.

Voted Again

On Tuesday last, Abner Huntley, Esq., of this village, who has never missed a town meeting or an election since he was a voter, and who is in his one hundred and first year, walked down to the polls and deposited his ballot. It is perhaps needless to say that he deposited a straight Republican ticket.
Source: The Cuba True Patiot, Vol. VI, No. 20, November 8, 1867

Joined the Templars

On Monday evening last, Deacon Abner Huntley, of this village, who is 101 years of age joined the Godd Templars. As Mr. Huntley never used intoxicating liquors in this life, there is now some danger that he will get in the habit of doing so!
Source: The Cuba True Patriot, Vol. VII, No. 6, August 7, 1868

One Hundred and One Years Old!

On Tuesday last Deacon Abner Huntley of this village, was one hundred and one years of age. The occasion was celebrated by our citizens with a pic-nic, which Mr. Huntley attended, and enjoyed as well as a boy of sixty summers. The Cuba Cornet Band furnished music for the occasion. Mr. Huntley is still what can be called hale and hearty, and is engaged this summer is breaking a three year old colt.
Source: The Cuba True Patriot, Vol. VII, No. 6, August 7, 1868.

Our Centenarian Votes

About 11 a.m., Abner Huntley, of this village, who will be one hundred and two years og age should he live till next August, walked to the entrance of the Hall. Erect as a man of fifty, and with a step as elastic as many young men, he mounted the long flight of stairs and advanced to the polls, the crowd reverently making way for him. In the midst of silence the old patriarch deposited a ballot for Grant and Colfax and the entire Republican State ticket.
Source: The Cuba True Patriot, Vol. Vii, No. 19, November 6, 1868.

One Hundred and Two Years of Age!

Wednesday last, the 4th inst., was the birth-day of our townsman Deacon Abner Huntley. On that day he was one hundred and two years of age. Early in the morning he mounted a horse and rode down town, dismounted without assistance, and went round among our citizens "visiting." He is still hearty and quite active.
Source: The Cuba True Patriot, Vol. VIII, No. 6, August 6, 1869.

Mr. A. Huntley

Mr. A. Huntley, of Cuba, now 105 years old, and who has voted at every Presidential election, with one single exception, and who cast his vote for George Washington, helping to elect him for a second term, is now earnestly at work for General Grant. Although far advanced in life, he is yet possessed with a great deal of physical and mental vigor, and has more activity and strength than most men who have numbered but three score years. He was on a visit among his friends in Scio, a few days since. In conversation with M. S. Davis, of that place, he said that never had he felt such a deep interest in a campaign since the days of Washington, and he proposed making a tour through the country and electioneer for Grant. Voting for the "Father of his Country," he would deem it base ingratitude to Republican institutions if he failed now to cast his vote for the "Savior of the Republic." All honor to the patriotic old man, who actuated by no motives but love for his country, stands by the Republican colors "Tell the news to Horace." [Allegany Reporter.
Source: The Cuba True Patriot, Vol. XI, No. 8, August 16, 1872

Mr. Huntley died at the home of his son Harry at scio, March 10, 1877, and was buried in Cuba Cemetery. Mrs. C. W. Smith of Scio, Mrs. O. F. Eaton and Mrs. Charles Blatchley of Cuba, and Clara Willard of Allegany, are great grand children.


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