Facing Page 646
The original text includes an illustration of Mrs. Susan Blair and Jeremiah
The subject of this memoir
was born in Blandford, Hampden Co., MA, December 31, 1795. He was
the son of Enoch and Jenny (Knox) Blair. The former was born November
15, 1771, and died in Nelson, January 25, 1824, and the latter was born
about 1769 and died February 5, 1827.
Enoch was a farmer by occupation. He came into the town of Nelson and settled on lot 61, about 1808. They had eight children, as follows, Orra, Jeremiah, Alvin, William K., Isaac, Orin, Jane and Philo E. Four of these are still living, namely Alvin, William K., Orin and Philo E.
Jeremiah by his own efforts acquired the means to obtain a good common school education, and at an early day became a successful teacher by demanding implicit obedience to his directions and untiring efforts to acquire knowledge on the part of his pupils. During the war of 1812, he enlisted in the US Army and left at once for Sackett's Harbor, where he suffered from sickness and many privations. After the close of the war he returned to Nelson and was engaged in farming summers, and teaching school winters until about 1821, when he married. In 1822 he taught at a select school in Hamilton. In 1823 he purchased and moved onto the farm on which he lived until he died.
Politically, he was a firm believer in the principles of Jefferson and Jackson. By his fellow townsmen, he was frequently elected to the office of supervisor, (and was chosen by his associates clerk of the board,) Justice of the Peace, (which office he held many years,) Highway Commissioner, etc. No violator of the law ever greatly admired his ideas of justice and the way he administered it in their cases, for they always received from him all the law allowed them or what he believed they justly deserved for their waywardness. In deciding legal questions, he was guided more by a well-balanced mind than by extensive legal acquirements.
In fine, Jeremiah Blair was an industrious, economical man, of correct business habits and strict integrity, possessed of that self-reliance, energy, and will -- both of mind and body -- that made him a successful and wealthy farmer, an efficient officer and a useful citizen in his neighborhood, and he has left to those yet living many precepts and examples, worthy of their imitation and admiration.
In 1821, Jeremiah married Susan Clark, daughter of Jeremiah and Lucy Clark, of Nelson, Madison Co. She was born October 25, 1797. Her parents were among the earliest settlers in the town. They settled north of Erieville, and her father built the first sawmill that was put up in the town, where now is the outlet of the Erieville Reservoir.
Jeremiah and Susan Blair reared a family of eight children named in the order of their birth as follows: Susan J., born September 29, 1822, married Dr. Levi P. Greenwood (biography facing page 648) September 13, 1843; Jeremiah, born October 14, 1824, married Anna S. Thomes (Thomas), March 14, 1872; Harry Clark, born July 21, 1826, married Lucy Bond, January 3, 1849; Isaac Alonzo, born January 26, 1830, married Harriet A. Whirney, October 5, 1851; Charles C., born May 16, 1832, married Mary E. Everts, October 6, 1863; Arvin Hale, born February 24, 1834, married Ellen Ensign, June 24, 1875; Edmund Franklin, born January 31, 1836, died June 16, 1850; and Addison DeWitt, born October 10, 1841, unmarried. All these children except the latter who is a resident of Elmira, NY, are now living in the town of Nelson.
Jeremiah Blair died November 28, 1878.