Francis Austin Hyatt
(August 5, 1828- )
FRANCIS AUSTIN HYATT was born at Ridgefield, Fairfield county, Conn.,
August 5, 1828. The family came from England at the earliest settlement of
the colonies. The first mention of the name in this country, is that of
THOMAS HYATT in the records of Stamford, Conn., of 1641.
The first five generations here were represented in direct descent by the
name of THOMAS HYATT.
THOMAS HYATT, 2D, settled at Norwalk, Conn. The records of that town show
that he received bounty lands for having participated in the "direful swamp
fight" of "King Phillip's war," which took place Dec. 29, 1675.
THOMAS HYATT, 3D, became one of the twenty-five original purchasers and
settlers of Ridgefield township. The purchase was made in 1708 of Catoonah,
Sachem of Ramapoo Indians, for consideration of "One Hundred Pounds."
Deacon JAMES BENEDICT was also one of said original purchasers, and married
SARAH HYATT, sister of THOMAS, April 7, 1708.
THOMAS HYATT, 5TH, emigrated to Nelson, Madison county, N. Y., with his son
ABIJAH, in 1830. ABIJAH HYATT was chiefly noted as a pioneer Methodist,
both in his old, and new home; and always an honor to his creed. His son
AARON S. HYATT, settled in Fenner, N. Y., in 1832, bringing on an emigrant
wagon, his household goods and family. He was among the first to develop
the dairy interest in Central New York. As early as 1842, he was proprietor
of a dairy of fifty cows, and for a long time took high rank, and deep
interest in the business. His children are FRANCIS AUSTIN, AARON S., JR.,
and ELECTA, wife of MARLIN LYON. After learning first principles as taught
in the District school, Mr. HYATT was educated at "Red Creek Union Academy,"
and "Oneida Conference Seminary," becoming a student at the Seminary, spring
term of 1844. He remembers with pride as students of that term, Gen. Joseph
R. Hawley, Gov. Leland Stanford, Bishop Andrews, Judge Andrews, and many
others less conspicuous, but who had acted well their part in life. After
leaving school, Mr. HYATT located on a farm in Fenner. His first experience
in political life was as candidate for clerk of the town, on the Anti "Know
Nothing ticket." Everybody in those days were Know Nothings, and of
course, he was beaten. Next year he was nominated on the same issue, and
elected. Having held numerous town offices, he was in 1860, nominated by
acclamation for Member of the Legislature, and elected by 822 majority,
receiving more votes in his town, than Abraham Lincoln. He was again
nominated for the Assembly in 1871, elected by a much larger than usual
majority, and declined re-nomination.
Making no pretensions to a brilliant political career, he has always re-
corded his vote on the side of the taxpayers, and against all appropriations
for other than the legitimate expenses of government. Mr. HYATT was married
to ELIZABETH MARTHA ROBINSON, of Perryville, Oct. 22, 1850, by whom he has
three sons,-FRANK H., a lawyer of Morrisville, AARON SANFORD, a physician at
Wacousta, Mich., and THEODORE FREMONT. Mrs. HYATT died March 20, 1869. He
was married June 26, 1878, to MARY ELIZABETH BENEDICT, of Brooklyn, formerly
of Sherburne, Chenango county. She is a lineal descendant of Deacon JAMES
BENEDICT, of Ridgefield, before mentioned.
Tolerably successful in business, with comfortable home surroundings, and
of a disposition to do to the best of his ability whatever he undertakes,
the subject of this sketch is a fair representative of the large class of
workers, known as "independent farmers."
From "History of Chenango and Madison Counties, NY" starting on page 705.
Transcribed by Sandy Goodspeed
Date: Friday, September 17, 1999 12:07 PM
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