Burlington Historical and Reminiscent
Bulia Fitch Hubbard Shaul
Transcription of an October 13, 1896 newspaper article (specific newspaper is unknown), which was written
by Bulia Fitch Hubbard Shaul, granddaughter of Phebe Hubbard.
This article contributed by Margaret Bornick.
HEADLINE: HISTORICAL AND REMINISCENT.
My paternal grandparents were among the first settlers of this town.
Grandfather, with one of grandmother's uncles, Ira Johnson, who was about
the same age, came to this, then a wilderness country, in the summer of
1792. They performed the journey on foot from their home in Chatham,
Conn., and purchased adjoining land of Mr. Cooper, from whom Cooperstown
takes its name. Each made a small clearing, built a log house, and in the
fall returned to their home the same way they came. As they drew near
their home grandmother and her aunt Mary, Mr. Johnson's wife, were
frightened, for they thought a couple of Indians were coming. In some way
they not only burned their log heaps but their shaving utensils also, and
so for a long time they had none to use, and for fun went home with
unwashed faces blackened by their toil. The following winter my
grandparents, with two small children, the youngest a babe six weeks old,
emigrated to their new home in the wilderness. They came with a pair of
oxen and a sled, that carried their household goods also. Grandmother
found no door to her cabin when she got here but said "I hung up my rag
kiverlid." Wild beasts roamed over these hills and valleys, and one
evening grandfather went through the woods about two miles distant to
transact some business and on his return was chased by a pack of wolves and
compelled to climb a tree, where they serenaded him with their howls till
morning before they disappeared. They kept a few sheep and when they came
near the house grandmother used to feed them to induce them to stay near by
and one day after feeding them, she returned to her work but could not find
her darning needle. Afterwards they killed one of those sheep and she
found her needle in its thigh. They were energetic and very industrious
but they had to endure the hardships and deprivations of pioneer life.
About 1802 they built a framed barn and a large substantial house with a
huge chimney in the center, as was the custom in those days, its walls not
plastered but ceiled with pine. On the back of the house was a stoop which
extended to the wing, also one on the front with stationary benches, and it
was enclosed with lattice work about three feet high. Below the eaves were
large scallops, on two of which over the entrance were painted two large
American Eagles. I have often thought of their pleasure and satisfaction
when they took possession of their new home, whose foundation was laid with
so much toil and hardship.
Grandfather possessed excellent traits of character, but goodness did not
prevent the early appearance of the destroying angel, for he passed away
October 15, 1815, leaving his companion and eight children, the youngest
seven years of age . . . . . . . . . .Parker. Grandmother lived a widow
nearly sixty years, but always in the same dear home and in the full
enjoyment of the comforts of this life. One of her sons occupied the old
homestead over forty years, but he and his wife passed on before her; then
a granddaughter took their place, who never failed in love and tender care
for her . . . old grandmother. The hardest trial of her life was doubtless
the loss and the way whereby she lost her youngest son Jared, who fell by
the hand of an assassin in 1846. But she had the comforting assurance that
he had gone to a better country beyond the reach of evil and designing m. .
(men). He was her pride and her joy, and w . . . (well) did he deserve the
love she abundantly bestowed upon him. She occupied a room by herself,
which was always tidy and kept in good order, and she retained the full use
of her mental faculties until about two years previous to her death when
they became somewhat impaired by an injury to her head, the result of a
fall. She was a beloved member of the Baptist church at Burlington Flats,
and had she lived four months longer would have been a member of that body
seventy-five years. After a long life of usefulness and loving service she
passed to her reward and exchanged the cross for a crown on the morning of
January 2, 1873. She was born January 26, 1772.
B. F. Shaul, Burlington Flats, Oct. 13, 1896
Otsego County Home