submitted by Dick Halsey
Melvin Dewitt Halsey, the son of Dewitt Clinton Halsey
& Ruth Ford was born Feb. 1846 in Howard, NY.
The "Halsey Genealogy" says that the father,
Dewitt C. Halsey is living in Howard in 1885 but I
haven't found him in any record after 1850. In 1855
Melvin and his sister, Margaret, are listed as adopted
children of Thomas Horton Sr., with whom they are living
with in Howard. In 1860, Melvin is living with Thomas
Horton Jr. in Howard. He was boarding with Stephen Sayles
in Fremont, NY in 1865
Melvin first married Mary E. Morgan, daughter of John
Morgan & Levina Travis. Born 23 Aug. 1849 in Howard,
NY. She died 19 Feb. 1905 in Hornell, Steuben Co., NY and
is buried in Rural Cem., Hornell, NY.
They had the following children: Alta May (b 1872),
Clarence W. (b 1874), Milo Carl (b 1876), Archie McClean
(b1880) and Benjamin Everett (b 1883).
On March 29, 1876 Melvin buys land in Howard for $405. He
sold this property on March 5, 1881 for $262.50 and
sometime between then and April 16, 1883 they moved to
Hornellsville, because his son, Benjamin, was born in
Hornellsville in Apr. 1883. Melvin bought a house at 79
Arkport Road (now N. Main St.) in Hornellsville on Sept.
20, 1883 for $700. In a city directory dated 1884, it
says that Melvin was a driver of the stage from
Hornellsville to Bath.
For some unknown reason, Melvin left his family.
On March 14, 1888 Melvin borrowed some money from a man
in Lawrenceville, PA. He bought 102.2 acres of land in
Lawrenceville for $50 on Dec. 26, 1888. Melvin second
married Esther Haight even though his first wife was
still living. They had two sons; John (b 1893) and Homer
(b 1895). A county directory dated 1899 says Melvin was a
farmer along Mitchell Creek in Lawrenceville. Sometime
around that time, it is said that he left Lawrenceville
with his son John. The 1900 census has Melvin and John
living on Button Hill Road in Tioga, PA and his wife is
said to have died soon after but no record has been
On July 2, 1901 the court of Bradford County, PA issued a
subpoena to find Melvin for "Libel in Divorce"
from his first wife, Mary. The sheriff said that he could
not find him.
On Feb. 19, 1905 Melvin's first wife, Mary, died in
Hornell. Just a week after his wife died, on Feb. 25,
1905, Melvin signed a paper relinquishing any claim to
the property in Hornell. He signed his residence as
Lawrenceville. The property in Hornell was then
transferred jointly to Clarence, Alta, Milo, Archie and
Melvin bought 101.8 acres in South Creek, PA on Feb. 26,
1907. He bought another 101.8 acres adjacent on April 15,
1907. The county directory for 1907 says Melvin was a
dairy farmer, but if he was he must have sold his cattle
later, as when he died he only owned one cow. He went
from farm to farm in the area with his wagon and picked
up milk from farms to take to the processor. That is how
he must have met his last wife, Laura.B. Comfort (b ca.
1893 and the dau. of George E. & Susan Comfort), who
he married 11 March 1911 in Fassett, PA. When she became
pregnant, her father supposedly went to Melvin with a
shotgun to force him to marry Laura.
Children of Laura and Melvin were; Mildred Louise (b
1911), Alta M. (b about 1914) and Menzo D. (b 1917).
Laura died in Feb. 1919. Then on 20 March 1920, Melvin
died in South Creek, PA. The court appointed Ray Congdon,
the school principal, and his wife Lynn as guardians. The
estate was sold at a public sale and was bought for $560
by Edward and Bertha Conklin; she being Laura's sister.
They moved on to the farm and a few years later
officially adopted the children.
My grandfather was Archie who was by the first wife. We
didn't know about the other families until in the mid
1960s when my parents got a visit from Mildred, a child
of the third family. She somehow knew about our branch of
the family and informed us about her branch. Neither knew
of the second family until 1975, when Homer Halsey died
and a missing heir investigator found all of us.
This page was last updated January