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BIOGRAPHIES

submitted by Dick Halsey

MELVIN DEWITT 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 found.

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 Ben.

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.

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This page was last updated January 14, 2004.