the home of Frank A. Leek we will continue our journey up the Riggs
Street road. The first place well worthy of notice is the Hatch
homestead, the home of Chauncey M. Hatch. He was born in Oxford in
1779, the son of Abijah and Sarah Bassett Hatch, who lived in the house
now owned by R. G. Robinson. In his early life he had a strong
desire to become a cabinet maker, to which his youthful ambition
aspired, many articles of his manufacture attesting his skill, but his
father objected and desired him to become a shoemaker, so he learned
that trade and followed the vocation through life although he disliked
He was twice
married. His first wife was Julia Garrett. They were married Feb. 3rd,
1803. They had four children. Julia Anna who married Royal Fairchild of
Newtown, Caroline and Catherine who both died in infancy, and one son,
Chauncey M., Jr. notice of whom has been given in a previous chapter.
His first wife died March 19, 1840, and he married for his second wife,
Hulda Curtis of Newtown, who died in march, 1876. Mr. Hatch was a
valued citizen of his native town and at times held most of the offices
within the gift of his townsmen.
He was a man of
sterling integrity and of iron will and dauntless energy; and of good
character, a good counselor, a sincere friend and a conscientious
He was a member of
the Masonic fraternity for over forty-five years, being a charter
member of Morning Star lodge, which was first organized in Oxford, and
during all that time he never swerved from his fealty to the order in
the days of its persecution and opposition.
In politics he was a
Jeffersonian Democrat. He held the office of town treasurer for a long
period of years and was never defeated at any election for any office
he aspired to, so popular was he with his townspeople.
He served in the War
of 1812, but I do not know how long he was in service. an
anecdote of his enlisting was related by one of his descendants. the
recruiting officer, a townsman, remarked, "there is one democrat in
town has got to be drafted," and it seems this man owed Mr. Hatch a
bill and he replied, "Pay me what you owe me and I will be in New
London before your company gets there," and he was.
He was actively
identified with St. Peter's church and was one of its most valued
officers and for many years was senior warden, doing faithful service.
He gave liberally towards the erection of the new church. He gave not
only the land where it stands, but furnished a good amount of capital.
He always had a warm
spot in his heart for young people, and especially for the school boys,
who were wont to go to him for favors which he cheerfully granted.
The parents of his
first wife were in the Wyoming massacre and her mother escaped from the
fort under the guard's arm carrying a three week's old child in her
arms and remained hidden in the brush in sight of the dreadful scene
and saw here brother killed. She made her escape on horseback, riding
to Southbury without adventure.
Mrs. Kate M. Davis, widow of the late William H. Davis, resides in the
old homestead. She is the daughter of Royal and Julia Anna (Hatch)
Fairchild and inherits many of the traits of character of her
grandfather. She is actively identified with St. Peter's church and is
untiring in her labors for the welfare of the society.
Chauncey M. Hatch
died Dec. 20th, 1850, aged 79 years.
(NOTE: The Hatch Homestead is house #85
in the EARLY HOUSES OF OXFORD, CONNECTICUT book, published 1976, Historic House Committee
of Oxford's Bicentennial Commission).