Reminiscences of Oxford
Homes and People
By B. H. Davis
Published 1914 in THE SEYMOUR RECORD

Chapter 11

Leaving 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 it.

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 Christian.

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.

A granddaughter, 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).

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