Reuben Fenton – Sixty-six Short Years

Reuben Fenton – Sixty-six Short Years

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Reuben Fenton – Sixty-six Short Years

  • 1819 – Reuben Eaton Fenton was born on July 4th, in what is now the Town of Carroll. He was the youngest of five sons born to George and Elsie (Owen) Fenton.1 His boyhood was spent attending district school, helping with farm chores, 1 year of schooling at Farmers’s College in Ohio, which was run by his Aunt’s husband, part of a term at Fredonia Academy, 2 and read law for two years with Waite Brothers 3 while teaching school at Jamestown Academy.
  • 1837 – at age 17 years – Reuben and brother George stepped up to run the store owned by their father, when the financial burdens caused by the Panic of 1837 forced him to close.4 Reuben also began buying land, clearing it, and rafting lumber to Ohio.
  • 1840 – at age 20, Reuben married Jane Frew, 5 on February 5.
  • 1842 – age 22, Jane Frew died, on February 2. 6 Reuben was a father (daughter Jane), and a widower.
  • 1844 – age 24 years, he married Elizabeth Scudder, on June 12. 7
  • 1845 – age 25 years, Reuben and Elizabeth had the first of three children, daughter, Josephine, on April 15. 8
  • 1846 – age 26 years, he was elected Carroll Town Supervisor. He held this position as a Democrat until 1852. 9
  • 1848 – age 29, Reuben and Elizabeth welcomed another daughter, Jeanette, on November 2. 10
  • 1849 – age 30, Reuben was elected to the House of Representatives, he was the youngest member that year. He was again elected in 1852. 11
  • 1854 – age 35, Fenton switched parties due to his anti – slavery stance, and lost the election. 12
  • 1856 – age 37, he was elected to House of Representatives again, and held this position through 1864. 13
  • 1864 – age 45, Fenton was elected as Governor of New York State for two terms, until 1869. 14
  • 1865 – almost 46, Reuben and Elizabeth had son, Reuben Earle, on June 12. 15
  • 1869 – age 50, Reuben was elected to the Senate, a position he held until 1875. 16
  • 1876 – age 57, he retired from politics and returned to Jamestown. He became Director, then President of First National Bank in Jamestown. 17
  • 1878 – age 59, was chosen Chairman of the American Commission to the Monetary Conference at Paris, by President Hayes. 18
  • 1885 – age 66, Reuben Eaton Fenton died at his desk at First National Bank on August 25. 19

 

Works Cited:

1. Hazeltine, Gilbert W., The Early History of the Town Of Ellicott, Chautauqua County, New York, Fenton Genealogical Library, 1971, p. 498

2. McMahon, Helen G., Chautauqua County A History, Buffalo, Henry Stewart, Incorporated, 1959, p. 151

3. Edson, Hon. Obed, History of Chautauqua County, New York, Boston, Mass., W. A. Fergusson, 1894, p. 326

4. McMahon, Helen G., Chautauqua County A History, Buffalo, Henry Stewart, Incorporated, 1959, p.153

5. Jamestown Journal, 12 Feb 1840

6. Jamestown Journal, 3 Feb 1842

7. Jamestown Journal, 14 June 1844

8. Edson, Hon. Obed, History of Chautauqua County, New York, Boston,Mass., W. A. Fergusson, 1894, p. 328

9. Young, Andrew W., History of Chautauqua County, New York, Buffalo, Matthews and Warren, 1875, p. 358

10. Edson, Hon. Obed, History of Chautauqua County, New York, Boston, Mass., W. A. Fergusson, 1894, p. 328

11. McMahon, Helen G., Chautauqua County A History, Buffalo, Henry Stewart, Incorporated, 1959, p.153

12. Downs, John P., History of Chautauqua County New York and Its People, Boston, New York, Chicago, American Historical Society, Inc.,1921, Vol. II, p. 4

13. Ibid. Vol.II p. 4

14. McMahon, Helen G., Chautauqua County A History, Buffalo, Henry Stewart, Incorporated, 1959, p. 155

15. Edson, Hon. Obed, History of Chautauqua County, New York, Boston, Mass., W. A. Fergusson, 1894, p. 328

16. Ibid., p. 455

17. McMahon, Helen G., Chautauqua County A History, Buffalo, Henry Stewart, Incorporated, 1959, p. 156

18. Edson, Hon. Obed, History of Chautauqua County, New York, Boston, Mass., W. A. Fergusson, 1894, p. 328

19. Hazeltine, Gilbert W. The Early History of the Town of Ellicott, Chautauqua County, New York, Fenton Genealogical Library, 1971, p. 498

 

 

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