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The Harris Homestead

Dryden, Michigan

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Hiram Harris born November 20, 1800  died: September 6, 1874
Picture taken December 25, 1850
Married Polly T. Blake March 28, 1824
Hiram's Diary 1823 - 1824

HIRAM HARRIS’S DIARY 1823 - 1824
 

March 24, 1823: Paid one shilling for four quarts of oats but getting seven apples in the bargain which made me a very good dinner. After this was accomplished I mounted my horse and rode away.

April, first I transplanted sixty currant bushes in the morning. Monday, the 14th' we started for the Erie Canal and arrived at Warner's Tavern in Lima about noon and came on past Webster's Tavern and Mills about three o'clock and to Stoddard's Tavern at night where we put up but took little sleep there was so much noise and singing but we arose early and came through Rochester about sunrise. This being Tuesday, the 15th I hired out to Mr. I. Parwell for 11 dollars a month and continued work until Saturday about noon when I went to a log-raising where I spent the remainder of the day.

May 5th the weather was cold and there were frequent flurries of snow so my work was clearing stumps from a meadow, but on the 13th I attended a quilting at Clark's Inn on pay as one of the Musicians playing the Flageolet which, in appearance is slightly amusing. June 6th I plowed about two acres with a yoke of oxen. This 3rd of July I must remember Miss Maryann Worden for making a vest and pantaloons, which is ten shillings.

August 29th and the following days I visited three of my brothers and borrowed two dollars of Shubael and five of Albey for the purpose of going to the Academy which performed on the 8th of September (Possibly Franklyn Academy advertised in Ontario Times 8 May 1826). Commenced my studies of grammar and arithmetic and on the 27th returned home from Bloomfield.

From the 20th of October I have been employed in visiting strangers for the purpose of commencing a school; which I did the first of December for ten dollars in the town of Naples. Went to the village on the tenth and got my certificate.

I finished with ten scholars on the first day of January 1824, I was at my school and on the 4th at evening visited Miss P. B. (Polly Blake, one of his scholars) and on the 6th attended a dance with her at Mr. Warrens.

March 1st 1824 residing at Mr. Pecks and teaching my school with but few scholars, but very lively ones. On Saturday evening I visited at Mr. Browns where I had the joy of playing my flute. Sunday, March 14th finished my school bill and in the evening engaged a sleigh ride with Mr. Stokes for one dollar with the company of Mr. Fuller, Elvira and Polly Blake.

On Sunday March 28th 1824, I was married to Miss Polly Blake by Mr. Luther, Esquire, at Mr. and Mrs. Blake's about two o'clock in the afternoon.

On Wednesday April 14th,  I attended the wedding at Father Blake's where Mr. Timothy M. Fuller and Elvira Blake were married by Mr. Luther, Esquire, in the town of Naples, County of Ontario, State of New York.

From the 28th of April until now, June 22nd I have taken no account.  Mrs. P. Harris has gone to her father's for a visit. She was quite unwell. She continued unwell and Monday I went and got Dr. Baley, who relieved some of her pain by bleeding.  He came again on Tuesday.

On the 4th of July 1824, Polly and I reside at our own house enjoying better health.

Friday, October 1st 1824:  For the circumstances of these times I moved from Bath up to Naples. Arrived, with my goods on Saturday with very good luck and for the next employment I built a log house in side town and moved into it on December 2nd. In the past season many circumstances have happened and almost forgotten - my making a profession of faith in Christ under the closed communion Baptist Order.

I and my wife are going to the Covenant on Saturday November 13th and will both be baptized on Sunday, the 14th by Elder Lamb.

On December 29th, my work was falling  two pine trees for shingles with my Father-in-Law, sawing on Thursday and Friday and on January 1, 1825.

January 15th I went to town to get my certificate which was granted and continued my school in which time I have boarded at Mr. Wansoe’s.

February 21st began boarding to Mr. Lathrop’s and went to Mr. Fishers on Thursday to talk a little about bad conduct. I censured some, praised some, advised some and told them they were all good scholars. A little about the weather as it is being very pleasant and bare ground all winter. 

Saturday March 12 visited Mr. Standcliffs school where there is  about 10 or 11 scholars. Sunday 27th at evening, heard Mr. Briggs preach a sermon from songs at Mr. Pecks’ house that was nourishing to the soul.

Signed March 30 1925

sig-Hiram Harris.

Other pages of the diary contain poems and hymns, one poem named The Indian Hymn of four verses and another Wonders on the Mountain with nine verses, the latter written July 4 1827.

Further research may show where Hiram built his log cabin, in Naples but a grandson, George4 Harris remembered that his Grandmother Polly told him of living on the banks of the Honeoye Lake and washing her clothes in the lake and in the winter Hiram skated on the lake on skates made with wood frames to hold the blade.

Ontario County Land Records show that Hiram bought a parcel of land per Book 53-125:

Barnard Harris of the town of Belfast, County of Allegheny N.Y. and Clarissa his wife for $50 paid by Hiram Harris of the town of Canadice, Property situate a part of Lot #53 being his second share, beginning on the west shore of Lake Honeoye at a certain stake standing at the SE corner of share #1 belonging to Hiram Means and South 16 rods containing 11 1/2 A along shore of Lake. This seems to have been a part of the Shubael _/2 Harris land that was distributed to his brothers and sisters after his death in 1828. This along with other land was sold 11 October 1834 per book 56-341; -

Hiram Harris and Polly his wife of Richmond County for $240 sold to Moses Ross property situate in Town of Canadice a part of Lot 53 in Phillips and Gorham Purchase-East on West Shore of Honeoye Lake, north by lands owned by S. T. Steward. West by the west line of Honeoye Lake, north by lands owned by S. T. Stewart, West by the west line of said Lot 53 and south by lands owned by Albey Harris and containing 26 A abd 16 Rods inclusive of all  highways.

Signature:  Hiram Harris, Polly T. Harris, signed in the presence of Phillip Short.

Hiram's father had died in 1827, and Albey, the fourth son was accumulating the various parcels of land from the Shubael Estate as well as his father's land so in 1835 we find Hiram and Polly with their five little children moving to Michigan. Since he had worked on the Erie Canal,  they probably went up to Rochester to join with other emigrants for the trip west by boat.

Their first stop in Michigan was at Utica about ten miles west of Anchor Bay. In 1837 they settled on a farm which they homesteaded, SW of Dryden in Lapeer County about 30 miles north of Utica. The original Certificate of the U. S. Land Office shows that Hiram Harris registered for 80 A. of the Public Lands, the S '/2 of the SW 1A of Section 15 T-6-N, R-ll-E in the Sagana District, Certificate No 1060, Washington D.C. September 5, 1838.

Signature: Martin Van Buren, President

George4 Harris, grandson of Hiram, remembered that the family had talked about "Grandfather paid $1.25 an acre and had to walk from Dryden to Lapeer about fifteen miles to make the purchase.  He was a man of small stature, weighing about 120 pounds. This farm stayed in the Harris family until late in the 1950s and the old family burial plot there is still maintained by the family.