F. W. DOOLITTLE, a prominent and wealthy business man of Canastota, is descended from ancient and honorable ancestry, and is himself one of the patriots of the
late Civil War. He has always been opposed to anything in the form of slavery, and is one of those who are able to fully appreciate the value to mankind of liberty to think each one for himself and of liberty for each to work out his own destiny.
Mr. Doolittle was born in the town of Lenox, April 13, 1839, a son of Francis W.
Doolittle, who was a farmer and the son of a farmer, and who died at the early age of thirty-five in August, 1839, leaving his wife with seven children, the youngest, as is evident from the dates above given, being then but three months old. The mother of these little ones before her marriage to Mr. Doolittle was Olive Lee. She was a daughter of Benjamin and Esther (Wheat) Lee, who came
from Conway, Mass., to Madison County, New York, in 1806, when Olive was four
years old, and settled on a small new farm in the town of Sullivan. Mrs. Olive Doolittle lived to be seventy-seven years old, and died at the home of her son, the subject of this sketch. She and her husband were the parents of six children, namely: F. W., the subject; Benjamin a miller of Oswego, N. Y.,
who about 1879 served one term in the State Senate; Charles, who died of heart disease at age of fifty-four years; Esther, wife of Marcus Wilcox, of Corunna, Mich.; Joel, who died at Canastota, at the age of nineteen; Amelia, who also died at the age of nineteen; and Harriet, who died at the age of eighteen--all three of consumption.
When about nineteen years of age, the subject of this sketch was given up by the doctors to die of the same disease which had taken three of the family, as above narrated; but, by virtue of a good constitution and of a determined will-power, which is beginning to be recognized largely as a remedial agent, he still survives, and is a rugged, healthy man, having endured, and being now capable of enduring, a vast amount of hard work, and of transacting a great deal of business. In politics, Mr. Doolittle is a Republican. He served during the late Civil War in the One Hundred and First New York Volunteer Infantry, from September, 1862, to February, 1863, being then discharged on account of physical
disability. He is a member of Reese Post, No. 231, Grand Army of the Republic, of Canastota, and has belonged to the Masonic Order more than thirty years. He is also a Knight of Pythias and an Odd Fellow. His father, Francis W. Doolittle, at his death left three small farms, slightly encumbered, one of which farms fell to the subject as compensation for labors from the time he was fourteen years of age. On the death of his brother, F. W. took charge of his father's
estate. At the present time Mr. Doolittle is the owner of two hundred acres of land within two miles of the village of Canastota. In the village he has two hotels. At the close of the war he erected a brick business block in the village, at a cost of thirty thousand dollars, which contained stores and a public hall. This fine building was destroyed in the great incendiary fire of 1873, and upon the same site Mr. Doolittle has since erected his present business building. Financially, Mr. Doolittle has been far more than ordinarily
successful, and is at the present time one of the most wealthy men in the village. His methods have always been straightforward, his dealings upright. His reputation for integrity is second to none in the place.
Mr. Doolittle was married February 18, 1862, to Miss Charlotte E. Dietz, of Sullivan, Madison County, a daughter of Tobias and Mariette (Hitchcock) Dietz. Mr. and Mrs. Doolittle have buried three children, namely: Cora, who died at the age of eleven months; Hattie, who also died in infancy; and Francis W., a bright and promising boy, who died at ten years of age. The living children are as
follows: Minnie, wife of Edwin Grant, of Canastota, and the mother of two sons;
Nellie, wife of Burt W. Posson, a grocer in the Doolittle Block in Canastota; Carrie, a young lady of twenty-one years, a graduate of the Canastota Academy, and now a sales-woman in the grocery store of Mr. Posson; and Lottie, a bright and intelligent miss of fourteen.
F. W. Doolittle has served three years as Trustee of the village of Canastota and four terms as its President. He has also been President of the glass factory, and is now a Director of one of the banks. He has always done his share in everything that has been started to improve the place and benefit the public.
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