GEORGE FEARON, deceased, one of the early pioneers of the town of Eaton, who aided largely in clearing and improving the country, and was an industrious, honest, and good citizen, is eminently worthy of honorably mention in this "Biographical Review" of Madison County. He was born in Ireland in 1781, and was a son of Robert Fearon, a prosperous farmer, who on February 17, 1779, had married Amelia Gaven. Robert and Amelia Fearon were the parents of two children, namely: Catharine, born January 23, 1780, and died April 13, 1799; and George, the subject of this sketch. The daughter's death, which was a sad blow to the family, was caused by a fever which she took from her brother, and which he had contracted in the army, while serving in the Irish Rebellion. George himself was seriously ill for three months, a part of the time delirious. Robert Fearon's farm was known as Bally Rush farm, was situated three miles from Arklow, county of Wicklow, and thirty miles from Dublin. Mr. Fearon was accidentally drowned, while crossing a river, about the year 1782 or 1783. His son George grew up a farmer, and remained at home until 1811, when with his wife, three children, and his mother, he emigrated to the United States, his voyage across the sea to Boston consuming seven weeks. From Boston the family moved to Attica, N.Y., and thence to the town of Eaton, making the journey by means of hired ox-teams, and became pioneers in that town. There he purchased a farm, which was at the time partly improved, and on which was a log house. In this log cabin Mr. Fearon lived for a short time, and then erected a more substantial frame house, the farm being in possession of his younger son, James T. During the first years of his residence in this county the woods abounded in various kinds of wild beasts and game, bear and deer being especially plentiful. The Stockbridge Indians also resided in the vicinity, but they were usually peaceful and friendly.
Mr. Fearon was a most industrious and thoroughly honest man, and well known to the entire community as possessing the noble qualities most to be desired, as marking a good citizen of a free country. He was successful as a farmer and a business man; and at the time of his death on his old farm, March 4, 1863, though not what would now be considered wealthy, he was the possessor of a goodly amount of property. He and his wife, Lydia, were the parents of eight children, namely: Robert and Elizabeth Bailey, deceased; Catharine, born October 18, 1810; Amelia Burns, deceased; George, born January 10, 1816, and living in Oneida; Susanna, deceased; Lydia Jane, born January 5, 1824, living with her elder sister; James T., born October 28, 1829, and living at Morrisville. George and Lydia Fearon were members of and active workers in the Methodist Episcopal church, of which he has been a Trustee and was at one time a class leader. The mother of George Fearon died at the old homestead in Eaton in 1824, at the age of sixty-six years. His wife died December 16, 1838, aged fifty-two years.
The sisters, Catharine and Lydia Jane, maiden ladies, have lived at Pratt's Hollow about thirty years, their comfortable and beautifully furnished home being on the one-hundred-acre farm, which they lease, and which has been in the family upward of fifty years. They also own the store building in the village, and are in comfortable circumstances. Both are religiously inclined, and for more than sixty years have been active workers in the Methodist Episcopal church at Pratt's Hollow, to which their father gave the land on which the building stands, and which he aided largely in many other ways. Both of the sisters were well educated in their youth, at first attending the district school, and later Cazenovia Seminary, from which the younger was graduated, July 16, 1846. Lydia has been Superintendent of the Sunday school for several years. Catharine is the oldest church member in Pratt's Hallow, and one of the most aged inhabitants of the place. She well remembers the friendly Stockbridge tribe of Indians, and the murderous chief Antoine, his trial, and his execution, which took place when she was in her girlhood and naturally, made a deep and dreadful impression on her young mind. Her memory is a well-filled storehouse of the past, in which, safe to say, pleasant, cheerful recollections predominate. No doubt the early training and the continued activity of mind of these sisters, together with the sustaining and quickening power of their religious faith, have largely contributed to the preservation of their physical soundness and vigor. As with sweet inward peace and dignity of soul they tread the downward path leading to the sunset land, they have the warm regards of many friends to whom the world is brightened by their presence and influence.
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