D. ERALZMAN HASKELL, a leading citizen of Cazenovia, a man of affairs, and especially interested in educational matters, was born in the town of Nelson, December 31, 1819. He comes from a line of Haskells of English ancestry, several generations of whom lived in Massachusetts. His great-grandfather Haskell was a soldier in the French and Indian War, and died from disease contracted in the service. His grandfather, Simeon Haskell, was one of four brothers who served in the War of the Revolution. He was on Long Island at one period, and at the time of the evacuation was on picket duty, when General Lafayette rode up, and, informing him of the departure of the British troops, took him on his horse to the boat. He was a mason by trade. The removal of his family from Massachusetts to New York State, about the year 1800, was made by team.
Simeon Haskell was one of the first settlers in the town of Nelson, Madison County, then Chenango County. Buying timber land, he built a dwelling-house of logs, and set to work to clear a farm. After a residence here of many years he moved to the town of Fenner, and died at the home of his son Daison in 1846. The maiden name of his wife, grandmother of the subject of this sketch, was Sally Parsons. She was born in Massachusetts, and died on the new farm at Nelson, having reared ten children--Parsons, Thomas, Horace, Daison, Leonard, Jabez, Sally, Sophia, Orpha, and Abigail.
Daison Haskell, born in Granville, Mass., came to Nelson with his parents. At the age of seventeen he went back to New England, and spent some four or five years in Connecticut, where he married. Returning to Nelson, he bought a farm, after living on which for a few years he removed to a later purchased farm in Fenner.
For many years after the family came to this State there were no railroads; and Albany, more than a hundred miles distant, was the market to which the farmers used to draw their produce, bringing back on their return general merchandise needed to supply the wants of the family. Some of the time while living in Massachusetts he was engaged in teaming between Boston, Albany, Hartford, Providence, and other points with a five-horse team. He made one trip from Hartford, Conn., to Charleston, S.C., taking down a load of saddles, and bringing back copper. The last years of his life were spent in Cazenovia, where he died June 9, 1869. He married Elsie French, who was born in East Windsor, Hartford County, Conn. Her parents were John and Abigail (Adams) French. John French, a native of East Windsor, inherited a large tract of land on the east bank of the Connecticut River. He was a farmer, and spent his entire life in his native town. Mrs. Daison Haskell, mother of our subject, died in Cazenovia, January 17, 1871. Her four children--Emily Agnes, D. Eralzman, Elsie Maronette, and Flavia Abigail--are now living.
The educational advantages enjoyed by D. Eralzman Haskell were those of the district school and of a select school at Cazenovia, and his opportunities were so well improved that at the age of seventeen he was fitted to be a teacher. He taught successively eleven winter terms, in the intervals between working at farming. He served two years as Superintendent of Schools. In 1852 he was elected Justice, of the Peace, and began to study law, being admitted to the bar in 1858. Coming to Cazenovia in 1859, be started in business as a dealer in general merchandise, continuing in trade twenty years. Since that time he has been engaged in the insurance business, and now represents the New York Life Insurance Company.
Mr. Haskell married in 1842 Louisa L. Garrett, a native of Nelson, daughter of Rufus and Mary Garrett, pioneers of this place. She died in December, 1874, leaving one child, Frances Louisa, a daughter, Mary Josephine, having previously died at the age of seven years. His father being a
Democrat, Mr. Haskell was reared in the political faith of that party; but, disagreeing with some of its principles, he joined the Liberty party, and voted in 1844 for James G. Birney for President, in 1848 for John P. Hale, and in 1852 for Gerrit Smith. He has been a Republican since the organization of that party, in 1855. His fellow-townsmen have shown their confidence in his good judgment and integrity by electing him to various offices of public trust. During the war he was one of the committee to raise men to fill the town's quota. On one occasion the Supervisor of the town, going to Washington to secure recruits, was made the victim of spurious vouchers; and Mr. Haskell was sent there to straighten out the matter. The Provost Marshal turning a deaf ear to his remonstrances, he made a personal appeal to President Lincoln, the result of which was satisfactory. Mr. Haskell has served on the Village Board, and for twenty-one years as a member of the Board of Trustees of Cazenovia Seminary, fourteen years being Secretary of the Board.
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