Biography of Hiram Horton
Franklin County, NY Biographies





Hiram Horton, born in Brandon, Vt., in April, 1799, came to Malone with his father, who also was called Hiram, and who located here between 1806 and 1808, and by 1811 had acquired lands which now comprise nearly all of that part of the village lying east of the river and south of Main street, and also a considerable tract on the west side of the river east of Duane street, together with a number of lots in the vicinity of the Rutland Railroad passenger station. The properties included a grist mill and most of the water power privileges within the village limits. These lands were then all forest covered, and thus the subject of this sketch witnessed their transformation from a wilderness, first, into fruitful fields, and then gradually into a thriving village. The properties all came into the possession of Mr. Horton by inheritance and, purchase, and in disposing of lots to individuals he was apt not to convey quite all that he believed to be covered by his own titles, not infrequently assuming to dictate years afterward to his grantees that they must not occupy or build upon certain lands which they supposed themselves to own, claiming that the forbidden occupancy would be an encroachment upon himself or upon a highway. He was exacting and autocratic in such matters, and also in regard to his water power rights, concerning which latter he had protracted and bitterly fought procedute in the courts. From an early age Mr. Horton was a principal factor in all town and village concerns. He built carding and fulling mills, and the original MeMillan woolen factory, ran a saw mill, and operated the principal flouring mill in the town for over half a century; was among the earliest and most zealcus of the agitators for the building of the old Northern Railroad; accepted an election to the Assembly in 1844 solely in order to procure a charter for the proposed company, which predecessors in that body had labored unsuecessfully for years to obtain, and after accomplishing that work wrought untiringly for a long time to enlist capital in the work; indorsed the company's paper when its funds were exhausted to the amount of half a million dollars; and, with S. C. Wead and John L. Russell contracted with the company in 1847 to donate to it ten acres of land upon its agreement to locate its construction and repair shops in Malone, thus bringing to the place an industry which has been of incalculable benefit for sixty years now, and the establishment of which in Malone both Ogdensburg and Rouses Point resented with venomous bitterness. Of marked character, active temperament and inflexible purpose, Mr. Horton was not always easy of approach, nor gentle in manner, but those who knew him best found him generous and kind at heart, and everybody recognized him as public spirited and eminently useful in the community. Besides his service in the Assembly, Mr. Horton was often supervisor, and in 1864 was a Presidential elector, casting his vote for the reelection of Abraham Lincoln. He continued actively in business almost to the time of his death, which occurred August 31, 1872.

From:
Historical Sketches of Franklin County
and its several towns.
By: Frederick J. Seaver Malone, New York.
J. B. Lyon Company, Printers Albany, NY 1918.


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