Biography of Russel R. Jacques
FROM: History of Livingston County, New York
By James H. Smith
Assisted by Hume H. Cole
Published By D. Mason & Co. 1881


Russel R. Jacques, the subject of this biography, was born in the State of Vermont, February 11, 1807. His mother dying in his infancy, his father, Darius Jacques, entrusted him and his sister Caroline—the only surviving children—to the care of an aunt, Mrs. Williams, in Chenango county, N. Y.

In 1813, he removed with them to the town of Richmond, Ontario county, where he purchased a small farm.

In 1815, Darius Jacques married the widow of Levi VanFossen, and in the following year moved with his family to what was known as the VanFossen Mills.

Russel R., was then nine years old. His father, though a man of collegiate education, gave his son but the educational advantages of the common schools, the higher schools of those days being remote and expensive. Being naturally inclined to study he availed himself of the opportunities of the common schools, and at the age of thirteen went to Canandaigua to secure the better educational advantages there presented. In that place he remained some five years, and then went to Geneseo where he attended school some two years. While at this place his father lost his eyesight, and he being the only child, was called home to take care of the afflicted parent, at the sacrifice of any ambition he might have had in other directions. Here, at the foot of Hemlock lake, he began the life of a farmer, in which pursuit, and in the same place, he has continued to the present time.

In 1834, he was married to Miss Harriet Francis, daughter of Elihu Francis, who then owned the farm now owned by Mr. Lindsey.

In 1841, he was elected magistrate of the town, serving four years, at the close of the term declining reelection.

In 1851, he built a large farm-house, which in 1861 was devoted to the accommodation of summer tourists to the beautiful region of Hemlock Lake. During the years which followed, the place became a popular resort, and his accommodations being insufficient he was, in 1873, induced to enlarge his house to a capacity affording accommodations to seventy-five persons, giving to it the name of the Jacques House. To this place, in the summer months, come tourists from various parts of the country, who make this house their
home, or who occupy the cottages built on leased or purchased lots from his farm.

Of the pioneer of this delightful summer resort, it may be said that he is a man of genial, social nature, ardent and appreciative in his friendships, a staunch advocate of the right, responsive to the call of the poor and unfortunate, a lover of his country and an admirer of the beautiful in nature and now, in the yellow leaf of life, believing that, though unknown here, when God comes in His kingdom He will perhaps remember him as well as the philosophers, statesmen and heroes who have won the plaudits of the world.

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