Richard Harter, who devoted his life to farming and was one of the respected representatives of agricultural
life and a prominent and influential citizen of this community, was born in Deerfield, New York, in 1800. The house
in which he first opened his eyes to the light of day was the same in which he spent his entire life with the exception
of about ten years. His father was Nicholas Harter, who was of German descent and became one of the early residents
of Deerfield, removing to that place from Herkimer county, New York, in 1784. He had but recently served as a soldier
of the Revolutionary war, rendering valuable aid to his country as a valiant defender of the cause of liberty.
After coming to Deerfield he erected the residence in which his son Richard so long resided. It was standing until
1904 and had been built more than a hundred years ago, and was the first frame house in Deerfield, being one of
the old landmarks of the community. Nicholas Harter was united in marriage to Catherine Damoth and as the years
passed they became parents of five children. Mr. Harter was one of the prominent men of his section, loyal to all
the measures and projects which he deemed of public worth, and wherever he was known he was honored and respected
because of a well spent life. He reached the venerable age of ninety three years.
Richard Harter spent his youthful days under the parental roof, was reared to the occupation of farming and chose
to make that pursuit his life work. His labors, intelligently directed, were crowned with success. He conducted
his farm along progressive lines and year by year his careful cultivation of the fields resulted in the production
of good harvests, which added materially to his income.
In early manhood Richard Harter was united in marriage to Miss Rachel Lewis, and they became the parents of fourteen
children, three of whom are now living: Mrs. Sarah Elizabeth Bogert, who is the widow of Peter Bogert and resides
in Deerfield; Matilda, now Mrs. A. H. Weaver; and Miss Martha Harter. Those deceased are: Catherine; Mrs. Maria
Kellogg, who was the wife of Henry Kellogg; Rachel, the wife of Robert Owens; Mary Jane; Baleria; Victoria; Medora;
Grace, formerly Mrs. John C. Weis; Helen; Earl; and Nicholas. The last named, who for many years followed farming
in Deerfield, served as a soldier of the Civil war, valiantly responding to the call for troops soon after the
outbreak of hostilities in 1861 and remaining with the Union army until 1865, when following the close of the war
he was honorably discharged.
Not only did Richard Harter make for himself a creditable position in agricultural circles but was also long active
in church work, attending the Deerfield Baptist church, in which he served as treasurer and trustee. He took a
helpful interest in all departments of the church and gave liberally of his time and means to its service. He was
a man of strong physique, vigorous in mind and body and was of a social, neighborly disposition, who made friends
of all with whom he came in contact. In politics he was a supporter of democratic principles. He possessed unusual
public spirit and served as supervisor of Oneida county for more than thirty years, a record seldom equalled in
the state of New York. He also filled the office of justice of the peace and his decisions were renowned for fairness
and impartiality. Neither fear nor favor could swerve him from the path of duty and at all times he was loyal to
his honest convictions. Death came to him in 1883 and the county thereby lost one of its worthy and honored citizens.
History of Oneida County, New York
From 1700 to the present time
of some of its prominent men and pioneers.
By: Henry J. Cookinham
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company
Oneida County, NY
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