Among those who represent the commercial interests of New York Mills must be mentioned Matthew E. Hastings,
a well known business man and hardware dealer. He was born in Wigan-Lancashire, England, on the 24th of July, 1850,
and is a son of the late James and Deborah (Finn) Hastings. The father, who was a native of Bristol his natal day
being the 10th of March, 1810, was educated in the public schools of his native city, following which he learned
the weaver's trade. He emigrated to the United States with his wife and children, locating in Buffalo in 1867.
The following year they removed to New York Mills where the parents spent their latter days, the father passing
away on the 22d of January, 1883, and the mother on the 27th of August, 1899, both being laid to rest in the village
cemetery. They were the parents of six children.
The education of Matthew E. Hastings was acquired in the common schools of Wigan. Upon his arrival in Buffalo he
was apprenticed to a printer, his service papers being made out by the late Grover Cleveland. In 1869 he came to
New York Mills where he learned the plumber's and tinner's trades, which he followed until September, 1875, when
he engaged in business for himself at his present location, where he does copper and tin smithing, plumbing and
gas fitting in addition to which he carries a large line of shelf hardware. He does all of the repair work in his
line in the village and he also takes contracts for roofing and installing heating plants.
In 1873 Mr. Hastings was united in marriage to Miss Hannah Beard, a daughter of Ishmael Beard a native of England
but for many years a resident of New York Mills, where he located in 1854. Mrs. Hastings was born in Tintwistle,
Cheshire, England, on the 3d of July, 1848, and passed away on the 27th of April, 1907. She was a member of the
Presbyterian church of this village for forty years, and always took an active and helpful interest in all of the
work of the church and Sunday school, having for many years been a teacher in the latter. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Hastings
were born the following children: Mary E., who is at home with her father, Agnes I., who is keeping house for her
father; John E., a graduate of the Utica Free Academy and the medical department of the George Washington University,
now practicing in Washington. D. C.,; Walter F., who is traveling for the Standard Oil Company; Matthew S., who
is associated with his father in business, having entire charge of the plumbing and repair departments; and David
B., who is with the Mott Wheel Works, Flint, Michigan. All of the children were given the advantages of a good
education, as after completing the schools of New York Mills they attended the advanced schools of Utica, and the
Utica Free Academy.
Fraternally Mr. Hastings is identified with the Masonic order. He is a member of Oriental Lodge, No. 224, A. F.
& A. M.; Utica Commandery, No. 3, K. T.; Oneida Chapter, No. 57; and the shrine, while he was also formerly
a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. He has always been an ardent republican, and has several times
represented his party at county and state as well as district conventions, while for six years he was justice of
peace in New York Mills and is now assessor and chairman of the board. He also served for many years as school
trustee in district No. 11. Mr. Hastings has met with success in his business and in addition to his interest in
New York Mills has a summer lodge in the Adirondacks. He is one of the capable and progressive citizens of the
village, and both he and his family are well regarded and esteemed. Mr. Hastings has served for fifteen years on
the Board of Trustees of the Wolcott Memorial church and is now chairman of the board.
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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