Biography of Frederic M. Heath
St Lawrence County, NY Biographies

Heath, Frederic M., Putsdam, appeared in Moira, N. Y. promptly with the year 1844, having been born there January 1. He was the son of F. H. Petit, a physician of local note, and of Mahala Heath, The father's ancestry were from Rochelle in France, but had settled at an early day in Saratoga county; while the mother's stock were English Puritans from New Hampshire. Both parents had literary tastes and the father was for several years the county school commissioner, so that Frederick was brought up among books. At ten he gave lectures on astronomy, illustrated by an orrery of his own making. The sun and larger planets were balls of clay, and the moons whittled from pine. He had a taste for art, and drew a series of Bible pictures with pencil and red chalk that were meant to be serious, but should have appeared in a comic paper. At thirteen he read Barnaby Rudge and formed a dark and dreadful club among the boys, in imitation of Simon Tappertit. They met in distant woods where their lodge was made hideous with skulls and cross bones, and he kept their records in a secret alphabet of his invention, In due time he went to Lawrenceville Academy and graduated when eighteen, having made some reputation as a debator and a comic poet. He entered Union College, and remained there till partly through the Junior year. In December, 1863, news came that his father, who was a surgeon in the war, had been dangerously wounded. He hastened to Virginia, only to find him dead. It was now needful for him to think of a profession, and his taste led towards minerals and mining. Just then the first American School of mines was being founded at Columbia College, and his friend Prof. Chandler was chosen dean. He entered, and graduated there in 1877, with the degree of B. M. He soon found a situation as second manager of a Pittsburg iron firm, but the locality was malarial, and failing health obliged him to resign. The company were very kind and sent him to the mountains in hope of a cure, but in vain. Rest restored him partly, and he essayed mining, first in Ohio, and then near Easton, Pa., hut he grew worse and at last went home to die, so the doctors said, a feeble skeleton of ninety pounds. He did not die, but with what energy was left him began search into hygiene and healthful living that has since been his chief study, and on which he has written two pamphlets. The first called "The Human Machine," was published in Potsdam in 1884, and the second in New York in 1892 by the Fowler & Wells Co. It may be added that Mr. Heath has attained such strength that he has not had the slightest illness for many years. In 1869 he removed to Pompton, N. J., and built a pleasant home in that beautiful region. He engaged first in mining engineering, and then in railroad work, finally becoming general agent of the Greenwood Lake railway. At the age of thirty one he married Julia Fullerton, the daughter of a prominent lawyer, and from this union, a most happy one, have come two children: Julien a boy of sixteen, and Flora aged six. Twelve years later his mother's brother, Milton Heath, of Potsdam, proposed to him a partnership in his real estate business, which began th burden his advancing years. Being childless, and the last of the Heaths, he was anxious that Frederic should take his name and heir his property. This was arranged, and in 1880 he moved to Potsdam, In 1882 he traveled with Mrs. Heath through Europe, aud wrote letters to the local paper that were widely read. He is now engaged in building a summer hotel at Lake Ozonia, to be known as Fernwood Hall. Mr. Heath is an amateur artist, and sometimes gives lectures with crayon illustrations. He owns a considerable library, and has been for several years president of a literature club. He has never held political office, but has been school trustee and a vestryman of Trinity church.

Our County and it's people
A memorial record of St. Lawrence County, New York
Edited by: Gates Curtis
The Boston History Co., Publishers 1894

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