Biography of Milton Heath
St Lawrence County, NY Biographies

Heath, Milton, Potsdam, commonly known as Colonel Heath, was of Puritan descent, his ancestors having came from England among the early Pilgrims and branched into New Hampshire and Vermont. He was the son of Benjamin Heath and Lucy Hidden, and was born in Wheelock, Vt., October 2, 1807. At the age of seventeen he came with his father to Dickinson, N. Y., where the family became prominent. The father established a stage house, the railway station of those days for the line of mail coaches that ran from Ogdensburg to Plattsburg. He became postmaster and agent for the sale of lands, and the house was headquarters for public business, This business fell ere long, by the father's death, into the hands of Milton, who prospered and became a sort of rural baron, He owned a farm of many hundred acres, he built a stately house, and employed many men, and with it all was generally honored and respected. When thirty he niarried Emily Bentley, then the widow of George Farrar. They had no children, but she had a son by the first husband, and to educate him they moved to Malone, and afterwards to various other places, and finally to Potsdam in St. Lawrence county, Meanwhile, about 1840, he raised a company of militia, and was made colonel of the regiment. He was of erect and noble bearing, fully six feet tall, and when mounted on his black charger, dressed in a blue and gold uniform with scarlet plume streaming from his half-moon hat, and attended by his black servant "Virginia," he made a figure that is still remembered by old men. His latter days were spent in Potsdam where he took great interest in public affairs, often serving as village trustee or school committee, but seeking no office of salary. He was specially interested in church matters, and for more than thirty years was an officer of the Episcopal church. When nearly seventy, his adopted son, his wife, and two adopted grandchildren, all died within a brief period, leaving him alone. Soon after his brother who lived in Maryland, and whom he had for some years supported, died also, No relative was left him except a sister who lived in New Jersey, and her son, his nephew. He visited them, and they agreed to join their fortunes with him. A firm was formed at Potsdam in 1880, under the firm name of Milton and Frederic Heath, for the purchase and sale of lands and the care of land agencies. Here his declining years were spent in peace. No word of discord ever marred the relations of uncle and nephew, and the nephew's children were an unfailing source of pleasure to him. No man ever loved children more dearly, and the genial sweet tempered old man was loved in return by them, Here, at the age of eighty five, after a long life of usefulness and honor, be died of praralysis, November 1, 1892, and lies buried at Lawrenceville, N.Y.

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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